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…
Archive: ‘Reader Submitted Stories’...
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 | 4 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 | 24 Comments »
Ever notice how the Xerox Tower looks like one of the original World Trade Center towers? Did you know that the Xerox Tower was completed five years before the World Trade Center towers? Hmmm, so maybe the Xerox Tower inspired the design of the World Trade Center Towers? This would make Xerox Tower an extremely important building in the history of architecture. I had to do some research…
Tags: architecture, Buffalo, downtown Rochester, IBM building, Minoru Yamasaki, NBBJ, New York City, One M&T Plaza, Rochester, Rochester NY, Seattle, skyscraper, University of Washington, Welton Becket, Welton Becket and Associates, World Trade Center, Xerox Square, Xerox Tower
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Urban Development | 13 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 »
Dear readers, let’s take a short break from redeveloping Rochester. Instead, can we take a moment to consider that which we’ve lost? That which we can still repair?
This week, let’s talk about parks. Specifically, let’s talk about Lomb Memorial Park, and Schiller Park. But first, take a look at Columbus Circle in New York City (above). Oh man! Look at poor Christopher Columbus hanging out there all alone in the middle of traffic. At least he has a convenient parking spot for his car. Wait, what? You say that Columbus Circle doesn’t look anything like that? Well, I guess it doesn’t, now…
Tags: Andrews Street, Christopher Columbus, Columbus Circle, downtown Rochester, Franklin Square, Franklin Street, Freidrich von Schiller, Henry Lomb, Henry Lomb Memorial, Inner Loop, Lomb Memorial Park, Matthew Denker, New York City, Rochester, Rochester NY, Schiller Park, Upper Falls Blvd.
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 30 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 | 13 Comments »
On Monday I wrote a post about a Zoning Board public hearing coming up on Thursday (tomorrow). Marvin Maye, owner of an old church building on West Main Street will be challenging that building’s status as a Designated Building of Historic Value. If the building is removed from that list of protected city properties, he plans to demolish the church and build a Dollar General store.
Craig Walker is a developer who has been working with Mr. Maye on this project. He tells us that while he would have liked to see the church converted into a jazz/blues club and dance hall, conversion of the church would be cost prohibitive. And while the building was on the market, “not one ‘preservationist’ stepped forward to advance any plan.”
Here are Mr. Walker’s comments in full, with a few follow-up questions afterwards…
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News, Urban Development | 34 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 »
Last week RocSubway learned that developer Thomas Masaschi is converting the old Ted Cohen’s Office Furniture store into three upscale penthouses, lofts and retail space on the first floor. You know the place ; behind the Hess gas station on Monroe Ave. So we thought, for this week’s edition of “Filling In,” why not look at Monroe Ave, and how we could make one of Rochester’s most walkable strips even better! We’ll focus on a few small changes that could be implemented quickly, and then a few bigger ideas for the corridor going forward…
Tags: 7-eleven, Amherst Street, Arby's, Autozone, Barnes Dance, Brueggers, Dac Hoa, diagonal crosswalk, Dunkin Donuts, Filling In, Goodman Street, Matthew Denker, McDonald's, Monroe Avenue, Oxford Street, Pizza Hut, Rutgers Street, Sumner Park
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 66 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 »
Welcome back! Last week we looked at a block that almost had it all. This week, let’s see what we can do on a much larger scale with a block that needs a little more work. A roughly 600’x600’ square mega block at the southern entrance to downtown. There are a few good things going on here; Geva Theater , Capron Lofts , Plan Architects . And, a few not so good; a sweeping highway off-ramp, a GIANT parking lot across the street from TWO garages, and random weedy surface lots…
Tags: Capron Street, Clinton Ave, Clinton Avenue, development, downtown, downtown Rochester, Filling In, Geva Theater, infill development, Matthew Denker, Merkel Donohue, Rochester, Rochester NY, St. Mary's Place, urban design
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 17 Comments »
Welcome to the first post in what will be an ongoing series called Filling In. One of the key elements of any great city is a tightly knit urban fabric. Whether you’re in New York City, San Francisco, or our own beloved Rochester, building an appealing city scape at a human, walkable scale promotes health, wealth, and wisdom. We’ve also learned that parks next to parks next to barren windswept plazas don’t put butts in seats, as they say. With that in mind, Filling In aims to explore vacant or underutilized pieces of Rochester in an effort to rebuild or strengthen our built environment. The aerial photo above was taken in 1929, when downtown was dense and energetic. And here is a reminder of what we’re up against…
Tags: development, downtown, downtown Rochester, Exchange Boulevard, Exchange Street, Exhange, Filling In, infill development, Matthew Denker, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban design
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 34 Comments »
Sean Kirst began his career as a writer for City Newspaper (he’s now a columnist at Syracuse’s Post Standard ). He says he fell in love with the haunting feel of Rochester’s subway tunnels and was intrigued to learn the subway began taking off just after World War II. But at a critical moment, the system was basically dismantled by community leaders who were already thinking “interstates.” Sean dug into the story and wrote a fairly in-depth story entitled “Rochester’s Adventure in Optimism.” It was published in City Newspaper on June 2, 1983. Thirty years later, City Newspaper has graciously allowed RocSubway to share the story with you again, here…
Tags: City Newspaper, Harold McFarlin, history of Rochester, Jim Dierks, John Thomas, Mary Anna Towler, Mike Dow, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), New York Museum of Transportation, NYMT, Richard Sale, Rochester, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester City Newspaper, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester subway car 60, Rochester Subway photos, Rochester Subway tunnel, Sean Kirst
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 7 Comments »
I live in America’s first boom town—Rochester, New York—on Linden Street. Linden trees, unsurprisingly, line much of my street. Down the street is the Genesee River, once one of America’s most polluted—and possibly still. My street is a historic district that was once part of the world’s largest nursery. The Ellwanger and Barry Company supplied the first fruit trees to California…
Tags: Ellwanger-Barry, Flour City, Flower City, Frederick Douglass, Frederick Law Olmstead, Highland Park, Joel Helfrich, John Dunbar, lilacs, Linden Avenue, Rochester, Rochester NY
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History | 5 Comments »
This little tree caught my attention yesterday on State Street downtown. First of all, it’s wearing a totally rad sweater. But also, this tree has been buttoned up for a good cause. I totally dig stuff like this…
Tags: charity, coat drive, downtown Rochester, Rochester, Rochester City School District (RCSD), Rochester NY, State Street, volunteer, WXXI
Posted in Events, Reader Submitted Stories | 4 Comments »
One evening sometime during the fall of 2011, my friend Chris and I were sitting around complaining about the ways of the world. The conversation eventually turned towards discussing how despite both of us having been born and raised in Rochester, NY, how neither one of us had ever bothered to visit any of the “cool looking” spiritual places of worship in the area, like St. Michael’s Church or St. Stanislaus Church…
Tags: Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Buffalo NY, Burned Over District, Church of Scientology, Hindu Temple of Rochester, John Humphrey Noyes, Lewiston NY, Luke Myer, religion, Rochester, Rochester NY, Second Great Awakening, St. Michael’s Church, The Oneida Community
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 3 Comments »
Historic buildings are under attack, especially in Western New York. Indeed, the month of May is potentially the saddest month locally for historic structures in recent memory. Within a short time, the Otisca Brewery building in Syracuse, the Cataract Brewery buildings in Rochester, and the Bethlehem Steel North Office Building in Lackawanna will be gone—ashes on the dust heap that is our shoddy collective memory. All of these buildings were once useful—integral, in fact—pieces of our industrial past. Soon, these structures will be removed, thus helping three communities to ponder if they were ever part of the “rust belt.”
Tags: Joel Helfrich, Lackawanna, Otisca Brewery
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 5 Comments »
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 »