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Former dental dispensary wins major state preservation award

Dec 12, 2016

Credit New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

A Rochester project has been named as one of five recipients statewide of the New York State Historic Preservation Award.

Eastman Gardens, the former Eastman Dental Dispensary on East Main Street, won one of the awards which are given to honor excellence in the protection and rejuvenation of New York’s Historic Landmarks.

The $20 million project at 800 East Main St. turned the century old former dental clinic into a housing complex for seniors.

Wayne Goodman is executive director of the Landmark Society of Western New York. He says getting the award sets a good example for what can be done with older architecture.”

“I think more important the message that is associated with adaptive use and preservation being such a key component to neighborhood and economic stability and recovery is really what makes this award so special for the city and particularly that neighborhood.”

Goodman says this project had a lot of moving parts and required the help of a number of partners.

“This building was literally just a few steps away from the wrecking ball, and to have so many people join in such a complex partnership, to pull off such a complex project, is truly unique.”

The dispensary was constructed in 1917 by George Eastman and was the first school in the country to train dental hygienists.