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  • Kevin Elliott

Rochester revives historic building plaques

Rochester City Council on Monday, February 12, unanimously approved reinstating a historical recognition program that was curtailed five years ago, effectively allowing residents to once again apply for historical plaques for qualifying buildings.

Rochester historical commission chair William Pietzyk said the program was stopped because of the city's establishment of historical districts. The intention at the time, he said, was to create historical district plaque programs. The city is now looking at having two plaque programs, which would allow for the marking of historic districts and specific locations.

The Rochester historical commission first issued historic plaques in 1998, with 103 such plaques issued between 1998 and 2013, when the program was discontinued.

Under the reinstated program guidelines, historic marker plaques are reserved for buildings that are documented to be at least 50 years old and include an exterior style that reflects the period in which it was built. In other words, alterations and additions shouldn't detract from the original building.

Plaques issued must be placed flush mounted to the right side of the front door, about four-and-a-half feet high. Other plaque locations must be approved by the city's historical commission. Change in ownership shall not impact the marker or its location. New owners must petition the historical commission in order to discuss possible removal or relocation of the historical marker.

The cost for historical maker plaques under the reinstated program is $200.

The city's historical marker programs don't include state and national historic preservation designations. Those historical markers must meet state and national requirements set by the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Historic Preservation Office.

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