Skyler Smith’s Tour of Mendon: Meehan Architecture

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BY SKYLER, DEB & TIM SMITH
MEEHAN CONNECTIONS ~ As we strolled into Meehan Architecture last August, I already had a couple of connections working with Rob Meehan. He was involved in Mendon Youth Baseball which I participated in during my younger days and his wife, Patty, was my English teacher for the past two years. For the past 11 years, Meehan Architecture has been a one-man operation with its office on Assembly Drive.
MOST INTERESTING STORY ~ Rob had an interesting story about his most unique client, Mike Nolan, a real estate developer in Irondequoit with whom he works closely. Rob met Mike when he asked Rob if he would design a 7,000 square foot Mediterranean house. Rob knew Mike had Florida connections and working on a false assumption Rob said, “I wouldn’t mind doing the design but I’m not licensed in Florida.” Rob was surprised to find out that he wanted this tropical estate to be built in Irondequoit, near Durand Eastman Park. Rob said, “It’s kind of set back in, but if you get the right angle you can see this ginormous house which looks like it should be in Florida and not in Irondequoit.”
CREATING A 4-CORNERS ~ The strange part of the story is that the 7000 square foot house is not Nolan’s most extravagant real estate project. Irondequoit used to be one of those towns that didn’t really have a 4-corners and it became this wealthy man’s goal to create one. To that end Nolan launched a one-man game of Irondequoit Monopoly and started buying up all the properties near the intersection of Titus Avenue and Cooper Road. Cooper Road, which is the road that Irondequoit High School is on, used to come to a T at Titus. Having bought up all the property between Titus and Stranahan (the next road over from Titus), Nolan was able to essentially continue Cooper Road across Titus and on to Stranahan Road.
So voila, Irondequoit now has a 4-corners. Mr. Meehan and Mr. Nolan are currently working on developing unique commercial establishments along this newly created stretch of road. One example of this unique approach is the Imaginarium. It is a totally “green” building completely off the power grid. It features a waterfall and garden on top, art displays are exhibited and the building is available for parties and meetings.
I am closing my piece on Meehan Architecture with my favorite quote, joke, and fun fact on the topic of architecture in general.
Quote ~ Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright characterized his profession as follows: “A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”
Joke ~ A young married couple – one an Architect and the other an Engineer – go on a camping trip, set up their tent, and soon fall asleep. Some hours later, the Architect wakes the Engineer and asks, “Look up at the sky and tell me what you see?”
The Engineer replies, “I see millions of stars.”
The Architect asks, “What does that tell you?”
The Engineer ponders for a minute and then says, “Astronomically speaking . . . it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically speaking . . . it’s evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically speaking . . . it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why … what does it tell you?”
The Architect is silent for a moment, and then says, “Practically speaking … it seems that someone has stolen our tent”.
Fun Fact: For four decades “architectural design” was a medal bearing competition in the Olympics. From 1912-1948 gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for the best architectural designs for sports-related buildings. Too bad this was a little before Mr. Meehan’s time or he would probably have a few of those medals hanging on his wall.
Next week prepare to lace up your sneakers and join me for a look at HF-L Unified Basketball

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