The latest Midtown renderings from Buckingham Properties are a promising sign of things to come. Still, it’s difficult to ignore this 18-story skeleton which has been looming over Rochester’s streets since 2011. When most people look up at this hulking mass of steel and concrete they see a blemish on the Rochester skyline. But for one urban explorer, this is a photo op.
The same anonymous photographer who took us inside Terrence Tower and the Sykes Datatronics building, climbed to the tippy top of midtown last week. He submitted this collection of photos and the following narrative…
The shuttered National Clothing building on East Main and Stone Streets will soon be seeing new life as a Hilton Garden Inn. After reading the original post here I wanted to take an opportunity to expand on the history of the building and offer a more in-depth idea of what the rehabilitation entails. The $16 million project is being completed by DHD Ventures and is utilizing historic tax credits. The RBA Group of North Carolina is the project architect and Preservation Studios is providing all services relating to the historic tax credit program.
As some of you may or may not know, the city has finally released a Request for Proposals (RFP) on 88 Elm Street . Up front, here’s a link to the RFP , in case you run a development company, or if you’re Larry Glazer and you’re looking for another project to work on.
In any event, here’s some background on 88 Elm St. Somehow, despite being built sometime in the 60s, no one is exactly sure when 88 Elm St. was constructed, or where, exactly, it came from. You’d think that’d be impossible in this day and age, but it’s not. In 1998, the city decided it had enough of the owners of the property not paying their taxes and they took it. All well and good, except now it’s been empty for 15 years. It’s emptier than you might think. The city spent more than a million dollars on an asbestos abatement and a new roof. The building has no electrical system, no sprinkler system, no HVAC, no plumbing. It is a completely bare 13 story tower. That’s a bit of a rarity, and it could be yours for only $360,000. Apparently that’s the market rate for the 13-story husk of a building…
Welcome back! Last week we looked at a block that almost had it all. This week, let’s see what we can do on a much larger scale with a block that needs a little more work. A roughly 600’x600’ square mega block at the southern entrance to downtown. There are a few good things going on here; Geva Theater , Capron Lofts , Plan Architects . And, a few not so good; a sweeping highway off-ramp, a GIANT parking lot across the street from TWO garages, and random weedy surface lots…
Welcome to the first post in what will be an ongoing series called Filling In. One of the key elements of any great city is a tightly knit urban fabric. Whether you’re in New York City, San Francisco, or our own beloved Rochester, building an appealing city scape at a human, walkable scale promotes health, wealth, and wisdom. We’ve also learned that parks next to parks next to barren windswept plazas don’t put butts in seats, as they say. With that in mind, Filling In aims to explore vacant or underutilized pieces of Rochester in an effort to rebuild or strengthen our built environment. The aerial photo above was taken in 1929, when downtown was dense and energetic. And here is a reminder of what we’re up against…
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer and County Exec. Maggie Brooks announced that the Renaissance Square project will be moving ahead, with or without the performing arts center. $45 million would still need to be raised to build the theater, and at this point it looks like that money would need to be raised entirely with private donations — HIGHLY unlikely. So what exactly are we building? A new bus station (essentially a covered parking lot for buses). New classrooms for Monroe Community College. Oh, and a big grassy area where the performing arts center would have been.
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.