This week’s Fun Foto Friday is a snapshot from 1893. That’s Nick Brayer, an engineering contractor working on a new sewer beneath Front Street in downtown Rochester. In his hands is a tin box. It’s not a sewer pipe. It’s actually a time capsule and he’s preparing to lay it at the project site to be buried. Looks like quite the event; a crowd of neighborhood kids have formed behind him to get in on the photo op.
Fast forward to 2015 and the burning question for readers of this blog will undoubtedly be: Where is this capsule now? And what’s inside…
With all of the recent flooding in our area, RocSubway reader Michael Delaney wrote in and suggested, “a great idea for an article would be about the history of flooding in Rochester and the civil engineering that has gone into solving the issue. Beyond the dams, I’ve heard that there are huge storm sewer tunnels underneath the city. It would be very interesting to know more about it.”
Situated at the intersection of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, Rochester’s geography has blessed—or cursed—us with a long long history of great floods. Before the construction of the Mount Morris Dam (1948-1952) records indicate the City of Rochester had experienced severe flooding about every seven years between 1865 and 1950. Talk about a pesky problem.
Digging into all of the engineering marvels that have spared modern Rochesterians from most of these high waters could easily span many pages. And I promise to dedicate future posts on the subject. But for now, I want to show just how bad this problem was by highlighting just one flooding disaster that occurred in late March, 1913…
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.
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NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.