Tags: Cataract Brewery, CityGate, demolition, Greece, historic preservation, Hojack Swing Bridge, Iola Campus, Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Joel Helfrich, Our Lady of Mercy, Rochester, Rochester NY, St. Ann's Community, Terry Tempest Williams, The Open Space of Democracy
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
Don’t you hate it when this happens? You’re truckin’ along, you got your radio cranked way up, sippin’ on some blue Gatorade. You’re feeling pretty good… then, all of a sudden – WOOSH! Your Gatorade bottle gets sucked right out the window and lands on the side of the road. ARRRRH! I HATE that!
Tags: Gatorade, litter, plastic, plastic bottle, Ron's Plumbing AC & Heating, Saint Paul Boulevard
Posted in Opinion | 4 Comments »
Oh 1926, it seems like you were only 87 years ago. Oh wait, what, it was only 87 years ago? Ok then. Well, since the Neighborhood of the Arts is receiving so much press these days, let’s take a look at a piece of the neighborhood from then and see what was happening.
Tags: 933 University Avenue, Anderson Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, demolition, development plans, Filling In, George Eastman House, Holmes Tract, Matthew Denker, Monroe Voiture, Neighborhood of the Arts, Norwood Street, NotA, preservation, preservation district, Rochester, Rochester NY, University Avenue
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 61 Comments »
Welcoming Costco and RGRTA to CityGate is great. Ignoring walkability and losing all historic buildings isn’t. Our community needs walkable places. We need development that calms traffic and makes walking easy and safe. Moreover, our community needs to preserve its historic fabric. We need development that repurposes old buildings for new uses…
Tags: AJ Costello & Son, Brighton, City Gate, CityGate, Costco, demolition, development, development plans, East Henrietta Road, Henrietta, historic preservation, Iola Campus, Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium, land use, Mike Bouwmeester, preservation, Rochester, smart growth, transit-oriented development, urban development, Westfall Road
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 8 Comments »
No, seriously – give CityGate to ME, because I want to redesign it. The current plan is not worthy of the name. I may be the only person in western NY who didn’t crap themselves when they learned Costco was coming to town. I mean, Costco? Really? We need another one of these discount warehouses? Ok fine, I’ll let you have your Costco. No complaints from me. On one condition: Re-do this idiotic site plan! Look at this…
Tags: AJ Costello & Son, Brighton, City Gate, CityGate, Costco, development, development plans, East Henrietta Road, Erie Canal, Henrietta, Iola Campus, land use, parking, Rochester, smart growth, transit-oriented development, urban development, Westfall Road
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 47 Comments »
A great deal has already been written about the development planned at 933 University Ave. (see: here , here , and here ). Even so, it is important that we take a step back and really think about the kinds of arguments that are being made. Further, let us consider how the neighborhood could benefit from this development, how George Eastman House can meet its needs going forward (and better integrate with Neighborhood of the Arts, as they express a desire to do), and how to move the entire neighborhood towards the increased success it deserves…
Tags: 933 University Avenue, demolition, development plans, East Avenue, Filling In, George Eastman House, Matthew Denker, Monroe Voiture, Neighborhood of the Arts, NotA, preservation, preservation district, Rochester, Rochester NY, University Avenue
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 41 Comments »
Hey kids, you know what today is? That’s right, Fun Foto Friday! I know you’ve probably had your fill of spandex-wrapped web-slingers, street closures, and NYC squad cars blowing up everywhere. But I just wanted to post some of my pics from the last couple days of Spider-Man filming. And I’d like to see yours too. If you were able to slip past the barricades and snag a few good shots, go ahead and post a link in the comments section…
Tags: Amazing Spider Man 2, car chase, downtown Rochester, film, Hollywood, Main Street, movie, NYPD, Rochester, Rochester NY, Spider Man
Posted in Events, Opinion, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 4 Comments »
The GardenAerial project could one day transform High Falls – Rochester’s oldest neighborhood. A landscaped pedestrian trail is planned to be built all the way around the rim of the gorge. Pre-existing structures & trails would be converted into multi-use public green spaces. And if all goes according to the vision, the entire area (in and around the gorge) could become New York’s first EcoDistrict . But this is not an initiative led by City Hall. The idea was brought to the table by two Rochester residents, and is now being advanced by their non-profit, Friends of the GardenAerial.
The first phase of the GardenAerial project will be funded in part by this this online campaign . But there’s only one week left and $6,600 still to raise. In a recent comment to RochesterSubway.com, city resident Jim Fraser explains why crowdsourced projects like this are critical to the future of our city…
Tags: crowdsourcing, GardenAerial, High Falls Visitor Center, Inner Loop, Jane Jacobs, Jim Fraser, Midtown Plaza, Rochester, Rochester NY, suburban sprawl, urban renewal
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
Okay, so I’m on the fence – sort of. Remember this proposed apartment complex at 933 University Avenue? After the Eastman House and other neighbors complained about the design, Morgan Management went back to the drawing board (or Photoshop or whatever) and they came back with this…
Tags: 933 University Avenue, demolition, development plans, East Avenue, George Eastman House, Monroe Voiture, preservation, preservation district, Rochester, Rochester NY, University Avenue
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 46 Comments »
As some of you may or may not know, the city has finally released a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 88 Elm Street . Up front, here’s a link to the RFP , in case you run a development company, or if you’re Larry Glazer and you’re looking for another project to work on.
In any event, here’s some background on 88 Elm St. Somehow, despite being built sometime in the 60s, no one is exactly sure when 88 Elm St. was constructed, or where, exactly, it came from. You’d think that’d be impossible in this day and age, but it’s not. In 1998, the city decided it had enough of the owners of the property not paying their taxes and they took it. All well and good, except now it’s been empty for 15 years. It’s emptier than you might think. The city spent more than a million dollars on an asbestos abatement and a new roof. The building has no electrical system, no sprinkler system, no HVAC, no plumbing. It is a completely bare 13 story tower. That’s a bit of a rarity, and it could be yours for only $360,000. Apparently that’s the market rate for the 13-story husk of a building…
Tags: 88 Elm Street, adaptive reuse, development, downtown, downtown Rochester, Elm Street, Filling In, Matthew Denker, Midtown Plaza, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban design
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 14 Comments »
Two important cases will go before the Zoning Board this Thursday: the ongoing saga of one historic church on Main Street, and design concerns regarding the future College Town. Salvation for the church, as well as the promise of a pedestrian-friendly College Town, may hang in the balance.
First, if you’ve been following the story of the little white church at 660 W. Main Street, owner Marvin Maye will make one more appeal to challenge the building’s status as a Designated Building of Historic Value. If he succeeds, he could have a clear path forward to demolish the 140-something-year-old church.* And in its place would go a Dollar General store…
Tags: 660 W. Main Street, Celebration Drive, College Town, Collegetown, demolition, design standards, Designated Building of Historic Value, development, development plans, Elmwood Ave, Marvin Maye, Mount Hope, Rochester, Rochester NY, Stacie Colaprete, street design, Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, University of Rochester, UofR, urban design, Westminster Presbyterian Church, zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), zoning code
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 30 Comments »
One of the best places to put additional density is near public parks. Why you ask? Well, that’s an excellent question. Not only do parks double as excellent backyards that homeowners don’t need to mow, but they provide excellent views (that will never go away), and density around parks makes the parks themselves more attractive to passers-by.
All of this translates to adding housing around pre-existing parks. This should be a priority for the city. While I am hoping to tackle a master plan for Brown Square Park (by Frederick Law Olmsted, no less!), let’s start out with something a little smaller…
Tags: Avon Place, development, Filling In, Fountain Street, infill development, Matthew Denker, Otto Henderberg Square Park, Rochester, Rochester NY, Swillburg, urban design
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 27 Comments »
Well, dear readers, I must admit that this is not exactly what I had planned when I left you the last time. That said, please bear with me while we look at something a little bit different.
John Baker, Steve Gullace, Chris Gullace have proposed to construct a new gym and a 48 unit apartment building at 759 Park Ave . The gym would be for the Talmudic Institute next door, while the apartments would be for rent. This has, not surprisingly, drawn a raft of criticism from the residents of the Park Ave neighborhood…
Tags: 759 Park Ave, Chris Gullace, development, Filling In, infill development, John Baker, Matthew Denker, Park Avenue, Rochester, Rochester NY, Steve Gullace
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News, Urban Development | 49 Comments »
You do not have to be a designer to see that Rochester has a problem—well, a number of problems, actually. That we continue to make the same mistakes, however, regarding design of our built environment, is perhaps one of the most egregious. This column highlights some of the worst offenders in Rochester—some of which are still being built…
Tags: architecture, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, East Avenue Wegmans, EchoTone Music, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, James PB Duffy School No. 12, Joel Helfrich, McDonald's, Mike Davis, Postler & Jaeckle, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, South Avenue, South Wedge, urban design, Wegman's
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 67 Comments »
Forty days after the insanity on Lake Road I thought I’d take a drive out there to see it for myself. To have some quiet time. And to reflect. These photos were taken on Saturday, February 2, 2013…
Tags: arson, crime scene, gun violence, Irondequoit Bay, Joseph Hofstetter, Lake Ontario, Lake Road, Michael Chiapperini, Rochester, Rochester NY, shooting, Theodore Scardino, Tomasz Kaczowka, William Spengler Jr.
Posted in Opinion, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 4 Comments »
Last November I had the ridiculously huge privilege to give a talk at TEDxRochester. The gravity of the honor may have been too much for my little brain to comprehend. In fact, when they initially asked me to do it I said “no thanks” – twice. Long story short, I gave in. And I’m glad I did, because the experience was one of those “once in a lifetime” things.
Since much of my talk was influenced by you, RocSubway readers and participants, I thought you’d like to watch (and share) the official video which has just been released. A word of caution: I’m not the most riveting public speaker, but there is lots of good stuff buried within this 12-minute presentation, so watch thru to the end if you can…
Tags: Amanda Doherty, downtown Rochester, Gary Jacobs, history of Rochester, Jen Indovina, mass transit, mass transportation, Michael Governale, public transportation, Reconnect Rochester, Rick U., Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, suburban sprawl, TED Talks, TEDxRochester, Tony Karakashian, transit, transportation, transportation alternatives, urban revitalization
Posted in Opinion, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 4 Comments »
Last night the City of Rochester held the first of two informational/public input sessions for the new Center City Master Plan . This meeting was primarily intended for residents of downtown, although many people who work or live outside the inner loop also gave input.
I listened for about an hour as many great ideas were put on the table… “Plant trees down the middle of Main Street to make it nicer for pedestrians.” “Make people feel safer about walking downtown.” “Stop demolishing older and historic buildings.”
Then one resident announced, “Sometimes I go to the bathroom and I need toilet paper, but the only place to find toilet paper is Wegmans or Tops which are too far to walk to.” So, simply put, downtown could use more retailers and small grocers – for life’s little necessities (i.e. T.P.). Brilliant!
Tags: Center City, Center City Circulator Study, downtown Rochester, Rochester, Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Project, Rochester Center City Master Plan, Rochester NY, transit-oriented development
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 23 Comments »
I want to share with you an opinion piece from RustWire.com last week. The article was reposted on BuffaloRising.com and it’s now made its way down I-90 to RochesterSubway.com. Angie Schmitt begins by blasting attempts to market cities to young people. Angie cites an example from Columbus, Ohio where leaders spent a $30,000 grant to hire a so-called “Gen Y” expert to tell them how they could retain and attract the widely-coveted demographic. “Why didn’t they just ask the young people that live there what they want, and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?” she asks…
Tags: Angie Schmitt, Boston, BuffaloRising.com, Cleveland, Columbus OH, Global Cleveland Initiative, livibility, New York City, RustWire.com, San Francisco, suburbanization, urban design, urban revitalization
Posted in Opinion, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »
Last week Rochester’s Zoning Board heard public testimony, both in favor of, and in opposition to a developer’s plan to demolish a historic church at 660 W. Main St. in Rochester and replace it with a Dollar General store. Of all the comments made during that 2-3 hour hearing, the one drawing the most buzz was made by a member of the Zoning Board itself, Patrick Tobin . As an article in the D&C recounted, this board member expressed frustration that, “while preservationists and others urge them to protect these buildings, little is done to keep the structures from falling into severe disrepair.”
Mr. Tobin’s comment is similar to one I hear in the comments section of this blog quite frequently where preservation vs. demolition cases are discussed. Let me paraphrase… “If you loved the building so much then why didn’t you ‘preservationists’ do something about it until now? Why’d you wait until the property owner wants to tear it down?” There are so many things wrong with this line of thought there isn’t a comment box big enough for me to fit an answer in to.
Coincidentally (or should I say, as luck would have it), Wayne Goodman, Executive Director of the Landmark Society, stepped up to the podium immediately after Mr. Tobin’s comment was fired at the preservation community. And, as I expected, Goodman took great exception to the remarks.
So I reached out to Goodman and asked him to help us understand why preservationists don’t do a better job of keeping these “historic” buildings from falling into disrepair. Goodman sent me the following statement…
Tags: 660 W. Main Street, Democrat & Chronicle, Democrat and Chronicle, Landmark Society of Western New York, Patrick Tobin, preservation, Rochester, Rochester NY, Wayne Goodman, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 7 Comments »