Last September the Bread and Water Theatre group expressed interest in purchasing the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 660 West Main Street after learning that its owner had asked the City for permission to demolish it. That demolition request has been denied (for now). Meanwhile, the same theatre group now has its eye on another historically significant church…
Tags: 660 W. Main Street, A.M.E. Zion Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Bread & Water Theatre, Cornhill neighborhood, Favor Street, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, J.R. Teeter, North Star, Susan B. Anthony, underground railroad, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Posted in Interviews, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Urban Development | 16 Comments »
“The units at Erie Harbor are very poorly designed and overpriced… The ground floor units don’t even have a view of the river – it is blocked by a berm… Shoddy construction… The stairs creak… Tacky… Ugliest building in Rochester…” These are all comments you may have heard about the Erie Harbor Apartments which were officially opened last fall .
When comments like these were left under a recent post on RochesterSubway.com, Jim Mayer didn’t take it sitting down. He contacted me and invited me to visit his home. He and his wife Irene sold their home in Brighton and now live at Erie Harbor. I admit, after nearly a three hour visit, I left feeling a bit jealous at just how much this couple is loving life in their new digs…
Tags: Abundance Cooperative Market, Brighton, downtown Rochester, Erie Harbor Apartments, Genesee River, Genesee Riverway Trail, Genesee Rowing Club, Irene Mayer, Jim Mayer, Lofts at Village Gate, Mise en Place, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Public Market, South Wedge, The Hamilton, University of Rochester, urban design, urban living
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 40 Comments »
Rochesterians love to brag about how many cool things were invented right here in Rochester. The automobile, the automatic voting machine, fuzzy pipe cleaner, The Simpsons LEGO couch gag, Jell-o… hold up… what? You didn’t know the Simpsons LEGO couch gag was a product of Rochester? It’s true…
Tags: Bart Simpson, couch gag, Homer Simpson, interview, Interviews, LEGO, Lisa Simpson, Maggie Simpson, Marge Simpson, Mike Battle, Milhouse, Postcards from the Wedge, Rochester, Rochester NY, Spencerport, Springfield Subway, The Simpsons, Webster
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Video | 2 Comments »
Recently I asked, “Who is Spaceman?” This guy’s work has been showing up in unexpected places around town for a while now. Although I’m still not sure who the guy in the space suit is, the actual artist did come forward. And I had a chance to sit down with him at Boulder Coffee in the South Wedge. Among other things I asked him what he thought about people who call his work “trashy” or “criminal.” With the Geico Gecko watching us from the billboard across the street, he pointed to it and said, “Would you rather see a Geico ad at every four-way stop? I’m just trying to make people smile.”
For two hours we talked about his work, what motivates him, life in Rochester, keeping our waterways clean, philosophy, Tibetan monks, and other stuff. For obvious reasons he wishes to remain anonymous, so I’ll refer to him in this interview as “Spaceman Artist”. Here’s a taste of our conversation…
Tags: art, artist, Banksy, Can Of Worms interchange, Graffiti, I-490, I-590, public art, Rochester, Rochester NY, Shepard Fairey, streetart, who is Spaceman
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News | 18 Comments »
At one of the Greentopia films a few weeks ago my ears caught the sweet sounds of Cammy Enaharo and I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since. Cammy, 20, is from Rochester… so I admit I may be a little biased. But give her music a listen and I think you’ll agree, this girl is going places…
Tags: Adele, artist, Best Busker Contest, Bug Jar, busker, Cammy Enaharo, folk music, Greentopia Festival, Ingrid Michaelson, Ken Hardley, Lauryn Hill, movie, music, musician, Rochester City Newspaper, rochester music video, Rolling Hills Radio, SoundCloud, ukelele, video
Posted in Interviews | No Comments »
RochesterSubway.com has been nominated for Best Local Blog of 2012. If you’d like to cast your vote, simply fill out City Newspaper’s Final Ballot before October 3 (5pm) and select “RochesterSubway.com” for question #66.
Many people have been asking why Tom Selleck of the classic TV drama Magnum P.I. has been campaigning for RochesterSubway. Tom held a press conference at Letchworth State Park this weekend to answer these questions…
Tags: best blog, Best of Rochester, blog, Rochester, Rochester City Newspaper, Rochester NY, rochestersubway.com, subway blog, Tom Selleck
Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News | No Comments »
The song is Patience by Guns N’ Roses. The man behind the guitar is Dave. I’ve seen Dave playing on the side of this I-490 service road in downtown Rochester for years. Today I finally got out of my car and spent a few minutes with him. He’s a real good guy. Stop and say hello if you see him…
Tags: busker, Dave the roadside guitar guy, downtown Rochester, Guns N' Roses, music, New York, Patience, Rochester, rochester music video, Rochester NY
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester News, Video | No Comments »
Meet local rapper “Bricksonion”. Brick first started rapping when he was 13, but didn’t take it very seriously until he was about 23. Now he is known around town for his music , and for operating Rochester’s first mobile recording studio.
Tags: art, artist, Bricksonion, Chili Avenue, Clifford Avenue, hip hop, Hudson Avenue, mobile recording studio, New York, North Clinton Avenue, rap, rapper, Rochester, Rochester NY, video
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Video | 1 Comment »
The spate of recent articles in the D&C regarding local construction projects also means that there will be a great amount of demolition of older buildings and historic properties. Take, for example, the recent decision to demolish the Cataract Brewery buildings in High Falls. The cost to demolish the properties alone—estimated at $800,000 to $1 million—is more than twice the amount for which Genesee Brewery was recently selling the two Cataract Brewery buildings and a large parking lot. That same amount could be used to install a new roof and windows, “button up” the building, and abate the lead paint, within the older “gem” brewery building. Although the oldest Cataract building is currently a “liability” in the words of a developer who recently toured the property, it could actually act as the driver for redevelopment. Historic Preservation Tax Credits, coupled with city, county, state, and federal monies, could pay for at least 30-40% of construction costs, and potentially way more if the City took on the lead abatement costs and Genesee Brewery and its owner, KPS Capital, acted as an investor or partner in redevelopment.
Tags: architecture, Genesee Brewery, Genesee Brewing Company, High Falls, Joel Helfrich, KPS Capital Partners, North American Breweries, Rochester, Rochester Brewing Company, Rochester NY, Standard Brewing Company
Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 12 Comments »
Can I just say I love WXXI, public radio, and the Bob Smith Show. One day the topic might be the economy or politics; the next might be how to avoid lead poisoning. His guests are always relevant and the conversation is always thought provoking. Also, what other show (besides Wease) can a guy from a blog called RochesterSubway.com call and actually be put on the air?
Yesterday, Councilmember Carla Palumbo was Bob’s guest and the topic was the Mortimer Street Bus Terminal. Most of the callers denounced the project for it’s poor placement or lack of inter-connectivity with other modes of transportation. I wanted to try to move the conversation forward—beyond just this one project.
Tags: Bob Smith Show, bus station, bus terminal, Carla Palumbo, city council, Councilmember Palumbo, mass transit, mass transportation, Mortimer Street, public transportation, Rochester City Council, RTS Transit Terminal, transit, transportation center, Transportation Plan, WXXI
Posted in Interviews, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 10 Comments »
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection full of urban exploration photos from all around the Great Lakes and several “rust belt” cities… with several shots from Rochester and the abandoned subway tunnel. Shot after shot revealed some pretty unique views of Rochester’s underground world plus other amazing abandoned structures. As it happens, the owner of these wonderfully gritty photo streams is Chris Luckhardt, organizer of the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris is also the creative force behind Motionblur Studios —a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.
Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Chris Luckhardt’s creative exploration has driven him from New Foundland to Pheonix in search of forgotten places—strangely spiritual, places we’re not ‘supposed’ to go. I contacted Chris to find out a little more about these photos and what enticed him to visit the bowels of downtown Rochester…
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Hi Chris, I noticed you have a couple of nice shots of the abandoned Rochester Subway. How often do you visit the subway tunnel? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your photos?
CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society . The group, founded in February 2005, specializes in urban exploration (mostly around the Great Lakes region) and photo walks (mostly in Toronto). I’m currently west of Toronto in Cambridge, Ontario. Rochester was the first US city I visited strictly for urban exploration. I have lots of photos and video from inside the [Rochester] subway. I’ve been down there 5 times in the past 4 years, the last time being a couple of months ago. I also have lots of SD and HD video, but I haven’t processed anything yet.
Tags: abandoned subway, abandoned subway tunnel, abandoned tunnel, Canada, Canon, Chris Luckhardt, Cleveland, Cleveland subway, Detroit, Dinosaur Bar B Que, Flickr, Lee Plaza, Manchester NY, Michigan Central Station, Motionblur Studios, New Foundland, Phoenix, photo, photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, Rochester, Rochester Historical Society, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Toronto, Toronto Exploration Society, Trotting Park, urban exploration, urban explorers
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 2 Comments »
The story of the Rochester Subway is not complete without at least mentioning Rochester’s deep-rooted hip hop culture. If you’re less than familiar with Rochester, I assure you, this shizzle is fo’ real. The “Flower City” has street cred, and our abandoned subway tunnel has long been used as a canvas to show off some of our best underground talent…
Tags: abandoned subway tunnel, art, artist, Beyond Gotham, Cab Calloway, Carlos Perez, Chuck Mangione, Clifford Avenue, Day26, Dejilon Studios, Eastman School of Music, Evak FUA, Famous Urban Artists, Flower City, From Up Above, FUA, Garth Fagan, Ginuwine, Giovanni McClain, Graffiti, Graffiti Convention, hip hop, Jodeci, Juse One, Making the Band, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, New York, North Clinton Avenue, P-Diddy, Que Mosley, rapper, Rochester, Rochester NY, Tim "Timbaland" Mosley, Tupac Shakur
Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Video | 8 Comments »
My family has a Saturday morning tradition. We all grab our eco-friendly shopping bags and pile into our not-so-eco-friendly family car. But that’s alright. Even if my car is a clunker I usually feel a lot better about myself after a trip to the Rochester Public Market. I can’t explain it—this place just makes me feel good. So how do you improve on a good thing?
I recently heard a rumor that the cool people down at Rochester’s very cool Public Market were considering buying a trolley. Yup, that’d be an improvement! Is the rumor true? I asked James Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Rochester.
Tags: City of Rochester, CSX, Friends of the Market, James Farr, Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop, Marketview Heights, New York, NY, railroad, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Public Market, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, RRCDC, things to do in Rochester, tram, trolley, Union Street, urban planning, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
For decades it’s been an inconvenient truth for Rochester. The abandoned Erie Canal turned ghost subway tunnel has long been considered a ticking time-bomb. It’s widely known that the city has wanted to fill at least the west end of the tunnel for many years, citing critical safety deficiencies in the structure beneath the street surface. But, with Rochester’s ongoing economic struggles and estimates into the $10′s of millions, the project has been repeatedly delayed (or swept under the rug). Until now…
Tags: abandoned subway, ADROC, Advocates for the Development of Rochester's Canal, Broad Street, Broad Street Tunnel Improvement Project, Brown Street, Chill-the-Fill, City of Rochester, Denver, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal, federal stimulus money, Main Street, New York, Nick Tahou's, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, Rochester Subway, Roger Brown, RRCDC, RRTC, satellite image, subway tunnel, Tom Grasso, Tom Hack, trolley
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Rochester Subway | 24 Comments »
Interview with Tom Hack, P.E., Project Manager
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: It was recently brought to our attention that the City of Rochester is taking bids from contractors to repair and/or fill the abandoned subway tunnel under Broad Street. Can you confirm this? If so, what are the details of the job?
Tom Hack: The fill is going to take place from Brown Street to the RR portal next to Nick Tahoe’s (it involves about 1900 lf out of 4600 lf total). We are maintaining the RR portal behind Nick Tahoe’s as that will serve as a new access/maintenance road into the remaining sections of the tunnel.
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: When are you hoping to start the work?
Tom Hack: We are scheduled to open bids on October 19, 2009. We hope to have “actual” construction operations underway in early December 2009, however the bulk of the tasks won’t hit their stride until April-May 2010.
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: What range do you expect the bids to come in at? (in $$)
Tom Hack: We anticipate that bids for the work will be in the range of $14-16 Million (+/-).
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Is this project part of a larger initiative? i.e. Is this just Phase 1 in filling the rest of the tunnel, or maybe prep work for some larger project involving Broad Street?
Tom Hack: This project is a standalone project but obviously it does has ramifications toward other city proposed initiatives. Four issues that come into play are:
- Parking within the confines of the remaining rehabilitated sections of the Tunnel
- Phase III and IV of Rochester’s Historic Canal District Initiative does envision partial use of this space for the creation of the West end Basin, however the timing of this phase is 15-20 years out and obviously the dynamics and market conditions may dictate other uses.
- Stabilization and general enhancement of the corridor. This project does strengthen, link and unify the visual attributes of the surrounding land uses and neighborhoods. This is an overall initiative of the City and indirectly the streetscape amenities that we will be installing does add value in that regard.
- The project does advance the Rochester Heritage Trail. The Rochester Heritage trail is a designated walkway linking the City’s multitude of historic feature, dating when downtown was a port on the Erie Canal and the burgeoning center of commerce, industry and social activism. This is a self guided walk that identifies historic sites and tells the stories of Rochester’s people, places, and cultures as they impacted development of our nation. (Think Boston’s Freedom Trial)
Tags: abandoned subway, Boston's Freedom Trail, Broad Street, Brown Street, City of Rochester, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal, fill, interview, New York, Nick Tahoe's, Rochester, Rochester Heritage Trail, Rochester NY, Rochester's Historic Canal District, subway tunnel
Posted in Interviews, Rochester Subway | No Comments »
There are 14 Democrats running for five open seats on Rochester City Council. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, September 15, 2009. Meet all the candidates here so you can make an informed decision. Rock the vote.
Tags: campaign, candidates, city council, Democratic Primary, election, Interviews, New York, Rochester, Rochester NY
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News | No Comments »
On September 15, 2009, there’ll be a gentleman on the Democratic primary ballot for Rochester City Council. Harry Davis is a big advocate for Rochester, sustainable urban planning, and rail transit …That’s all it took for us to take notice. Mr. Davis doesn’t have a long political resume or a lot of connections with big names. He’s a graduate of Brighton High School (1969), owned an antique store on Park Avenue, ran a small alternative Rochester newspaper called The Journal, and traveled around a bit while working as a video producer for Greenpeace. From my brief conversation with Mr. Davis, I’d say whatever he lacks in political experience he more than makes up for with heart and enthusiasm. Take this self-produced anti-RenSquare ad for instance…
Tags: Bill Reed, Brighton High School, Democrat, design charette, election, Evan Lowenstein, Greenpeace, Harry Davis, High Falls, high speed rail, Joni Monroe, Mayor Duffy, New York, NY, Renaissance Square, Rochester City Council, Roger Brown, The Journal, urban planning, vote, Working Families Party
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Video | 5 Comments »
In a recent post I implored our readers to send Maggie Brooks an email and request that she listen to Mayor Duffy’s concerns about the Renaissance Square project. It took a while but I actually did receive a response from Ms. Brooks. There no big surprises in it. As expected she defends the project citing the federal dollars, potential new jobs, and the 11 years it’s taken the project to get off the ground (11 years and still counting). But there are a few points that seem rather curious to me—one of which is a “full return on investment [for taxpayers] within seven years. Sure sounds dreamy. Here’s Maggies full response…
Tags: Center City, city planning, downtown Rochester, economic development, high speed rail, highspeed rail, infrastructure, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, mass transit, Mayor Duffy, Monroe County, New York, NY, public transportation, Renaissance Square, Rochester, transportation center, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »
The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square . In it Duffy explains his recent coming out against the project as it is currently proposed. He cites recent changes in the business and development landscape downtown, new transportation stimulus funding, and sort of a personal awakening for his change of heart. Let’s show the Mayor we support him…
Tags: city planning, downtown Rochester, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, mass transit, Mayor Duffy, Monroe County, New York, NY, Renaissance Square, Rochester, Rochester City Newspaper, transportation, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »