The Architecture of James H. Johnson


January 5


07:30 pm

Event Website

Mendon Community Center

167 N Main St

Honeoye Falls, NY, United States

The January 5th meeting of the Honeoye Falls – Mendon Historical Society will feature Christopher Brandt and Katie Eggers Comeau. The topic of their talk is the Architecture of James H. Johnson.

James H. Johnson, Rochester’s most imaginative mid-20th-century architect, is best-known for the renowned “Mushroom House.” Over the course of his nearly 60-year career in Rochester, he designed over 400 projects, but only a handful ever received public acclaim. Sponsored by the Greece Historical Society after the loss of an important but previously little-known Johnson building in Greece, our project team spent a year and a half reviewing original drawings, interviewing colleagues, sorting through original slides and clippings, and visiting strange and marvelous buildings to develop a fuller picture of this stunning, and largely unknown, body of work. This talk features original photographs and videos from Johnson’s personal collection that will take you inside some of the Rochester area’s most daring and audacious buildings.

Christopher Brandt is a project architect at Bero Architecture – a firm with a legacy of over forty years of historic preservation practice. He was born and raised in the Rochester region and has been active in its historic preservation community since high school. After completing his college and graduate education in architecture and historic preservation in 2013, Chris began working at Bero Architecture as an architectural associate, achieving his professional licensure as an architect in 2018. Outside of his day job restoring and adapting old buildings, he serves as the Chair of the Town of Irondequoit Historic Preservation Commission, Advocacy and Education Coordinator of the Young Urban Preservationists, researches local history with a specific focus on past architects/designers of Rochester, and is DIY-restoring the small historic home he shares with his wife.

Katie Eggers Comeau, a Rochester native, has worked in the historic preservation field for over two decades, starting with a three-year stint at a preservation consulting firm in Washington, D.C. In 2001, she moved back to upstate New York to take a job with the Landmark Society of Western New York, where she spent nine years advocating for the historic buildings, landscapes and communities of the Finger Lakes area. From 2010-2021, she was the architectural historian at Bero Architecture, where some of her favorite projects included surveys of the work of architects James Johnson and Thomas Boyde, Jr., as well as many other projects documenting historic resources in the Rochester area and beyond. She is currently the Vice President for Policy and Preservation at the Preservation League of New York State, a nonprofit organization whose programs and initiatives help New Yorkers throughout the state protect their heritage and strengthen sustainable historic communities.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at the Mendon Community Center, 167 North Main Street in Honeoye Falls. This facility is handicapped accessible. The meeting is open to the public.

For information, call 624-5655.