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Battle Over Main Street Church Heating Up

September 15th, 2012

Former Westminster Presbyterian Church, 660 West Main Street, Rochester NY.
RochesterSubway.com has learned that Marvin Maye, owner of 660 W. Main Street, is making a renewed push to demolish the historic church. And one local theatre group has expressed interest in saving the building…

Late Friday afternoon Maye submitted a letter to the City’s Zoning Director from the New York State Historic Preservation Office stating that the church was no longer eligible for the state and national historic registries. If this is true, the building could be dropped from Rochester’s Designated Buildings of Historic Value list, opening it up for demolition.

Marvin Maye, owner of the church building wants to replace it with a Dollar General. The Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood is united against the plans.
Maye applied for a demolition permit earlier this summer but Planning & Zoning determined that the loss of the historic building and its replacement with a Dollar General store would negatively impact the character of the neighborhood; specifically Susan B. Anthony. [See the City's Site Plan Findings (PDF)]

Dawn Noto, president of that neighborhood association has been actively seeking alternative uses for the property that would not involve demolition. Today, RochesterSubway.com received the following email from a local theatre group, Bread & Water Theatre external link, that may be interested in using the church building:

The Time is Now! Bread & Water Theatre has just received word that the owner of 660 West Main Street, the site of a historic Rochester church, has submitted paperwork that if approved will allow for the property to be demolished.
Bread & Water Theatre wants to preserve this church and become residents of the neighborhood providing low cost theatre and arts events to the historic Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, but we cannot make this happen without your support. For any preservation effort to succeed we must provide an alternative vision of the property and demonstrate that it can be reused in a way that preserves the building structure.
Please send a letter of support to info@BreadandWaterTheatre.org or the above mailing address. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number on your letter. These will be presented to the preservation board and city council to prevent the building from being demolished. You may also donate to Bread & Water Theatre at BreadandWaterTheatre.org. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and will go towards our building fund.
Excelsior,
J.R. Teeter
ABOUT BREAD & WATER THEATRE: Founded in 2000 Bread & Water Theatre is committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience and acting as a positive agent of change in its community. Under the artistic direction of J.R. Teeter, BWT develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving and dramatically changing world through new works of drama and aspires to be a major force in American theatre, providing audiences with challenging contemporary drama and innovative community outreach programs.

To Be Continued…

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This entry was posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2012 at 3:30 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Battle Over Main Street Church Heating Up”

  1. Jason Roberts says:

    Great – at the rate occurrences like this is happening, our downtown will soon like a strip mall with a parking lot at every corner. This is just ridiculous.

  2. UPDATE: You can speak out against the demolition of the church at 660 W. Main St. tomorrow at City Hall.

    The Zoning Board Public Hearing begins at 9:30am. But the church demolition / Dollar General case could begin anytime between 10:30 and 11:30. Be smart and arrive as early as possible.

    See you there.


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