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All the controversy over whether or not to demolish the 120 year-old brewhouse at 13 Cataract Street got us thinking. Those in favor of demolishing the building say it’s an eyesore and a haven for drug dealers; even prostitutes. So, just remove the building and our problems go away.
Tonight the Preservation Board and Planning Commission will hear public comments and decide whether or not 13 Cataract will join the ranks of the reborn, or go the way of Rochester’s Bragdon Station and others.
Rendering of renovated buildings and GardenAerial trail
I realize that sometimes it’s a bit difficult to see the potential in something. Especially when that “potential” is hidden beneath layers of mustard yellow paint, rusty corrugated siding, and 25+ years of plain old tired…
The way things look now (click for larger views)
Why, just the other day Howard S. Decker, FAIA said, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer Holder.” Mr. Decker is former Principal of DLK Architecture (Chicago) and former Chief Curator of the National Building Museum (Washington DC). He knows a thing or two about buildings, and places that are worth saving for future generations. His highly experienced eyes see the potential in 13 Cataract Street and the neighborhood it lives in.
But what about the rest of us? How can we be sure this building is worth the money and effort it will take to bring it back to life? What is the alternative to demolition? And will we lose our Brewery Visitor Center if we don’t tear this other building down??
Let’s start with an excerpt taken from a document filed by the Landmark Society in 1984 with the New York State Parks and Recreation Division for Historic Preservation…
A much anticipated documentary on the prohibition era will air Sunday night on WXXI. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the story of “the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” which outlawed alcohol and tossed everything we thought we knew about America upside down.
The following is an excerpt from a 1992 edition of Rochester History magazine, edited by Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck, City Historian…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.