Within the last year I have written a great deal about cities and the historic buildings they should be obligated to see maintained. Many cities cannot, will not, or do not want to penalize or fine the industrial and commercial property owners who fail to maintain the buildings within their care. Often what happens is that these neglected buildings are then demolished because they are supposedly beyond repair or structurally unsound.
It should be noted that buildings are rarely too far gone, even when roofs are missing and the “elements” have begun to reek havoc, and that often these very buildings are “structurally sound.”
Historic buildings are under attack, especially in Western New York. Indeed, the month of May is potentially the saddest month locally for historic structures in recent memory. Within a short time, the Otisca Brewery building in Syracuse, the Cataract Brewery buildings in Rochester, and the Bethlehem Steel North Office Building in Lackawanna will be gone—ashes on the dust heap that is our shoddy collective memory. All of these buildings were once useful—integral, in fact—pieces of our industrial past. Soon, these structures will be removed, thus helping three communities to ponder if they were ever part of the “rust belt.”
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.