Today’s Fun Foto Friday is this 1920′s view of the Erie Canal aqueduct looking east. You’re looking at the covering over the old canal which would soon become Broad Street and the Rochester Subway beneath. In the background (center) is the Osburn House hotel. Eventually Broad Street would be extended eastward, right through that hotel. The stairwell to the City Hall subway station can be seen at the street corner. And next to the stairs, notice the construction site…
Archive: ‘Urban Development’...
Tags: Broad Street, Exchange Boulevard, Exchange Street, Genesee Valley Trust, history of Rochester, James Field Company, Osburn House, Rochester history, Rochester Subway, Times Square Building
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
Welcome back, readers. It’s been a while. Today I’d like to look at a project that we could bring into the pipeline almost immediately. I say could, because there are almost assuredly zoning issues with what I’m proposing. That said, we could still get rolling on it immediately, because the site happens to already be on the market for $10,000! Let’s see what we’re getting for our money, what we’re building, and some numbers on the whole thing…
Tags: American Foursquare, architecture, cargo container architecture, Charleston Single, City of Rochester, Craftsman, development plans, Filling In, Genesee Street, Matthew Denker, Plover Street, Rochester, Rochester NY, vacant lot, Victorian
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
This former department store (Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Company) is truly massive. Rochester’s Sibley Building weighs in at over 1.1 million square feet (23 acres of floorspace) – easily the largest building in Monroe County.
WinnCompanies out of Boston now owns the property and plans to spend up to $200 Million over the next five years to bring it back to life as mixed-use space. Holy smokes, do these guys have their work cut out for them. You may have noticed new windows and awnings along Main Street? Some 2,000 windows have yet to be replaced.
Last week the UofR Urban Explorers Club went on a tour through the maze of hallways and spaces, from the dark sub-basement all the way up to the two massive water tanks on the tower rooftop…
Tags: abandoned places, downtown Rochester, EZ-net, Main Street, Rochester, Rochester NY, Sibley Building, Sibley's, Sibley's Department Store, Sibly Lindsay & Curr Co., University of Rochester, urban exploration, urban explorers, UrbEx Club, Winn Development, WinnCompanies
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 76 Comments »
I was thinking about our collective reactions to the proposed D&C building, and the completed Windstream building. Clearly both buildings are more modest than what many of us hoped to see in this key downtown site (and what the zoning code spells out for downtown). It’s an issue that I think applies to all infill development downtown, and the ideas behind Incremental Urbanism shed some interesting light on it.
Tags: Irene Allen
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 20 Comments »
Recent commentary from the Green Party candidate for mayor made me realize that for many, there are simplistic black and white arguments regarding the value of investing in downtown versus investment in education and poverty alleviation.
The Green Party outrage over the sale of Midtown to Buckingham/Morgan developers for $2.00 is one example. I’d like to talk about how the economics work, and why I think there’s a bigger picture being overlooked…
Tags: development, downtown Rochester, Fast Ferry, Hilton Garden Inn, Martin Edic, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Tower, Renaissance Square, Sibley Building, tax abatements, tax incentives
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 39 Comments »
Rochester is a city with a rich history that has experienced a steady decline in population, quality of life, and reputation. Despite this the city has many proud residents who are not satisfied with the status quo. Due to repeated failures we’re skeptical of large projects. This environment of pride mixed with skepticism has produced a generation of Rochester supporters who embrace progressive ideas, respect history, and proceed with caution. My personal contribution is a plan to establish a large State University in Downtown Rochester. We’ll call it SUNY Rochester.
Tags: Donald J. Sullivan, downtown Rochester, Monroe Community College (MCC), Nazareth College, Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester NY, St. John Fisher College, State University of New York, SUNY Albany, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Rochester, University of Rochester
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 27 Comments »
That Downtown Satisfaction Survey is intended to gather insights which will help in establishing a Business Improvement District. What’s that? I’m glad you asked…
Tags: Boston, business improvement district, downtown, downtown improvement district, downtown Rochester, Downtown Special Services, Heidi N. Zimmer-Meyer, Minneapolis, New York City, Red Shirts, Rochester, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC), Rochester information booth, Rochester NY
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »
There’s a new development called I-Square being built right now in Irondequoit. It’s one of those “new urban” designs with mixed-use buildings placed along the sidewalk and a little public space in the center of it all. Where’s the parking? Right where it should be, behind the buildings, hidden from the street. The end result will be an attractive street front and a destination for people to come and walk around – maybe spend a little time and money. Very exciting.
But right around the corner, on Hudson Avenue, is a proposal for a new Aldi grocery store. It’s the exact opposite of I-Square – a more typical, drive in & drive out, sub-urban design. This got me thinking…
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 16 Comments »
Within a 30 minute drive of downtown Rochester, beyond the suburban development surrounding the city, is the Village of Honeoye Falls. Honeoye Falls is not a typical crossroads village though. Like Rochester, it was settled due to the location of the waterfalls to provide power to mills in the early 1800s. Unlike Rochester though, it never grew large enough to lose the majority of its Main Street to large suburban plazas, malls, and ‘big boxes’.
Dunkin’ Donuts is interested in constructing a new location with a drive-thru, in a section of the village which currently has a small concentration of commercial development, but the village code currently disallows drive-thru restaurants. The Mayor and some members of the Village Board are supporting a proposal to change the code to allow Dunkin’ Donuts to build a drive-thru even though the village is in the midst of updating the Comprehensive Plan. Convenience and an additional source of revenue for the village government may come at a high cost though if a drive-thru is allowed…
Tags: chain restaurant, city planning, drive-through, drive-thru, Dunkin Donuts, Honeoye Falls, Rob Maurer, zoning, zoning code
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 19 Comments »
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…
Tags: abandoned subway, adaptive reuse, aqueduct, Aqueduct Bridge, architecture, Broad Street Corridor Master Plan, Broad Street Underground, development plans, downtown Rochester, Lewis Childs, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway tunnel, underground mall, underground shopping, urban planning
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 36 Comments »
By now you’ve probably heard of the GardenAerial project. But you may not be clear on the details. What is it? And why is it important? Benjamin Woelk is Associate Director of Administration & Community Engagement at GardenAerial. He recently gave a presentation at TEDxFlourCity where he explained how the GardenAerial project will reinvent our community by giving Rochester a “sustainable identity.”
Benjamin reminds us that we have a 96 foot tall waterfall… inside a canyon… in the middle of our city. High Falls has been here for millions of years. Yes it’s evolving; but it’s also been here longer than Kodak, Lilacs or Garbage Plates. Rochester began here. And as he correctly points out, this is a world-class site. Repeat it: A World. Class. Site.
Now watch the video and see how High Falls could be transformed into New York State’s first EcoDistrict, and a boon to our economy once again…
Tags: Benjamin Woelk, Brewers Square, GardenAerial, Genesee River, Genesee River Gorge, Genesee Riverway Trail, High Falls, Rochester Historic Brewery Square, TEDxFlourCity
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 13 Comments »
Reconnect Rochester has alerted us to an important informational meeting tonight about the Inner Loop’s future (or lack thereof). As we wait to find out whether or not this project will be a recipient of a USDOT TIGER grant, the City is moving forward with plans to scale down a large portion the underutilized 12-lane highway. Ultimately that will mean greater connectivity between downtown and the neighborhoods to the east, and lower road maintenance costs in the long run. If there was ever a big road project to support, this is it.
Read what Reconnect Rochester has to say about the project and attend the meeting tonight to learn more… 6-8pm on the third floor of City Hall .
Tags: Anderson Park, City of Rochester, East Avenue, Inner Loop, Inner Loop East Reconstruction Project, Main Street, Reconnect Rochester, Rochester, Rochester NY, Union Street, USDOT TIGER grant
Posted in Events, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
One of the sites that the city has, let’s say aspirationally, earmarked for development is the site of the former Sherwood Shoe Company. The shoe company itself was incorporated in 1905 by Frederick A. Sherwood, and the factory for it was built on this site at roughly the same time. I’m less sure when it was torn down, but it is on the 1935 plat maps, so it was certainly there through the depression. (UPDATE: the photo above is from 1956)
As for what to do here, I think there are a million great ideas, and I am hoping that we are able to get a good conversation of the various uses: lofts where the factory used to be? More houses? All of these things and more? All great ideas, and I’m not one to come to the table empty handed, so let’s take a look at what I think should go here.
Tags: cargo container architecture, City of Rochester, development plans, Filling In, Goodman Street, I-490, Matthew Denker, Rochester, Rochester NY, Sherwood Shoe Company, South Clinton Avenue, Tumbleweed Homes, Uhlen Place, vacant lot
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 17 Comments »
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 open to the public. Others would like to turn back the hands of time even further, converting the tunnel back into a water canal – 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…
Tags: abandoned subway, Alexandra Bush, Allison LaChance, aqueduct, Aqueduct Bridge, architecture, Bridget Carney, Broad Street Corridor Master Plan, development plans, downtown Rochester, Dr. Alex Bitterman, Jennifer Danielle Harper, Kate Krueger, Matt Burke, Priyanka Sondhi, Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester Low Line, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway tunnel, S. Adam Stoker, Sergey Selyuzhitskiy, The Lowline, underground park, urban parks & trails, urban planning
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 16 Comments »
I went to a big expensive university to study art for four years. I’ve traveled to Italy and marveled at the work of the great masters. I’ve gone out of my way to tip-toe through all the fancy art museums and galleries in New York and Toronto.
Earlier in the week I rode my bike down Rochester’s El Camino Trail. I’m not sure why, but art has never taken my breath away quite like this…
Tags: art, El Camino Trail, Graffiti, mural, Rochester, Rochester NY, street art, urban parks & trails, Wall-Therapy
Posted in Art + Culture, Opinion, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 7 Comments »
If you’re a RocSubway reader and you love learning about Rochester as much as I do, you might want to check out 585 Magazine. It’s a pretty slick new bimonthly packed with tasty local bits on every topic imaginable. Plus, you might catch an occasional story on local places & history written by yours truly. In the current issue I attempt explore Rochester’s incredible, Olmsted-designed park system – in 800 words or less! Completely impossible, but I tried.
First, head over to 585 Mag and check out the story . Then come back here for fun extras, including Olmsted’s original plan drawings of Highland, Seneca, and Genesee Valley Parks, AND audio from my interview with JoAnn Beck, cochair of the Landmark Society’s Olmsted subcommittee…
Tags: 585 Magazine, Frederick Law Olmsted, Genesee Valley Park, Highland Park, JoAnn Beck, Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester, Rochester NY, Seneca Park, urban parks & trails
Posted in Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 6 Comments »
Last winter the City of Rochester made a Hail Mary pass to save the historic Pulaski Library. They posted an offer to sell the vacant building for a thousand dollars to anyone with a serious plan to fix it up. I’m not sure how many proposals were submitted, but I’ve learned that Providence Housing Development Corporation has been given the green light.
Providence Housing has worked on similar adaptive reuse projects such as Paul Wolk Commons on State Street, and the Holy Rosary Apartments on Dewey. Although Pulaski may be smaller, it could prove to be a much bigger challenge…
Tags: adaptive reuse, Designated Building of Historic Value, historic preservation, history of Rochester, Hudson Avenue, New York State Historic Preservation Office, Norton Avenue, preservation, Providence Housing Development Corporation, Pulaski Library, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester landmark, Rochester NY, Rochester Public Library, urban exploration
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
Welcome back dear readers. Today we’re going to try something a little different at Filling In. Let’s actually walk through a lightweight proposal in response to the city’s RFP for 19 and 21-23 Berlin St (due by 4pm this Friday, 7/19). Just as a disclaimer; I do not intend to submit this proposal. Additionally, you are welcome to take it and submit it, but I am not to be held liable for any damages should you do so.
Tags: Berlin Street, City of Rochester, Filling In, Matthew Denker, Rochester, Rochester NY, vacant lot
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 9 Comments »
I have been arguing about CityGate for some time, but have come to the realization that this project appears mostly a “done deal” and that it appears to have community support, which is unfortunate given the atrocious new Site Plans and Renderings.
What I hope to show in this post is that although the project appears to be moving forward and that Anthony J. Costello and Son appear to be “listening” to the community, I beg to differ. Here are some of the fallacies, as I see them and as have been reported on this blog, as well as my responses. Let us call them the “seven myths” of CityGate…
Tags: AJ Costello & Son, Iola Campus, Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Joel Helfrich, Monroe County, Rochester, Rochester NY
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 15 Comments »