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Archive: ‘Rochester History’...

Transit Authority May Rename Mortimer Street “RTS Way”

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

RTS wants to change the name of Mortimer Street to RTS Way.
Next month Rochester’s transportation authority, Regional Transit Service (RTS) will open a new $50 million transit center at Mortimer Street in downtown Rochester. According to a D&C story external link RTS has requested that the City change the name of Mortimer Street to “RTS Way.” Mortimer Street external link has quietly existed between N. Clinton Ave and Saint Paul Street since Rochesterville was incorporated in 1817.

I’ve spent the last five years of my life advocating for Rochester’s public transit system and building a good working relationship with folks at RTS. That’s why I know they will take what I’m about to say as constructive criticism, and nothing more. Here it goes:

Renaming Mortimer Street after yourself is a bad idea. Don’t do it!! Now, let me explain…

(more…)

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 27 Comments »

Historic Cunningham Carriage Returns to Rochester

Monday, October 6th, 2014

After more than 140 years after leaving the Cunningham Carriage Factory on Litchfield Street in Rochester NY, a late-19th century brougham-style carriage returned home on Tuesday, September 30.
The following post by Amy Cavalier was originally published at DePaul.org.

Thousands of miles, several movie appearances and more than 140 years after leaving the Cunningham Carriage Factory on Litchfield Street in Rochester NY, a late-19th century brougham-style carriage returned home on Tuesday, September 30…

(more…)

Monday, October 6th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 3 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]
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 | 26 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 | 14 Comments »

The Bath House at Durand Eastman Beach

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

This was the bath house at Durand Eastman Beach. It opened in 1916 and by 1949 was closed due to high water. [PHOTO: Rochester Municipal Archives]
Durand Eastman Park has long been a popular recreational destination for Rochesterians. Last year while digging into the legend of the Lady in White I came across some old photos of the park’s construction, as well as some interesting old structures. The stone foundation of the old refectory is still there (often mistaken for a fort or castle ruins). But there was another interesting feature of the park which has long vanished. The bath house…

(more…)

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 7 Comments »

Renovation Underway for South Wedge Landmark

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Averill and Ashland St, Rochester NY. [PHOTO: Provided]
The corner of Averill Avenue and Ashland Street external link is buzzing as a major renovation takes place at Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish external link. The winter of 2014, which brought ice dams and water damage to the historic structure, also brought an insurance settlement and a generous benefactor to restore the building to its original luster…

(more…)

Sunday, July 27th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

‘Some Boy Causing Fuss’ First Warning Of Trouble in Rochester Riot Area

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Scene from the Rochester riots, July 24-26, 1964. [PHOTO: Rochester Municipal Archives]
On July 24, 1964 external link a series of events external link took place which led to three of the darkest days in Rochester’s history. They had come to Rochester seeking a better life, yet African Americans in Rochester at that time still had to fight for jobs, fight for education, fight for housing… even for the simple right to stand on the sidewalk in their own neighborhood and not be questioned by police. By the 1960s the mistreatment of black people in this country—over the course of centuries—finally reached a boiling point. And Rochester was in the eye of the storm…

(more…)

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 3 Comments »

Abandoned Girl Scout Camp Beech-Wood

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Beechwood Park in Sodus, NY is a former Girl Scouts of America summer camp. The property has been left as it was abandoned in 1996. [PHOTO: Chris Clemens and Luke Myer]
My buddies Chris Clemens and Luke Myer (from the Burned Over District external link blog) recently shared these photos with me. Chris and Luke were on their way to Sodus on an unrelated exploration trip when they recalled stories of a nearby abandoned Girl Scout camp and decided to stop and check it out [map external link].

Luke says his mother camped here when she was a little girl. In fact, many Girl Scouts earned a badge or two here over its 60+ year history. This was camp Beech-Wood and the following is an excerpt from NYfalls.com external link about its history…

(more…)

Monday, July 21st, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 10 Comments »

Double Jeopardy for Historic Rochester Church

Monday, July 14th, 2014

The Zoning Board will decide AGAIN whether or not to allow the former Westminster Presbyterian Church at 660 West Main Street to be demolished. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
“Double Jeopardy” wasn’t invented by Alex Trebek. It’s actually a procedural defense in our system of justice that forbids a defendant from being tried more than once for the same (or similar) charges. Unfortunately this rule doesn’t seem to apply with historic preservation in Rochester. Because the very same owner of this historic church at 660 West Main Street external link will, for a second time, ask the Zoning Board for permission to demolish the structure to make way for a discount store.

Dawn Noto is president of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association. She was concerned about the demolition plans in March of 2013 when the Zoning Board blocked them the first time. This time Dawn says the conditions are no different and the City should be working with the owner on a plan to rehab the church building instead of entertaining his plan for a second time…

(more…)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 30 Comments »

High Falls Repaints Old “Ghost Signs”

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The High Falls Business Association has been repainting some of the old 'ghost' advertising signs on buildings along Mill Street. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
You know those faded advertisements on the sides of old brick buildings? You may have heard them referred to as ghost signs because they’re usually just barely there, hanging on like spirits of a bygone era. Yeah, I love those things. Probably because they combine my two favorite hobbies: graphic design and local history.

The building I work in (in the High Falls neighborhood) has one of these signs on it. So naturally I took notice when someone began painting over it…

(more…)

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 19 Comments »

Campaign to Restore Rochester Subway Car 60 Kicks Off Sunday

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

The last remaining Rochester subway car #60. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
You may recall last year when Otto Vondrak told us the story of how the sole survivor of the Rochester subway fleet, Car 60, found its way home to Rochester. Since 1998 the car has been at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum awaiting restoration. To be perfectly honest, most of the volunteers who were involved in its return to Rochester passed on, putting restoration efforts on the back burner. But now, finally, this Sunday the museum will kick off a fundraising (and awareness building) campaign to restore Rochester Subway Car 60 for the public to enjoy once again…

(more…)

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway | 1 Comment »

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 | 6 Comments »

New Exhibit Honors the Hojack Swing Bridge

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The control room of the Hojack Swing Bridge has been recreated at the NY Museum of Transportation. [PHOTO: Flickr, M J M]
Rochester’s beloved Hojack Swing Bridge has been gone for more than a year, but now a new exhibit at the New York Museum of Transportation will honor the history of the former Rochester landmark. The exhibit is a re-creation of the bridge’s control cabin and contains the original steam engine, control devices, and a working model of the bridge…

(more…)

Monday, April 28th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 3 Comments »

Fighting the Flames at Ontario Beach Park

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Birds eye view of Ontario Beach Park. c1900.
No, the headline isn’t in reference to the recent controversy surrounding the port development. I wanted to take a look back, at the “good ole days,” when Ontario Beach was known as the Coney Island of central and western New York. Here’s a birds eye of view of all the shiny happy fun… The Dentzel carousel. The L.A. Thompson’s Scenic Railway. The Auditorium (a.k.a. the House of Hilarity). Such good times.

Then I noticed the peculiar site of smoke and flames in the background (click the image for a larger view). Holy smokes! Charlotte is burning! Somebody call 9-1-1!!

(more…)

Monday, April 28th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 1 Comment »

5 Years Ago Today: A Major Food Crisis Strikes Rochester, NY

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

On this date five years ago today, the Popeyes chicken chain in Rochester NY made national headlines when it ran out of its featured product. [PHOTO: TripAdvisor.com]
Many of you kids will be too young to remember this – thank heavens. But five years ago on this very day, Rochester NY made national headlines when it was slammed by one of the worst food shortages in our nation’s history—possibly the world. That’s right. Popeyes external link up on Lake Ave external link ran out of chicken…

(more…)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester History | 2 Comments »

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