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Posts Tagged ‘history of Rochester’...

Murder, In the Barroom, With the Potato Peeler

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Wulff's Hotel, at the corner of State and Factory Streets in Rochester; the scene of a notorious murder on December 18, 1920. [IMAGE: From the Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester, NY.]
By Mike Governale

While doing research for a recent story on the Rochester Marshmallow Company, we came across another interesting story right around the corner. This one had nothing to do with marshmallows. Wulff’s Hotel (shown above) at the corner of State and Factory Streets, was the scene of a notorious murder case…

(more…)

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 2 Comments »

View of Downtown Rochester from Kodak Tower

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

View of downtown Rochester from Kodak tower. [IMAGE: Rochester Public Library Local History Division]
By Mike Governale

Here is a neat view I came across while rummaging around in the Local History Department at the Rochester Public Library. The image is of State Street with downtown Rochester in the background, taken from one of the top floors of Kodak tower…

(more…)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 7 Comments »

Inside the Abandoned Vacuum Oil Refinery

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Abandoned Vacuum Oil building. Flint Street, Rochester, NY. [IMAGE: Snoop Junkie]
By Snoop Junkie

Welcome to the old Vacuum Oil plant on the west bank of the Genesee River in Rochester’s Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood. Abandoned for nearly a century, there has been very little desire to re-develop this 26-acre site due to contamination. Now, the City of Rochester is aiming to use New York State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas program external link to clean it up and plan for its future redevelopment. But as of today, this property is still highly toxic. And you guessed it—we’re going inside…

(more…)

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 18 Comments »

A History of the Charlotte Lighthouse

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

The Charlotte lighthouse in summer, 2014. [PHOTO: Joanne Brokaw]
By Joanne Brokaw

If there’s a cemetery tour happening in Rochester, you can be sure I’m there. For anyone interested in local history, there’s no better place to find unusual stories and bits of trivia, and I’m fascinated by the history buried all around us.

A few weeks ago, the City of Rochester hosted the annual Genesee River Romance weekend external link celebrating the Genesee River and its surrounding trail and gorge system. In 2014, I took full advantage of the weekend of events that include tours of the old subway and aqueducts, the Rundel Library, the Falls, and cemeteries. Somehow, I missed the adverts for this year’s event, so I only had time to catch one thing: the tour of Charlotte Cemetery…

(more…)

Sunday, November 8th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Remembering the Old Rochester Monroe County Airport and Murals

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Do you remember the mural at the old Rochester Monroe County Airport? A reader asked if we could share photos of it. [IMAGE: Rochester Public Library Local History Division]
By Mike Governale

I received an email last week from George Conboy, Chairman of Brighton Securities. He asks, “Have you seen anywhere a photo of the transportation mural that was behind the long ticket counter at the old airport? I remember it as a vaguely Art Deco theme of general transportation with an emphasis, of course, on air transport.”

Mr. Conboy explained that he used to fly a lot during the “glory days” of air travel back in the 1960s when he was a kid. “I just liked that old mural. I used to see it all the time and it has always been in my mind.”

This is a great question. I had been told of this mural before but have never seen it myself. Photos of it online are practically non-existent, so this one will require some digging…

(more…)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Art + Culture, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure | 12 Comments »

The Glen House – Rochester’s First Water-side Retreat

Monday, April 27th, 2015

In 1870 Ellwanger & Barry (and other wealthy investors) owned a spot along the west bank of the Genesee River gorge known as Maple Grove. At the time, the Lake Avenue streetcar line stretched all the way to this point, and in an effort to stimulate traffic on the trolley line, they had built Rochester's first water-side resort; the Glen House. [PHOTO: 'Rochester's Lakeside Resorts and Amusement Parks' by Donovan Schilling]
By Mike Governale

In 1870 Ellwanger & Barry (and other wealthy investors) owned a spot along the west bank of the Genesee River gorge known as Maple Grove. At the time, the Lake Avenue streetcar line stretched all the way to this point, and in an effort to stimulate traffic on the trolley line, they had built Rochester’s first water-side resort; the Glen House…

(more…)

Monday, April 27th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 8 Comments »

Canal Break!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Looking north through the gap in the north wall of newly completed Barge Canal. A break occurred at Bushnell's Basin on May 19, 1911. [PHOTO: Perinton Municipal Historian collection]
By Mike Governale

On May 19, 1911, a 150 foot long break occurred in the wall of the New York State Barge Canal at Bushnell’s Basin. Construction on this section of canal had just been completed eight days earlier.

According to an article in the Monroe County Mail, it was a canal worker, John McCarthy, who at 4pm discovered water pouring through a narrow crack in the canal bank…

(more…)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »

Campaign to Restore Rochester Subway Car 60 Kicks Off Sunday

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

The last remaining Rochester subway car #60. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
You may recall last year when Otto Vondrak told us the story of how the sole survivor of the Rochester subway fleet, Car 60, found its way home to Rochester. Since 1998 the car has been at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum awaiting restoration. To be perfectly honest, most of the volunteers who were involved in its return to Rochester passed on, putting restoration efforts on the back burner. But now, finally, this Sunday the museum will kick off a fundraising (and awareness building) campaign to restore Rochester Subway Car 60 for the public to enjoy once again…

(more…)

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway | 1 Comment »

Rochester’s Great Flood(s)

Monday, May 19th, 2014

A large crowd is gathered on Front Street to look at the flood at the other end of the street. Varlan's Hotel, Rosenberg's Pawnshop, Charles Adam's Sons Grinding, J.G. Zweigle's Sons, W.T. Bridle Furniture, William Pigeon Shoes, Hyman Davis Shoes, Genesee Provision Company, Myers Department Store, and the F.H. Loeffler Company are visible in the photo. March, 1913. [IMAGE: Albert R. Stone]
With all of the recent flooding external link 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…

(more…)

Monday, May 19th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 12 Comments »

1920’s Photo of Rochester Subway Construction

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Rochester Subway, Broad Street tunnel construction. c.1925. [IMAGE: Rochester Municipal Archives]
Today’s Fun Foto Friday is this 1920’s view of the Erie Canal aqueduct looking east. You’re looking at the covering over the old canal which would soon become Broad Street and the Rochester Subway beneath. In the background (center) is the Osburn House hotel. Eventually Broad Street would be extended eastward, right through that hotel. The stairwell to the City Hall subway station can be seen at the street corner. And next to the stairs, notice the construction site…

(more…)

Friday, December 6th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Hope for Pulaski Library

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Rochester is trying to save the vacant Pulaski Library before it's too late. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
Last winter the City of Rochester made a Hail Mary pass to save the historic Pulaski Library. They posted an offer external link to sell the vacant building for a thousand dollars to anyone with a serious plan to fix it up. I’m not sure how many proposals were submitted, but I’ve learned that Providence Housing Development Corporation external link has been given the green light.

[ Take a look inside Pulaski… ]

Providence Housing has worked on similar adaptive reuse projects such as Paul Wolk Commons on State Street, and the Holy Rosary Apartments external link on Dewey. Although Pulaski may be smaller, it could prove to be a much bigger challenge…

(more…)

Monday, July 22nd, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Sand Sculpting at Charlotte Beach, 1922

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Robert Pernell stands next to a life-sized lion he has sculpted from sand in Charlotte. Printed in Rochester Herald, August 6, 1922.
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…

(more…)

Friday, June 28th, 2013
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 2 Comments »

Local History Classes at New “Rochester Brainery”

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Rochester Brainery
Danielle Raymo and Stephanie Rankin, two recent college grads, have just opened a new and exciting business in Village Gate. Rochester Brainery brings fun and affordable learning experiences to the public with sort of a no-strings attached philosophy. They seek out people in the community to come in and run educational workshops on various topics of interest, and anyone can sign up to take a class…

(more…)

Friday, March 29th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News | 3 Comments »

Historic Brighton Village

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Former site of historic Brighton Village. March, 2010. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
This weekend, Wegmans closed their current East Avenue store so they could transition into their new, larger building external link. The new store replaces a historic area that was once the center of Brighton in the 19th century. The old Village of Brighton was served by the Erie Canal (now I-490). The canal was rerouted in the early 20th century and the entire area was annexed to the City of Rochester in 1905…

(more…)

Monday, February 25th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 18 Comments »

Inside the Pulaski Library

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Inside Rochester's Pulaski Library. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
Rochester’s Pulaski Library (originally the Hudson Avenue branch) was the second permanent library constructed by the City. As explained here external link, the library was closed in 1994, and has sat unused until last week when the City opened the doors to potential buyers. If you’re interested, the City wants your proposal external link by March 4. $1,000 to buy it, but you’ve got to show you’ve got a serious plan to rehab the property. Historic tax credits and grants could help take a bite out of the million dollars it could cost you when all is said and done. If you missed the open house, here’s a look inside…

(more…)

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Urban Development | 15 Comments »

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