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…
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 7 Comments »
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 3 Comments »
On July 24, 1964 a series of events 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…
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 10 Comments »
My buddies Chris Clemens and Luke Myer (from the Burned Over District 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 ].
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 about its history…
Tags: abandoned, abandoned places, abandoned swimming pool, Beechwood State Park, camp site, Chris Clemens, Girl Scouts camp, Girl Scouts of America, Luke Myer, photography, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Sodus, urban exploration
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Urban Development | 15 Comments »
Within the last year I have written a great deal about cities and the historic buildings they should be obligated to see maintained. Many cities cannot, will not, or do not want to penalize or fine the industrial and commercial property owners who fail to maintain the buildings within their care. Often what happens is that these neglected buildings are then demolished because they are supposedly beyond repair or structurally unsound.
It should be noted that buildings are rarely too far gone, even when roofs are missing and the “elements” have begun to reek havoc, and that often these very buildings are “structurally sound.”
Tags: Bethlehem Steel, Brennan Motor Complex, Cataract Brewery, historic preservation, Howard Decker, Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Joel Helfrich, Lackawanna, Otisca Brewery, Rochester, Rochester landmark, Syracuse, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 30 Comments »
“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 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…
Tags: 660 W. Main Street, Dawn Noto, demolition, Designated Building of Historic Value, development, development plans, Marvin Maye, Rochester, Rochester NY, Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, urban design, Westminster Presbyterian Church, zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), zoning code
Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | No Comments »
The 7th “6×6″ art exhibition is going on right now at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) . This exhibit began as a one-time fundraiser in 2008 but has returned every year since then due to its incredible success. 6×6 is RoCo’s only major fundraiser. All artworks are offered for sale—anonymously—to the public for $20, with all proceeds going to support the Art Center. The artist’s names are revealed to the buyer upon purchase.
In 2014 the show has grown to include over 6,700 artworks from all 50 states and 65 countries.
Here are a few of the top picks from this year’s show sent to us by Bleu Cease, Executive Director and curator of the gallery…
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Urban Development | 3 Comments »
The area around University of Rochester—both east and west of the river—has seen an explosion of new construction. RocSubway contributor Jimmy Combs ventured out this weekend to get a snapshot of the progress of three of these developments; College Town, The Flats at Brooks Crossing, and the new Golisano Children’s Hospital. All are due to open by 2015…
Tags: Brooks Avenue, Brooks Landing, College Town, Collegetown, construction, Elmwood Avenue, Genesee Street, Golisano Children's Hospital, Jimmy Combs, Mount Hope, Mount Hope Cemetery, rochester photos, The Flats at Brooks Crossing, University of Rochester, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), urban development
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway | 1 Comment »
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…
Tags: donate, fundraiser, history of Rochester, Otto M. Vondrak, Rochester, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester history, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester subway car 60, Rochester Subway photos
Posted in Events, Rochester News | 1 Comment »
I have a soft spot in my heart for Juan & Maria Contreras. Their family has been serving up the tastiest (and friendliest) Spanish-American food at the Public Market for almost as long as I myself have been a Rochesterian. Their homemade empanadas have earned their place alongside the Garbage Plate and the Zwiegle’s white hot. Over 1,000 empanadas have been known to fly out of this little food stand on any given day at the market, but no matter how busy they are, Juan always has time to greet each customer with a warm, “How are YOU my friend?”
Now our friends need our help. Their daughter, Carolina (33) has been locked in a battle against a rare and deadly form of cancer known as Clear Cell Sarcoma. This Sunday at the Rochester Public Market the Contreras family will host a garage sale to help raise money for Carolina’s fight for life…
Posted in Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 92 Comments »
You’ve read about it. You’ve heard plenty of commentary about it. And if you’re like me, you still have plenty of questions about the Port of Rochester development. This past weekend Greg Weykamp, owner of Edgewater Resources, LLC spent an hour with me on site to answer my questions on everything from the design of the marina & proposed development, accessibility, marketability, and parking/traffic concerns.
In this six-part video series, Weykamp addresses many of the concerns expressed by Charlotte neighbors over the past few months. No doubt there will still be more questions as the project enters the design phase. But his willingness to spend time with me (and my two kids who are dancing around in the background) showed me that this may not be the monster some people have made him out to be . But you can watch for yourself, and please let me know what you think…
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News, Urban Exploration | 4 Comments »
A year ago RochesterSubway.com took you UP inside Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester. The views from that tower are spectacular – but it’s the 6,668 pounds of bronze bells inside that are truly awe inspiring.
The bells are actually part of a massive musical instrument called a Carillon. And now, if you’ve got experience playing a keyboard, you may have a shot to go to the top of Rush Rhees and play the carillon yourself. Doris Aman of the University of Rochester Carillon Society sent in the following one-time offer…
Posted in Events, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »
A $500 CASH prize is up for grabs in The Great ROC Transit Day Treasure Hunt!
On June 19, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS (U.S.) will be hiding somewhere in Rochester. The first person (or team of people) to find it will take all. There’s just one catch… no cars allowed. To claim this jackpot you’ll need to use the bus system, walk or bike. Get your first clue now at www.ROCtransitday.com .
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 22 Comments »
Last week I shared an interview with a local Lyft driver. A debate in the comments—and on Facebook—about the legality of rideshare services (such as Lyft) immediately ensued. After hearing from both sides of the issue, I’m just as confused as I was before.
On one hand, Lyft has responded to these challenges by saying its service is absolutely not illegal, and that their insurance has drivers and passengers covered. On the other hand, a local insurance agent, Michael Montag has reached out to RochesterSubway.com. He believes Lyft drivers are operating illegally – even if Lyft itself may not be illegal. I’ll post both responses here, and if you’re thinking of driving for Lyft or similar services, do your homework first…
Tags: Carma Carpool, carpooling, John McBride, Lyft, MGM Associates of Rochester, Michael G. Montag, rideshare, ridesharing, Rochester, Rochester NY, Sidecar, transportation, transportation alternatives, Uber, Wingz, Zimride
Posted in Art + Culture, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History | 2 Comments »
Rochester has long been home to a vibrant and diverse music scene. Original music has always had room to find an audience here, a luxury most cities cannot claim, but we support our own. Even in the pre-punk days local bands like The Invictas , Soul Brothers Six and Duke Jupiter were able to make a name on a national level. But beyond those lucky few lie the stories of dozens of bands who achieved their own form of greatness. With an array of clubs and bars encouraging original voices there has never been a lack of up-and-comers (and should-have-made-its) hitting the stage on any given night.
A little over twenty years ago David Baumgartner, Sean Leahy, Will Veeder and Kris Durso joined those ranks as Muler . During their two decade career, Muler has embodied everything that makes this scene unique. They were just four guys who made loud tuneful rock and roll in the least pretentious way possible…
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 10 Comments »
Have you seen one of these big pink mustaches tooling around town lately? This past April a ridesharing service called Lyft entered the Rochester market. Lyft connects people—via mobile app—who need a ride with drivers in their area. The pink facial hair is sort of the calling card of the Lyft brand.
Recently I got to talking with a local Lyft driver, Fred from Penfield, and he says from his point of view, the service has been a smashing success. “There are about 40 of us in Rochester,” says Fred. “We are similar to Uber and Sidecar, but we are much friendlier and have a much bigger focus on safety.”
Besides the pink moustaches, it’s also common for drivers and passengers to fist pump at the start of each ride. The following is a summary of our conversation about Lyft…
Tags: Carma Carpool, carpooling, Genesee Transportation Council (GTC), Lyft, rideshare, ridesharing, Rochester, Rochester NY, Sidecar, transportation, transportation alternatives, Uber, Wingz, Zimride
Posted in Art + Culture, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 8 Comments »
On Facebook last week I shared an old photo of Rochester’s iconic Mercury statue as it was being removed from its original perch atop the Kimball Tobacco Factory in 1951. The factory was demolished to make way for the War Memorial and the statue sat in storage until the Lawyers Cooperative (Aqueduct Building) became his new home in 1973.
Fast forward to June 2011; the 21 foot tall, 700 pound statue gets a thorough inspection for signs of wear and a good restoration. The following photos were taken by Wes Plant during that checkup. And they show Mercury in detail you’ve probably never seen before…
Tags: aerial photography, Aqueduct Building, Blue Cross Arena, Cluett-Peabody & Company, downtown Rochester, J. Guernsey Mitchell, John Siddons Co., Kimball Tobacco Factory, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, Mercury statue, public art, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Statue of Mercury, War Memorial, War Memorial Arena, William Kimball
Posted in Art + Culture, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 2 Comments »
A while back, Chris Clemens called attention to Rochester’s growing collection of Little Free Libraries . Last week Deanna Varble and Ken Braley wrote in to RocSubway and asked me to share a few more they’ve been working on.
I love this grassroots effort to encourage reading. And I’m happy to share these newest additions to the greater Rochester neighborhood…
Tags: books, Caroline Street, Chris Clemens, Deanna Varble, free stuff, Freebies, Gregory Street, Hudson Avenue, Ken Braley, library, little free libraries, little free library, Rochester, Rochester NY, The Curious and Uncommon