I stopped by Iola on Sunday to check on what’s left, and I snapped these pics. In front of the main building there was once a circle with concrete benches and lamp posts. To be perfectly honest I coveted the abandoned lamp posts and thought of ways I could possibly “reclaim” them, but my conscience always prevented me from doing so. Well, I should have because the picture above shows the careful attention the deconstruction crew is taking to features that could be re-used. That’s the base and the flattened steel post is above it. I think my reclamation would have been better than this treatment. Damn conscience.
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 17 Comments »
Tags: abandoned, abandoned places, AJ Costello & Son, Brighton, City Gate, CityGate, Costco, development, East Henrietta Road, historic preservation, Iola Campus, Iola Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Matt Rieck, Monroe Community Hospital, Monroe County, preservation, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester NY, rochester photos, urban development, urban exploration, urban explorers, Westfall Road
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 5 Comments »
The fourth part of the Bike Rochester Series differs quite a bit from the previous ones. We will be venturing on old railroad rights of way (train tracks converted to trails via Rails to Trails Programs). The biggest difference here is that these trails are not paved; they are packed dirt/grass and crushed stone (similar to parts of the unpaved canal trail). So a road bike is not recommended, however a hybrid bike will be more than comfortable and safe. This is the perfect ride to do during the Fall!
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 2 Comments »
I often get asked if there are tours of the Rochester subway. The short answer is no. The longer answer is while there is no official tour of the “subway,” every October there is usually a tour of the “historic Erie Canal aqueduct.” And it’s coming up this weekend…
Tags: abandoned subway, abandoned subway tunnel, abandoned tunnel, Aqueduct Bridge, Broad Street Underground, Canal Society of New York State, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal Aqueduct, River Romance, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway tunnel, subway tour, urban exploration
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 19 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…
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | No Comments »
In this third piece exhibiting Rochester’s bicycle trails, we will be returning to the Erie Canal Heritage Trail. Click HERE and HERE to see parts one and two, respectively. This time, we will be heading westbound towards Brockport. Although there is not much of a net elevation change between downtown and Brockport, it feels a bit more hilly than the eastbound trail. As we will see, the towns and hamlets we will encounter on this western route have a different character to them than the ones on the eastern trail…
Tags: bicycle path, bike path, Brockport, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal, Erie Canal Path, Erie Harbor Apartments, Genesee River, Genesee Riverway Trail, Genesee Valley Park, Ryan Green, Spencerport, SUNY Brockport, The College at Brockport: State University of New York
Posted in Rochester History, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration, Video | 20 Comments »
Last week a reader, Michael Krauklis, sent me this picture and asked two perplexing questions. Michael said, “I’ve worked downtown just next to the Broad Street bridge for 11 years now, and the entire time there has been a strange feature in the river just south of the bridge . Upon first glance it appears to be a spring, in the middle of the river, but with further inspection one can see the carcass of an old abandoned structure surrounding it… What was the original purpose of this and where is the water is coming from?”
I have seen these strange concrete triangles in the river myself, and I know there are more than one of them. But I had never noticed the spring water bubbling up! In either case, I had no good answer for Michael. So, I started digging. Here’s what I found out…
Tags: artesian spring, artesian well, Bill Chaisson, Broad Street, cofferdam, Court Street dam, downtown Rochester, Genesee River, old photos of Rochester, old photos of Rochester NY, Pat Welch, Rochester, Rochester NY, Tom Hack
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 21 Comments »
The following is a guest post submitted by an anonymous reader.
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If you’ve ever driven down the eastern end of Lyell Ave., or been to a soccer game at Sahlen’s Stadium, you’ve probably seen an enormous old shell of a building looming in the distance. Many times I had seen it’s old edifice sitting silent and, as I usually do, I wondered what the walls contained, what stories it could tell, and what it once was. That’s why one cool September morning I went to meet with the building and see what it could tell me…
Tags: abandoned, abandoned places, City of Rochester, Delco Appliance, Lyell Avenue, Northeast Electric Company, Orchard Street, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Sahlen’s Stadium, Sykes Datatronics, Whitney Street
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 36 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 Art + Culture, Rochester Images | No Comments »
My friend over at RocPX.com snapped this photo in the men’s room at the Rochester Public Market. Now, I know Rachel Barnhart and I consider her a good friend. So I really don’t want to spread rumors… NAAAH! That’s what the internet is for. Here’s what it says..
Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 13 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…
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 25 Comments »
Posted in Rochester Images, Rochester News | 7 Comments »
I happened to be walking by Eastman Business Park this week when I noticed workers messing with the big Kodak sign. My heart of skipped a beat as my first thought was, they must be taking the sign down. I know it’s just a sign. But it’s also part of our collective story. I’d be disappointed to see it go. So I stopped and asked one of the guys if this was the case…
Posted in Rochester News | 1 Comment »
In another, unrelated election race, Rochesterians are now asking if RochesterSubway.com has any shot of upsetting CITY Newspaper for Best Local Website of 2013 in CITY Newspaper’s own “Best Of” contest (on line #74).
Spoiler alert: The answer is NO! — N… O.
I mean, come on! It’s CITY’s own contest. This ain’t no mayoral race.
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 6 Comments »
The second part of The Biking in Rochester Series showcases the route from downtown to Lake Ontario, following the Genesee River Trail. It is 20 miles, roundtrip, from downtown to the end of the pier at Lake Ontario Beach Park and back. Actually, I’ll take us a bit further and ride along the lake shore, east to Sea Breeze – adding another 8 miles to the trip.
Although this route is not as consistently scenic as the first one, it has much better rewards, and you get more of a workout. We’ll pass by 3 waterfalls, 3 beaches, 3 lighthouses, and two piers out onto the big lake. The western portion of this route is on the Genesee Riverway trail, a mostly completely dedicated bike path such as the one on the canal. The eastern portion is on King’s highway/Goodman street…
Tags: Beach Avenue, bicycle path, bike path, Brewer Street, Colonel Patrick O'Rorke Memorial Bridge, Culver Road, downtown Rochester, Durand Eastman Park, Genesee Brewery, Genesee River, Genesee Riverway Trail, Goodman Street, hidden sidewalk, High Falls, Kings Highway, Kodak Research and Development, Lake Avenue, Lake Ontario, Lower Falls, Main Street, Maplewood Park, Middle Falls, Parkside Diner & Whispering Pines Miniature Golf, Pont De Rennes Bridge, Ryan Green, Seabreeze Amusement Park, secret sidewalk, Turning Point Park, Veterans Memorial Bridge
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Transit + Infrastructure | 23 Comments »
Welcome readers. I’m going on a slight deviation from my usual “Filling In” article to talk about the mean streets of Rochester. Let’s take a look at, eh, Main St. Yeah, Main St. What’s that looks like? Ok, well, there’s some tall(ish) buildings built to the street. There’s sidewalk, theoretically two driving lanes in each direction, and (supposedly) some street trees. If I were to give this street a grade, it would get an “in-complete.”
Oy, how I wish I could reconfigure things! Just pick stuff up and move it around. Maybe add a cycle track or a tree-lined median. Heh heh… can you say, STREET REMIX?!
Posted in Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 4 Comments »
This is the first in a series of photo tours aimed at encouraging people in the Rochester area—regardless of cycling ability—to get out and enjoy the plethora of trails we have. It is written as an introduction, although most people around here are probably already familiar with some of the trails. Disclaimer: I am not a local… and no where near a veteran cyclist!
Before we begin, I want to point out an advantage Rochester has over some of its upstate neighbors of similar size using Google maps… Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse/Central NY, Albany/Capital District. Granted, these maps are not 100% accurate. Nor are many of the paths paved. Still it helps give us an idea, in part, why Rochester was named the most bike friendly region in upstate New York (just barely making it on to the top 50 bike friendly cities in the USA ).
Tags: bicycle path, bike path, Bushnell's Basin, downtown Rochester, Erie Canal, Erie Canal Path, Erie Harbor Apartments, Fairport, Genesee River, Genesee Riverway Trail, Genesee Valley Park, Pittsford, Ryan Green, Schoen Place, Towpath Cafe, University of Rochester
Posted in Events, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 2 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 .
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | No Comments »
In just its third year the Greentopia Film Festival (September 10-15th) has grown to become the second largest documentary film festival in New York State. Filmmakers’ submissions to the 2013 event were triple the number of those received in 2012, coming in from 31 countries on six continents. Of those films selected as features, four will have their New York State premieres at Greentopia – revealing themselves to Rochester audiences even before New York City moviegoers can see them…
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Urban Development | 17 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