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Toast Our Region on the Niagara Wine Train

September 17th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff | No Comments »

A new way to enjoy Rochester's wine trails, Niagara Wine Trail Train Excursions will begin on September 27. [PHOTO: Mike Dorofy]
By Mike Governale

The Niagara Wine Trail—right in our backyard—features 20 wineries and stretches from Lewiston to Rochester, along the Niagara Escarpment and the Lake Ontario shore. This region has been quickly gaining national attention for the variety and quality of its wines, including late-harvest, ice, and traditional vinifera. Now you can experience the Niagara Wine Trail in true style; via train…

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Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism

September 15th, 2014
Posted in Events, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

Benjamin Ross event flyer.
By Mike Governale

On Monday, September 29, Reconnect Rochester will host a discussion with author and transit advocate Benjamin Ross. Mr. Ross will be at the Public Library on Monroe Ave. at 6:30 p.m. to talk about his new book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism.

Ross was the head of Maryland’s Action Committee for Transit external link during much of its long fight to build a light rail line outside Washington, D.C. After a 25-year battle, the Purple Line will begin construction next year…

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Rochester Subway Tunnel To Be Sealed Off By Luxury Apartments

September 8th, 2014
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 26 Comments »

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]
By Mike Governale

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…

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Reimagining Rochester’s Underground

August 31st, 2014
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 15 Comments »

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…

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New at Parkleigh, a Bright Piece of Rochester Retail History?

August 26th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 9 Comments »

This chandelier at Parkleigh once hung inside B. Forman Co. in downtown Rochester, NY. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
Here’s a fun little history mystery that I could use your help with. Jeannine Klee, owner of Parkleigh on Park Avenue recently acquired this Venetian glass chandelier from a friend who claims it once hung inside the original B. Forman Co. department store in downtown Rochester. The fixture, now on display above the candy counter at Parkleigh, is quite beautiful. But, could it really be from B. Forman Co.?

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City of Rochester Seeks Food Truck Feedback

August 19th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester News | 33 Comments »

Pizza Stop. State State, Rochester. [PHOTO: non-euclidean photography, Flickr]
Last week I grabbed lunch at Pizza Stop – one of my absolute, hands down, favorite food joints in Rochester. After placing my order and (stepping promptly to the right) I noticed a petition* taped to the countertop. It was asking the City of Rochester to provide compensation to downtown merchants who lost business during a lunchtime food truck/cart event external link the week before. The petition argued that the City’s promotion of the food trucks caused nearby brick & mortar shops to lose money…

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Closure of Route 52 “Really Gets My Goat”

August 10th, 2014
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 11 Comments »

RGRTA announced that it would pull the plug on cross-town route 52.
Many transit loving Rochesterians, put off by the RTS “hub and spoke” system, have long clamored for the convenience of crosstown routes. The new Route 52 answered those calls by connecting the Park Ave neighborhood with the University of Rochester Medical Center (via Goodman and Elmwood) without having to stop and transfer downtown. The new route had many of us excited external link.

But after less than a year of service, RGRTA said Route 52 drew too few customers external link to keep it going. And a little over a week ago, RGRTA announced that it would pull the plug…

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The Bath House at Durand Eastman Beach

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

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…

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Renovation Underway for South Wedge Landmark

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

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…

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

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

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…

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Abandoned Girl Scout Camp Beech-Wood

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

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…

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Double Jeopardy for Historic Rochester Church

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

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…

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Rochester Contemporary’s 6×6 Art Show: 2014 Picks from Curator Bleu Cease

July 7th, 2014
Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | No Comments »

Don't miss this year's 6x6 Art Show at Rochester Contemporary Art Center!
The 7th “6×6″ art exhibition is going on right now at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) external link. 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 external link 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…

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High Falls Repaints Old “Ghost Signs”

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

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…

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