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Cataract Brewhouse Demolition To Begin Monday, June 18

Cataract Brewhouse as seen from behind. [FLICKr PHOTO: _Yoshi_]
According to an anonymous source working closely on the Genesee Brewery project, demolition of the infamous Cataract Brewhouse external link is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 18…

Doomed Brewery buildings as seen from Cataract Street from Saint Paul Street. The High Falls Historic District and Kodak Tower are in the background. [PHOTO: Crystal Pix, Inc.]
The demolition permit was officially signed on May 21 by the City’s Director of Planning & Zoning. The plan is to knock the walls of the structure inward using bucket excavators and then grind up the rubble. Dust to dust I guess.

So if you’re an artist, photographer, lover of old buildings or whatever, mark the date on your calendar. This will be one to remember (or to forget). I’m told Crystal Pix, Inc. (Fairport, NY) external link already has time-lapse cameras set up around the building and will be photo documenting the demolition from start to finish.

For me, this will be my “Black Monday.” I’ll be in seclusion.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 5:20 pm and is filed under Rochester Images, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

17 Responses to “Cataract Brewhouse Demolition To Begin Monday, June 18”

  1. Jordan Frohlinger says:

    Sad that there is no way to save it. :(

  2. Erik Stoneham says:

    We did try. I noticed the other day that I can see the top of the building from N. Water Street. Took a picture with my phone. memories….

  3. Jay says:

    For what it’s worth, NAB let Greenovation in to save parts of the interior, including some old brewery fixtures, architectural elements, old ad proofs, and (of course) the bar!. If anyone is interested in taking a look these items are on display at 1199 E. Main St.

  4. Rick says:

    Anyone able to guess how long the actual demolition will take? A day, week, or longer? I’m trying to figure out if I’ll be able to get over and get some shots of the work being done… TIA!

  5. @Jay, there were some wooden (possibly cypress) fermentation casks in the lower levels. Any idea what happened to those?

  6. Mike Battle says:

    I was just over there this past week.
    There is construction underway that made it hard to take many photos, but I got to thinking…it would be nice to find a 3D computer model artist to create a digital replica of the building. If enough photos were taken, capturing as many details as possible (brick patterns, # of courses, etc..), along with the blue prints (if available) it could recreate the building so that it isn’t completely forgotten once destroyed.

  7. @Mike, good to hear from you. If you find a 3D artist who wants to do it I’m sure we could hook him up with enough photos and drawings to piece it together. The brewery was also asked by the Zoning Board to have a scale model built of the building (as part of the conditions for demolition). We’ll see if they follow thru on it.

  8. Rick says:

    I walked by the Cataract buildings today. It looks like they’re prepping the buildings to come down; Taking out windows, parts of the roof, etc… I was told by one NAB employee, they plan on demolishing the building into it’s own basement and then bringing in fill to finish the job. He said there’s a basement and then 2 additional sub basements below it they need to fill in.

    No one I talked to there could tell me when the knocking down part will happen. I couldn’t get near any of the demo guys to ask them…

  9. The latest from the construction workers on site is this…. They will start with the smaller 2-story building first. That could take up to a week. Next, they’ll remove the metal addition to 13 Cataract. Finally, 13 Cataract itself. So depending on how fast the smaller building comes down, 13 might not begin for a week or more. Wish I could pin it down with more detail.

    Follow us at Facebook.com/RocSubway or Twitter for spur of the moment updates.

  10. ALERT: 13 Cataract is coming down right now (10am, 6/20)! If you were looking to get pictures or say a prayer, you need to be there right away.

  11. Renee says:

    We had dinner with a bunch of friends at La Luna Friday night overlooking the falls and a view of Cataract. We took a walk over the bridge (gorgeous night) to pay our last respects and take some photos. I took them with my cell phone, so they aren’t good by any means, but I’ll post them on our site when I blog about it.

  12. That’s great! Looking forward to seeing your post Renee! I went out there today and got some video of the carnage. Security guard over there said the demo will take at least a few days. It’s painfully slow. Agonizing.

  13. Claire says:

    Just paid a visit over there. Roof was off an hour ago. Erie and so very sad. Interestingly enough, not one word of this on any of the media channels and this deadful news was only disclosed by Rochester Subway. It was a long tough road with this one and many lessons have been learned.

  14. Renee says:

    You know, Claire. I had the exact same thought — why haven’t any of the news outlets been out there covering it? I tried to find some links and pics from some of the media channels when I wrote my blog post earlier and couldn’t find anything.

  15. Some stuff is on http://SaveCataract.com. But the brewery’s PR firm, Eric Mower Associates, hit the media very hard with visions of a spectacular new visitor center and millions of dollars in local investment and jobs. Even if half that money is used towards the demolition and those jobs are about 10 part time ones, it doesn’t matter. Money talks. An empty building is just an empty building.

    The blogosphere has a very important role to play in this country as our mainstream media becomes less and less interested in doing actual journalism. Us little guys CAN make a big impact and I believe this story is proof of that. We didn’t get the outcome we would have liked, but if not for local bloggers 95% of this story would not have been aired. Rocville.com, heckeranddecker.wordpress.com, even therochesterian.com and others need to be working over time just to compensate for today’s soundbite media. Cover the stories YOU want to cover and go after people in positions of power for answers to those unasked questions. Post public documents and hold our leadership accountable when others won’t. It may not be the popular thing to do (and I know I’ve lost many readers over this Cataract thing) but our city will gain in the long run. Enough ranting.

  16. Rick says:

    I took some snapshots and posted them to the Cataract Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/cataract/


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