The abandoned subway tunnel beneath Rochester’s Broad Street has become one of the most popular sites for students of architecture and design to test their creative chops. You may remember the ROC Low Line; an underground park designed by a team of RIT students. Soon after that we reviewed a more serious plan to install an underground shopping mall and entertainment venue called Broad Street Underground.
Yet another thought-provoking concept and set of renderings have been shared with us. This one elaborates on the idea of using the interior space as a nightclub, with various (wet and wild) public spaces…
Kenneth Martin chose to focus on the Broad Street site for his Master of Architecture Thesis at Norwich University because, as he points out, this section of downtown Rochester has a “severe lack of post five o’clock activity.”
He points to numerous abandoned lots and spaces in the vicinity. And he suggests not only do these abandoned spaces not help downtown, they actually serve to perpetuate the problem. As Martin sees it, one of our biggest missed opportunities is the old subway tunnel. So he took a crack at reimagining it.
First, here’s a look at the project site from above. From this vantage point we see that Broad Street has been completely removed between South Ave. and Exchange Street. In its place a prominent water feature and pedestrian pathway connect the east and west sides of the river. The use of water recalls earlier proposals for the site, but here Martin places the water up at street level instead of in the subway/canal bed, preserving the underground space.
While other plans have looked to keep a few of the car lanes at street level, Martin chooses to create a more reflective space for pedestrians. The zig zagging pathway intentionally disrupts the strong linear flow of the aqueduct.
The water of course is a symbolic reference to its history as a canal. You won’t see any boats in this plan. Instead, steps allow the public to access the water. Go ahead, take off your shoes and splash around.
Each time I post one of these “underground” concepts I cross my fingers and hope it will help to jumpstart a real project to happen. But until then, I guess I’ll look forward to seeing whatever innovative ideas you guys come up with next.
Tags: abandoned subway, adaptive reuse, aqueduct, Aqueduct Bridge, architecture, Broad Street Corridor Master Plan, Broad Street Underground, development plans, downtown Rochester, Lewis Childs, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway tunnel, underground mall, underground shopping, urban planning
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 6:58 pm and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development. 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.