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Highlights from the Fringe

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Highlights from Rochester's Fringe festival. [PHOTO: jasonwilder.org / wilderstreet.tumblr.com]
By Joanne Brokaw

Temperatures are falling and the Fringe Fest is a distant memory. Well, technically it’s only a few days in the past, but given the rapid change in temperature it feels like a season ago.

This was the fourth year for the First Niagara Fringe Festival, but it was the first time I’d ever attended. I love Rochester and I love going downtown. But to be honest, I generally avoid events where there are lots of people or the potential for traffic congestion. Since I had a press pass, though, I decided to take full advantage of it, and for 10 days I immersed myself in the fun.

And I do mean fun. Here are a few of the highlights from my week at the Fringe…

(more…)

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Highlights from the Fringe

A History of the Charlotte Lighthouse

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

The Charlotte lighthouse in summer, 2014. [PHOTO: Joanne Brokaw]
By Joanne Brokaw

If there’s a cemetery tour happening in Rochester, you can be sure I’m there. For anyone interested in local history, there’s no better place to find unusual stories and bits of trivia, and I’m fascinated by the history buried all around us.

A few weeks ago, the City of Rochester hosted the annual Genesee River Romance weekend external link celebrating the Genesee River and its surrounding trail and gorge system. In 2014, I took full advantage of the weekend of events that include tours of the old subway and aqueducts, the Rundel Library, the Falls, and cemeteries. Somehow, I missed the adverts for this year’s event, so I only had time to catch one thing: the tour of Charlotte Cemetery…

(more…)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A History of the Charlotte Lighthouse

Amazing! Virtual Tour of Rochester Subway on Google Street View

Friday, November 7th, 2014

A local photographer has begun capturing the abandoned Rochester subway for viewing on Google Street View. [PHOTO: Mark Goho]
By Mike Governale

Okay urban explorers and subway fans, lay down some newspaper and get ready to have your minds blown. A local photographer, Mark Goho, has made it his mission to capture 360º panoramas of Rochester parks external link to share with the world on Google Views. Mark’s latest project took him deep underground and, with a few clicks of a camera and mouse, he has given the general public unfettered access into the abandoned Rochester subway…

(more…)

Friday, November 7th, 2014
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 14 Comments »

Rochester Subway Tunnel To Be Sealed Off By Luxury Apartments

Monday, September 8th, 2014

This proposed luxury apartment complex by Morgan Management could permanently close off one of the last remaining entry points to Rochester's old subway tunnel. [IMAGE: Morgan Management]
By Mike Governale

Several years ago the west end of Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnel was filled as part of the Broad Street Improvement Project. Now a planned downtown development could permanently close off one of the last remaining entry points to Rochester’s old subway tunnel. Morgan Management is waiting for approvals to build a five-story luxury apartment complex at Court Street and South Avenue, right smack on top of the subway’s east entrance and the former site of the Court Street subway platform…

(more…)

Monday, September 8th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 29 Comments »

Reimagining Rochester’s Underground

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Kenneth Martin chose to focus on Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel for his Master of Architecture Thesis. This is his concept for breathing new life into the space. [IMAGE: Kenneth Martin]
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…

(more…)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 15 Comments »

Rochester’s Great Flood(s)

Monday, May 19th, 2014

A large crowd is gathered on Front Street to look at the flood at the other end of the street. Varlan's Hotel, Rosenberg's Pawnshop, Charles Adam's Sons Grinding, J.G. Zweigle's Sons, W.T. Bridle Furniture, William Pigeon Shoes, Hyman Davis Shoes, Genesee Provision Company, Myers Department Store, and the F.H. Loeffler Company are visible in the photo. March, 1913. [IMAGE: Albert R. Stone]
With all of the recent flooding external link in our area, RocSubway reader Michael Delaney wrote in and suggested, “a great idea for an article would be about the history of flooding in Rochester and the civil engineering that has gone into solving the issue. Beyond the dams, I’ve heard that there are huge storm sewer tunnels underneath the city. It would be very interesting to know more about it.”

Situated at the intersection of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, Rochester’s geography has blessed—or cursed—us with a long long history of great floods. Before the construction of the Mount Morris Dam (1948-1952) records indicate the City of Rochester had experienced severe flooding about every seven years between 1865 and 1950. Talk about a pesky problem.

Digging into all of the engineering marvels that have spared modern Rochesterians from most of these high waters could easily span many pages. And I promise to dedicate future posts on the subject. But for now, I want to show just how bad this problem was by highlighting just one flooding disaster that occurred in late March, 1913…

(more…)

Monday, May 19th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 12 Comments »

1920’s Photo of Rochester Subway Construction

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Rochester Subway, Broad Street tunnel construction. c.1925. [IMAGE: Rochester Municipal Archives]
Today’s Fun Foto Friday is this 1920’s view of the Erie Canal aqueduct looking east. You’re looking at the covering over the old canal which would soon become Broad Street and the Rochester Subway beneath. In the background (center) is the Osburn House hotel. Eventually Broad Street would be extended eastward, right through that hotel. The stairwell to the City Hall subway station can be seen at the street corner. And next to the stairs, notice the construction site…

(more…)

Friday, December 6th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Sculpey House Ornaments

Friday, November 8th, 2013

This holiday, why not give the gift of Sculpey... house ornaments by local artist Kimberly DiPietro.
Are you looking for gift ideas this holiday season? Here’s one that’s sure to fill any proud homeowner with good cheer. Local artist Kimberly Kllc DiPietro makes awesome little house ornaments out of Sculpey®! There can’t possibly be a better way to commemorate one’s home than with America’s favorite oven-baked clay…

(more…)

Friday, November 8th, 2013
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Gifts | No Comments »

Rochester Subway Tours This Weekend

Friday, October 4th, 2013

A tour of Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
I often get asked if there are tours of the Rochester subway. The short answer is no. The longer answer is while there is no official tour of the “subway,” every October there is usually a tour of the “historic Erie Canal aqueduct.” And it’s coming up this weekend…

(more…)

Friday, October 4th, 2013
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 5 Comments »

Broad St. Underground: ANOTHER Proposal for the Abandoned Subway!

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Lewis Childs, co-founder of Broad Street Underground, explains how Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel could be converted into commercial and retail space. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
Rochester’s old subway tunnel hasn’t seen a passenger car come through here in nearly sixty years. But lately, redevelopment ideas are arriving with unbelievable frequency. A few weeks ago we were talking about the ROC Low Line; an underground park designed by a team of RIT students. This week, another local group has come forward with a different plan. And these guys want to take theirs beyond just an academic study. Stand clear of the yellow line folks – here comes the “Broad Street Underground” concept…

(more…)

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 44 Comments »

The Rochester Landmarks Poster, by Richard Margolis

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Rochester Landmarks Poster [IMAGE: Richard Margolis]
When I first moved to Rochester’s Swillburg neighborhood thirteen years ago, my favorite place to eat was Highland Park Diner. I remember this Rochester Landmarks poster, by Richard Margolis, hung over one of the booths there. I used to stare and study those landmarks all the while shoveling Aunt Bee’s Homestyle Meatloaf into my face. Ah, my first taste of Rochester. Today I own that poster, and I’ve now been to all but one of the 38 landmarks on it. It’s a great feeling!

Now you can get your hands on a copy of this Landmark poster from the RochesterSubway.com Gift Shop, and start checking them off your list too. Can you name all 38 landmarks? No peeking! The answers are after the jump…

(more…)

Monday, March 4th, 2013
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 2 Comments »

Rochester’s Rundel Library on Ghost Hunters: ‘Due Date with Death’

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Rundel Library will be featured on an episode of SyFy Channel's 'Ghost Hunters' on November 28th.
This Wednesday night, SyFy Channel will air a new episode of Ghost Hunters featuring Rochester’s Rundel Library (and possibly the subway tunnel). Sally Snow, Assistant Director at Monroe County Library, says the show approached them initially about the abandoned Rochester subway. “As scary as the subway is, the library is where the real haunting action is,” Snow said. “All I can say is that they found stuff, for sure. I can’t say what until the show airs.”

The Ghost Hunters team spent two full nights investigating the tunnels and the Rundel building. Sally says she’s never experienced paranormal activity in the library first hand, but she has seen security camera footage of a door opening and closing by itself. “This is a door that usually requires a really good tug to get it open. It’s very strange.”

Now personally, I’m not saying I believe in this stuff, but here’s the story of one mysterious death which occurred on this very spot in 1902…

(more…)

Monday, November 26th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News | 5 Comments »

New Gallery Exhibit: Revisiting Rochester

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

High Falls, c.1900 [IMAGE: Part of 'Revisiting Rochester' exhibit]
A new exhibition celebrating Rochester’s heritage encourages us to honor and preserve our past as we seek to revive our city for the future. Beginning February 3, a collection of digitally-enhanced images of Rochester during the Progressive Era will be on display at Joe Bean Coffee Roasters [map external link] throughout the entire month of February.

(more…)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 5 Comments »

ROC Digital Makeover Contest… 1 Week to Go!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Post Your Photos to
Facebook Before June 1.

The Great ROC Digital Makeover! Submit a photo of a Rochester scene to RocSubway on Facebook. If chosen, we'll unleash the power of Photoshop and give your scene a digital facelift. You'll also win a FREE 16x10 print of Old Rochester City Hall. [Flickr Photo: globochem3x1minus1]

Given Rochester’s status as the “Image City” and our surplus of neglected real estate, I figured photos of Rochester would be raining down on the RocSubway Facebook page by now.

Here’s an opportunity to see what your city, town, or neighborhood could look like if given a little time and attention. And all you have to do is post a snapshot and get your Facebook pals to “like” it. RocSubway and Photoshop will do the rest.

(more…)

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
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Posted in Freebies, Rochester Images | No Comments »

Struggle in Smugtown: A History of Rochester’s Working Class

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Shawn Wilkinson, a friend and member of Reconnect Rochesterexternal link, recently tipped me off to this documentary; Struggle in Smugtown. “Smugtown” is the not-so-flattering nickname given to Rochester by newspaper writer G. Curtis Gerlingexternal link and also the title of his book Smugtown, USA. The “Struggle” refers to that of the working man and woman. I think you’ll find this to be a fascinating look into the social and economic history of our little town.

Watch all 15 segments of this film
(including this one on Transportation in Rochester).

(more…)

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | No Comments »

River Romance and the Subway. Saturday 10/9

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The Canal Society of New York State will be hosting tours of the Broad Street Aqueduct and subway tunnel this weekend. [PHOTO: Dag Lindquist]Two weeks ago the World Canals Conference took Rochester by storm and offered the public a glimpse inside the Broad Street Aqueduct Bridge and abandoned subway tunnel. Thousands attended and many tour-goers shared their great photos on our Facebook page external link. Did you miss all the fun? Well I’ve got good news for you. This Saturday, October 9th, you’ll have another chance to explore Rochester’s historic underbelly…

(more…)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
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Posted in Events, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Urban Exploration | 1 Comment »

Rochester Subway Tour and Facebook Contest. A Win-Win.

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

You could win this Rochester Subway Map! All you have to do is upload your best Rochester Subway photo to the RocSubway Facebook page and grab the most votes.I’m raising the stakes on Sunday’s Subway/Aqueduct Tourexternal link. Bring your camera with you on the tour, upload your best photo to the RocSubway Facebook page, and campaign for the most votes. You could WIN a Free Rochester Subway map…

(more…)

Saturday, September 18th, 2010
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Posted in Events, Freebies, Rochester Subway | 7 Comments »

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