Welcome, readers, to the first of a three part series on Charlotte. This first part will serve as an introduction to the series and a brief history of Charlotte. The second part will be a survey, in the engineering sense, of the current state of Charlotte. It will include the demographics of the neighborhood and the built environment, as they exist today. Finally, the third part will layout a vision for Charlotte that works to harness all of the potential of the neighborhood. This final part will be broken into recommendations for residential and commercial development, transportation, and governance.
The plans described here will be ambitious, but we shouldn’t let ourselves shy away from ambition – as you may know, Charlotte has recently been in the news over some redevelopment plans. While Filling-In believes both plans have virtues, they both have numerous weaknesses as well. Because we are unassociated with any of the plans currently in play, and will believe they are built when we see it, the plans presented here will assume they did not happen, and instead will show a different vision of Charlotte’s future.
No, the headline isn’t in reference to the recent controversy surrounding the port development. I wanted to take a look back, at the “good ole days,” when Ontario Beach was known as the Coney Island of central and western New York. Here’s a birds eye of view of all the shiny happy fun… The Dentzel carousel. The L.A. Thompson’s Scenic Railway. The Auditorium (a.k.a. the House of Hilarity). Such good times.
Then I noticed the peculiar site of smoke and flames in the background (click the image for a larger view). Holy smokes! Charlotte is burning! Somebody call 9-1-1!!
Ok, so by now you’ve heard all the commotion happening up near the port at Charlotte. The City of Rochester has two development proposals – one with 200 rental apartments, and one with 120 for-sale condos and 50 townhomes. Both would have retail and other mixed use space. But the BIG difference, one looks like Cornhill Landing, while the other would have—deep breath—tall buildings…
For the past few weeks workers have been attacking a 100 ton hunk of slag that was discovered at the Port of Rochester last spring. Yesterday I noticed the giant plume of smoke from the O’rorke Bridge and made my way down to the scene of this epic battle. When the dust settles, who will remain standing? Man? Or The Slag?
How’s this for a summertime Fun Foto Friday? This is Robert Pernell. He’s a sand artist. Or was. This photo was printed in the Rochester Herald on August 6, 1922. Robert used to entertain the crowds at Charlotte Beach with his larger-than-life creations…
David DiPonzio, a firefighter with the Lake Shore Fire District in Greece, sent me these photos (taken by friend Fred Amato) of a strange-looking crater in the middle of the parking lot at Ontario Beach Park. An asteroid? Uh, not quite. This may be the most interesting archeological find since RGRTA dug up the RKO Palace. That big rock you see in the center of the crater is actually a giant hunk of slag – left over from the iron or steel mill that once operated here…
With all of this amazing summer weather lately, I’ve taken the opportunity to enjoy some long bike rides up and down the lower Genesee River Gorge. A few nights ago I made my way all the way up to the beach at Charlotte via Lake Ave and took the bendy turn onto Beach Avenue. Not too far beyond the Ontario Beach Pavilion I noticed the sidewalk diverges from the street, making a rather abrupt turn between some very handsome looking beachside homes. So, I followed it. And I left the city of Rochester far, far behind…
If you’re a snow bunny like me, this winter had been pretty darn cruel until today. Over the past 24 hours Rochester got nearly as much snow as it’s seen all season—and it landed just in time for the 2012 Lakeside Winter Celebration at Ontario Beach. We weren’t able to stick around for the wagon rides and the snow sculpting contest, but I did catch the good part—THE POLAR PLUNGE! If you got stuck at home digging out and missed the action, here’s a short video…
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.