Old Holley High School restoration earns top preservation award from Landmark Society
$17 million project turned long-vacant structure into 41 apartments, village offices
HOLLEY – The $17 million transformation of the former Holley High School has won the top preservation award by the Landmark Society of Western New York.
Home Leasing, developer of the project, will receive the Barber Conable Award during a presentation on Dec. 12. The award recognizes a large-scale rehabilitation of a historic building that was completed within the past two years.
The award was created to honor the late Congressman Barber Conable of Genesee County, who pushed to establish the Federal Investment Tax Credit Program for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings.
The Holley school had been vacant and neglected for nearly three decades. It was last used by a manufacturer that went bankrupt in the mid-1990s.
“This impressive rehabilitation is the result of a talented team that included an exceptional developer, veteran contractor, supportive local officials and experienced preservation consultants, who tackled a daunting list of challenges to complete this remarkable $17 million project,” the Landmark Society stated in announcing the award.
Home Leasing Corp. teamed with Edgemere Development LLC to rehabilitate a building from 1931. The Landmark Society called the structure, last used as a school in 1975, “of the most important civic buildings in Orleans County.”
The site was converted into 41 mixed-income apartments and the new administrative headquarters of the village of Holley. The project was completed using the Historic Investment Tax Credits for buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The project in 2020 won one of 11 New York State Historic Preservation Awards.
For many years it pained the Holley community to see its gradual demise – the many broken windows, peeling paint, rotted columns and a fate that seemed destined for the wrecking ball.
Holley village officials reached out to developers over the years, pitching the site for apartments and other uses. But a deal never came together – until 2018.
Home Leasing and Home Leasing Construction in Rochester committed to transforming the building into 41 apartments for seniors and the Holley village offices, with the auditorium space being a meeting room.