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Photos

Photos of the Abandoned
Rochester Subway Tunnel and Aqueduct

These images were taken on October 12, 2008. With my still camera in one hand and Handi-cam in the other, we entered the tunnel from the South Avenue entrance behind Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and headed north underneath the Rundel library, then west across the Aqueduct. It was a very sunny day but the tunnel was so dark and dusty west of the Aqueduct, my camera was useless (you can see the dust in a few of these shots). See my Rochester Subway video footage from this trip.

Old Erie Canal Aqueduct crossing over the Genessee River.<br>Later converted into the Subway tunnel and Broad Street bridge. From South Avenue. Looking down into subway cut. From South Avenue. Looking towards subway tunnel entrance. Phrophetic lyrics by Simon and Garfunkel written on guard-rail.<br>“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.”
Walking into the Subway tunnel entrance. Conduits that once carried the Subway’s electrification still hang from the ceiling. Graffiti on the walls of the tunnel. Support columns beneath the Rundel library. This is an underground overflow area for the Genessee River. Part of the former Johnson and Seymour Millrace. Another view of the overflow area. Looking toward “the spillway” and Genessee River.
Walking above the overflow area across a deteriorating catwalk. Court Street bridge archway. Looking out one of the spillway arches across the Genessee River. The War Memorial Arena and Times Square Building in background. Walls of the old Erie Canal bed and Subway floor. The canal was only 4 to 5 feet deep in this area.
Graffiti over the spillway arches. Stairs once used to board the Subway at South Avenue. They go nowhere now. This is the inside of the Subway Dispatcher’s Office. A one room underground building with a door, windows, and a roof. At one time this tiny building stood outside and controlled the entire subway system. Today it sits in silent blackness beneath Broad Street. Cool graffiti. Biggie?
Subway tracks peaking out from underneath decades of dirt and debris. Notice the specs of dust in the air. Not sure what this rubble once was. Perhaps another staircase? Emerging into the light of the Aqueduct. The light spilling into the Aqueduct through it’s arches reveals a debris covered floor, graffiti, and steam pipes.
The arches of the Aqueduct and Broad Street roadway above. Leaving the sunlit interior of the Aqueduct. This is the south side of the Aqueduct looking toward the east end of the tunnel where two sets of tracks once ran. Graffiti decorated walls, and the Cathedral-like arches and windows of the Aqueduct fill with light. This is the north side of the Aqueduct looking toward the east end of the tunnel where another two sets of tracks once ran.
Looking through the center wall of the Aqueduct. The center wall once separated the two north tracks from the two south tracks. Now it makes a great canvas. Looking through an arch at the Rundel library. Looking through an arch at the Riverside Convention Center and Granite Building in the background.

¤ See my Rochester Subway video footage from this trip.


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¤ Article by Otto M. Vondrak
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