The latest Midtown renderings from Buckingham Properties are a promising sign of things to come. Still, it’s difficult to ignore this 18-story skeleton which has been looming over Rochester’s streets since 2011. When most people look up at this hulking mass of steel and concrete they see a blemish on the Rochester skyline. But for one urban explorer, this is a photo op.
The same anonymous photographer who took us inside Terrence Tower and the Sykes Datatronics building, climbed to the tippy top of midtown last week. He submitted this collection of photos and the following narrative…
“I’ve always been fascinated by redevelopment projects – the history surrounding them and what the future may hold. The Midtown Plaza site is a place that’s had me captivated from day one. With all the talk about what might happen with this site, last week I finally decided to stop in and see the space before full renovation work starts.
As I walked around the building, from the outside I could see much of what’s left. Steel pillars pepper the bottom few floors with some stairwells stretching upward. It was a quiet night. A few walkers were out in the center city and a police car sat idle in a nearby lot. An open gate offered little in the way of security.
Once I was in and started my climb to the top, I was struck by the open expanse of the interior. It’s misleading from the outside, but those first few floors open up a lot. Maybe it was the large holes in the floor, but this could be a fantastic space once developed.
I took the stairs all the way to the 15th floor or so, where the windows stop and the open skeleton begins. Those top floors were filled with girders and holes in the floor, likely from elevators. A steady strong wind instantly hit me. I pressed upward to the 18th floor; currently the roof.
The view from the roof was absolutely amazing. The “wheel & spoke” layout of Rochester’s streets is evident from here – brightly lit arterial roads spidering out from beneath me make it feel like I’m standing on top of the world.
About halfway back down, a garbage truck came rumbling into the Xerox garage across the street and terrified me. Unsure of when construction workers would arrive for the next day, I was frozen thinking that I had stayed too long and would soon hit the morning rush.
I moved quickly down the last few floors before stopping to try to capture this photo. I couldn’t get a good enough shot holding it, so reluctantly I set up and used the tripod I brought. As soon as I snapped it I packed up and headed out.
I was scooting down the final set of stairs above the ground when a pick up truck pulled up. I froze again. I could hear people get out and start talking, right where I needed to go. I moved back up one floor and sat there for a while, waiting, and hoping that they weren’t the first wave of workers arriving for the day.
Within five minutes silence fell again, and I went back down to find the truck gone, but now a new light on in the other stairwell. It was time for me to sneak by and back to my car with some great photographs – views that hopefully many people will get to experience once the tower is redeveloped.”
Tags: abandoned, abandoned places, aerial photography, Buckingham Properties, construction, downtown, downtown Rochester, Midtown, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Tower, photo, photography, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, skyscraper, urban development, urban exploration
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at 10:46 pm and is filed under Art + Culture, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Development, Urban Exploration. 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.