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Archive: ‘Rochester Subway Stories’...

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 | 43 Comments »

ROC Low Line: A (new) Proposal for Rochester’s Abandoned Subway

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Nine RIT students collaborated to design a subterranean urban park inside the old Rochester subway called the ROC Low Line. [RENDERING: RocLowLine.com]
Over the years there have been many proposals for the reuse of Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnel. Some would like to see the tunnel preserved and turned into a living museum external link open to the public. Others would like to turn back the hands of time even further, converting the tunnel back into a water canal external link – as it was part of the Erie Canal pre-1920s.

Even today as the City continues to take steps towards the latter option, new ideas continue to surface. The most recent concept comes from RIT’s architectural program, and a very interesting student project being called the ROC Low Line…

(more…)

Monday, August 12th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »

Saving Car 60: The Last Passenger Car From Rochester’s Subway

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The last remaining Rochester subway car... #60. [PHOTO: Christopher Hauf, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum]
Hopefully you caught yesterday’s story, “Rochester’s Adventure in Optimism” about the defunct Rochester subway. If you missed it give it a read. Originally published in the City Newspaper in 1983, the article mentioned the sole surviving subway car, car #60, and the effort to bring it back to Rochester and restore it to working order. Yesterday I received a more detailed explanation of those restoration efforts from Otto M. Vondrak, one of the trustees of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Henrietta, NY. Here’s the story of subway car #60 from Otto…

(more…)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 2 Comments »

That Night in the Subway Tunnel: “We felt we were being followed”

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Ever have that feeling someone, or something, is following you?
Last Halloween I posted a ghastly warning about the abandoned Rochester subway tunnel. That warning was sent to us by a reader who claimed he knew people who once lived and died in the tunnel, and that he now feels a strong “spiritual pressure” whenever he returns there.

Jeffrey’s not the only one who feels these strange vibes from the subway tunnel. RochesterSubway.com often receives stories like these from people who claim to have been followed, or chased, out of the defunct subway. Though rarely do we get to see physical evidence of the ghoulish bouncer.

Last week Aaron Killeen sent in this mysterious photo (shown below) and gave a spine-tingling account of a night inside the Rochester subway, which he says he and his friends will not soon forget…

(more…)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
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Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 4 Comments »

Random Subway Memories from Curlew Street

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Subway tracks from Lexington Avenue bridge near Curlew Street (1940's). [PHOTO: Rochester Municipal Archives]
Jim Hall, age 62, of Farmington NY, recently stumbled upon RochesterSubway.com and was immediately taken for a ride down memory lane. So much so that he decided to share with us a few of his fondest memories of the Rochester Subway—his final ride on the very last day of service, and of his grandfather who was a streetcar conductor during the Great Blizzard of 1900! Jim says he and his two older sisters were brought up with a healthy fear of the subway because he was told of a tragic story where a ‘boy lost both legs’ being a bit too close to the tracks. As Jim points out, “it seems strange these days that memories stick with you.” But they certainly do. And the fun part is, we never know which ones will stand out in our mind a half century from now. Here’s Jim’s subway story…

(more…)

Saturday, September 11th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 34 Comments »

Chris Luckhardt… Pro-Photographer. Canadian. Rochester Subway Explorer.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Chris Luckhardt shooting inside an abandoned train yard warehouse in Manchester, NY. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection external link 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 external link—a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.

Inside the abandoned Lee Plaza in Detroit, Michigan. This was Chris's first attempt at an HDR composition that included a person. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)

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 Luckhardt is the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris says he lives a life of 'creative exploration.'CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society external link. 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.

(more…)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
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Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Urban Exploration | 4 Comments »

Subway Confessions: Rochester’s Boys of Summer, 1952

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

In the 1950's Patrick Eagan played softball as a kid for the Cameos (above). Games were sponsored by the Kodak Park Athletic Association and played at various fields in Rochester's northwest quadrant.

Our recent article about the City’s initiative to fill the abandoned subway tunnel drew many interesting comments from our readers. I wanted to highlight one of those comments from Patrick Eagan—a native Rochesterian who has since relocated to south Florida (RochesterSubway.com receives almost as many emails from people now living outside Rochester as we get from current residents). When Patrick was a kid he used to play softball with the Kodak Park Athletic Association. And when you’re a kid what could go better with a game of softball than a ride on the Rochester Subway?

This is a more recent photo of Patrick Eagan from his blog. Think you can pick him out of the softball team photo? Answer is in the comments.Patrick agreed to let us post his subway story here—but do check out his great blogexternal link and original post.

(more…)

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »

A Ghastly Warning from the Abandoned Rochester Subway

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

This Rochester Streetcar and Subway weekly pass from October 1935 wishes riders a 'Happy Halloween'.

Okay so Halloween is fast approaching. I hate the stinking day myself for reasons I won’t get into. But I recognize that most people like a good ghost story so I thought I’d share this. I regularly ask people to send us personal stories and experiences from the Rochester Subway and last summer an individual named Jeffrey Smith sent us a rather blunt warning about the abandoned subway tunnel. Claiming it to be hallowed ground, Jeffrey warns, “Leave it alone, don’t mess with it. It is fine the way it is, we don’t want your stupid shops or anything like that in it. I refuse to go within 100 yards of any of the entrances because of the strong spiritual pressure I feel going there…”

(more…)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 6 Comments »

Subway Confessions: Simply Good Times

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

This shot from inside the Rochester Subway tunnel's west end courtesy of Tyler's Urban Rochester Series... http://picasaweb.google.com/tyler.bazzi/UrbanRochesterSeriesRemember the movie Stand by MeExternal Link? As I recall there’s barely a plot… four young teenage boys search the countryside for the body of a reported missing person. Along the way they drink, they smoke, they nearly get run off of a railroad bridge by a speeding locomotive yada yada yada. Everyone who’s seen Stand By Me loves it for the same reason—it beckons to a time in our lives when we’re just drifting along in search of a good thrill. A few weeks ago I got an email from a guy named Russ and his story immediately brought back images of that Corey Feldman flick. Russ’ story may never be made into a Stephen King novel or a Hollywood movie, but it takes place inside the Rochester Subway tunnels—between 1965 and 1968—and it’s just plain fun.
Take it away Russ…

(more…)

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »

Subway Confessions: Pennies & Snowballs

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Fred from Webster NY tells about riding the Subway when he was a kid in the 1930’s.When I was growing up in the late 1930’s my family lived in the Winton Rd. Merchants Rd. area. One of my fonder memories is walking down Winton to East Avenue with my father and younger brother to catch the subway or trolley. The subway ran through the old Erie Canal bed (where I-490 is now), and would actually get going rather quickly. It would sway back and forth as the Conductor built up speed, and we’d hang on to the straps for dear life…

(more…)

Friday, February 20th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »

Subway Confessions: Mr. B’s Wild Ride

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Monroe Avenue looking north at the Subway entrance.The following Subway story was submitted to us by Mr. B from Rochester…

“When I was 7 or 8, I would go to the YMCA on Monroe Avenue or the library next door after school. The Subway used to pass under the Monroe Avenue overpass View Images heading downtown. It must have been in mid june in 1955 or 1956. We were looking out the window at the library and the Trolley was parked or stopped under the overpass…

(more…)

Monday, February 9th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 1 Comment »

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