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Posts Tagged ‘old photos’...

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 | 6 Comments »

Powers Building, Main & State Streets, 1968

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The Powers Building at Main & State Streets, 1968. [PHOTO: Winters, via Library of Congress]
Check out this great photo of the Powers Building from 1968. Notice the workmen up on the ledge of the Mansard roof. Down at street level a shiny new, streamlined façade as been awkwardly forced on top of this 1869 building…

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Friday, February 28th, 2014
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 8 Comments »

Historic Rochester in 3D Stereoscope

Monday, November 25th, 2013

3D Stereogram of High Falls (c.1885) [PHOTO: Rochester Public Library]
From the 1850′s to the 1930′s stereograms were considered cutting edge home entertainment technology. Two photos taken at the same time from slightly different angles would be view together using a special set of lenses called a stereoscope. The result would be an ever so subtle (yet mind-tingling) simulated 3D view…

(more…)

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 5 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 »

Meet the Babcocks: A Typical American War Worker’s Family

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

The Babcocks, an American family. Rochester, NY. March, 1943. [PHOTO: Library of Congress]
Yesterday, the archival photo blog, Shorpy external link, shared a great photo of the Babcock family from Rochester NY. The image is one of a collection of 38 photographs external link by Ralph Amdursky for the U.S. Office of War Information. The series shows how the Babcocks, a “typical American war worker’s family,” lived in 1943 during the height of WWII…

(more…)

Sunday, January 27th, 2013
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester History, Rochester Images | 7 Comments »

Proof, Santa Is Real

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Two little girls have a chat with Santa in front of the Duffy-Powers Department Store on the corner of W. Main and Fitzhugh Streets, Rochester, NY. Printed in Rochester Herald, December 24, 1914. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone collection]
It’s December 24, 1914, and two fashionably dressed little girls have Santa Claus cornered at the entrance to a downtown Rochester department store. And they are absolutely spellbound. Be sure to click on this image for a closer look. If this is not the definition of the holidays I don’t know what is. I like to imagine what the girls were saying at this moment; “Hey shouldn’t you be at the North Pole making our toys?! … Can we swing from your beard? … You know, you don’t look nearly as fat in real life, Santa.”

Yes, I am forever grateful to you, Mr. Photographer, for capturing this moment in time. A moment which would have otherwise been lost somewhere in the ether, has been wrapped up and handed to us with a great big bow. Yes, Virginia, Santa is real. Oh, and if you’re wondering where exactly this conversation with Santa took place…

(more…)

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 4 Comments »

Today, December 11, in Rochester History: A Strange Sidewalk Accident

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

These men are standing around a hole in the sidewalk where John Hornby and James Kenney fell through on December 11, 1901. In the background is the Clemson Hotel, with Charles R. Holliger, proprietor, at 52 South Avenue. [PHOTO: Rochester Municipal Archives]
On December 11, 1901 this section of sidewalk on South Avenue played a cruel practical joke…

(more…)

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »

B. Forman Co.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

A view of the the fac̨ade of the B. Forman Co. store at 46-50 Clinton Avenue South. Christmas decorations are visible. c.1930. [PHOTO: Rochester Public Library]
For the past few days we’ve been doing some holiday window shopping at the old Sibley’s and McCurdy’s department stores. “But, WAIT! What about B. Forman’s?…” you say? Well, I searched around a bit, and though I wasn’t able to find many photos of window displays from B. Forman Co., fear not… I’ve got something you might like. Newspaper ads from December 18 – December 25, 1929! Don’t say I never gave you anything…

(more…)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 4 Comments »

Window Shopping at McCurdy & Co.

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The McCurdy & Norwell Company department store was located at 285-291 Main Street East, at the corner of Elm Street. The display windows are crowded with goods. The store occupied several attached buildings of various heights and styles. c.1901-1913 [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone Collection]
Do you remember window shopping at the big downtown department stores? Freezing cold holiday shoppers all pressed up against the plate glass like moths to a porch light. Dreams of sugar plums and reindeer and presents under the tree were fueled by these sparkling menageries of the latest and greatest stuff. The displays themselves were an art form; and drawing people in off the street was the ultimate goal. In all but our largest metros, scenes like these have been lost as retailers gradually moved to suburban malls. Yesterday we went window shopping at the old Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Co. department store. Today let’s browse a series of pictures (also from the Rochester Public Library) documenting some of the windows at McCurdy & Co. department store in downtown Rochester more than 70 years ago…

(more…)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | No Comments »

Window Shopping at Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Co.

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

An exterior view of Sibley's as seen at nighttime and decorated for Christmas. 1939. [PHOTO: Rochester Public Library]
Do you remember window shopping at the big downtown department stores? Freezing cold holiday shoppers all pressed up against the plate glass like moths to a porch light. Dreams of sugar plums and reindeer and presents under the tree were fueled by these sparkling menageries of the latest and greatest stuff. The displays themselves were an art form; and pulling people in off the street was the ultimate goal. In all but our largest metros, scenes like these have been lost as retailers gradually moved to suburban malls. This series of pictures from the Rochester Public Library documents some of the windows at Sibley, Lindsay and Curr Co. department store in downtown Rochester more than 70 years ago…

(more…)

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 9 Comments »

The Life and (Explosive) Death of Rochester’s Driving Park Bridge

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Driving Park Bridge and Lower Falls, c.1904
Last week we explored some of the caves in Rochester’s Genesee River gorge. While digging around for information about Lower Falls, I came across some great stuff on the nearby Driving Park Bridge. The bridge that you know today was built in 1989. But the previous bridge (shown above) had been there for nearly 100 years. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider its length of 717 feet, the icy Rochester weather, and the relentless spray from the Lower Falls below. Be sure to click on the image above for a much larger view. And check out the link at the end of this article to watch the explosive demolition of the old steel bridge in the 1980′s…

(more…)

Monday, November 19th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure | 10 Comments »

Left for Dead: Rochester’s Union Depot

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Rochester's NY Central (Bragdon) Station half demolished, c.1970? [PHOTO VIA: John R. Stewart]
I know I keep coming back to this over and over and over again. But I just can’t believe we intentionally reduced this once world-class rail station to rubble only so we could pay tens of millions 50 years later in an attempt external link to build a much smaller and less impressive imitation of what we once had.

I’m not going to say much more about it. I just wanted to share these recently found photos of Rochester’s half-demolished NY Central (Bragdon) Station. Like a decapitated, rotting corpse left to rot in public as a reminder of a brutal ‘auto’cracy. Most of the building was torn down in the 1960′s but one section stood like this for over a decade before it was finally removed altogether and replaced with the current Amtrak building in the mid to late 70′s. Oy, how painful…

(more…)

Friday, November 9th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 9 Comments »

State Takes Rochester Rail Station Project From City

Friday, October 26th, 2012

New York Central Railroad Station c.1905-1914 [PHOTO: Detroit Publishing via Library of Congress]
First, a little bit of history. The building shown above was one of Rochester’s earliest rail stations. Make sure you click to see all the great detail in the photo. It was located on Central Avenue between St. Paul & Clinton near the site of the current Amtrak Station. This view is looking west from Clinton Avenue, sometime between 1905-1914. In 1914 this station was replaced by the great Bragdon station in 1914, which was demolished in 1965…

(more…)

Friday, October 26th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 11 Comments »

Loew’s Theater: Rochester’s Other Lost Movie Palace

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Loew's Rochester Theatre, Rochester. On the marquee: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, Maria Dressler in “Anna Christie” and on stage Barto and Mann, Harry Girard’s Ensemble, and A. Robbins. Photo by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann. April 26, 1930. [PHOTO: George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann. Via Brad Smith's Flickr Stream]
Earlier this week a collection of photos of Rochester’s RKO Palace Theater was discovered thanks to the Rochester Theater Organ Society. Mixed in with those RKO Palace photos were a few interior shots of Rochester’s other lost movie palace… Loew’s Theater. So I thought it only fair to shine the spotlight on this one too. Loew’s Theater also happened to be on Clinton Avenue, just four or five blocks south of the RKO. Xerox Tower external link now occupies the spot. Take a look…

(more…)

Thursday, October 11th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 19 Comments »

Never Before Seen Photos of RKO Palace Theater

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Rochester's RKO Palace Theater during demolition. 1964. [PHOTO: D.O. Schultz / Rochester Theater Organ Society]
A few weeks after we discovered the RKO Palace Theater floor at the site of RGRTA’s future transit center, Russ Shaner, president of the Rochester Theater Organ Society external link contacted me. These were the guys who saved the old Wurlitzer pipe organ from the RKO Palace before the building was demolished. And as it turns out, one of their founding members, D.O. Schultz, captured a treasure trove of photographs and left them with the Organ Society before he moved to Florida years ago. Russ asked RochesterSubway.com for help, both archiving the photos, and sharing them with you, the public. Yesterday you saw part 1, and now, here is part 2 of this awesome collection…

(more…)

Sunday, October 7th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 11 Comments »

Never Before Seen Photos of RKO Palace Theater

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Rochester's RKO Palace Theater during WWII. Main entrance on Clinton Ave. 1942. [PHOTO: D.O. Schultz / Rochester Theater Organ Society]
A few weeks after we discovered the RKO Palace Theater floor at the site of RGRTA’s future transit center, Russ Shaner, president of the Rochester Theater Organ Society external link contacted me. These were the guys who saved the old Wurlitzer pipe organ from the RKO Palace before the building was demolished. And as it turns out, one of their founding members, D.O. Schultz, captured a treasure trove of photographs and left them with the Organ Society before he moved to Florida years ago. Russ asked RochesterSubway.com for help, both archiving the photos, and sharing them with you, the public. Below is part 1 of this awesome collection…

(more…)

Sunday, October 7th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 26 Comments »

Today, September 14, in Rochester History: The Seneca Hotel Opens

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The Seneca Hotel, 26 S. Clinton Avenue, south of E. Main Street on the east side of the street. The stores in front, left to right, are Laurabelle's Greeting Cards, Ringclear Hosery Co., and Rochester Cleaning & Dyeing Co. [PHOTO: Rochester Municiple Archives]
On September 14, 1908 a new 300 room hotel with ballroom, several dining rooms and meeting rooms opened its doors – right smack on the same spot where Windstream (Paetec) is constructing its new building today.

The following article was published in the New York Times on Monday September 14, 1908…

(more…)

Friday, September 14th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 13 Comments »

Snapshots of Rochester’s Labor Days

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Six unidentified female railroad workers pose at Lincoln Park Station. The railroad line is the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway Company. In 1917-1918, many jobs traditionally held by men were filled by women, while the men served in the Armed Services in World War I. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone Collection]
“I believe when we’re born into this world we’re entrusted with certain things. Our grandparents trust that we’ll work hard to keep and maintain the world that they’ve broken themselves to build. And our children need us to preserve it, and leave it a little bit better than how we inherited it. Preservation is often difficult. But in many ways it’s all we have to keep us grounded; as a society and as people. Future generations need to know what came before them. What was it that made this city great? Who designed and built this place? Who worked here and why? If we destroy the evidence, we cut our children off from the answers forever; and impede our own ability to progress.”

These are words I live by. They’re also the reason I keep this web site. While my family and I are enjoying this sunny Labor Day weekend on the shores of Lake Ontario, I’ll take pause to think about why we have it so damn good in this time and place. For me, the answer can be found in the portraits that follow. These are some of the men, woman, and even children who labored to make the way of life we enjoy today…

(more…)

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 6 Comments »

RGRTA Digs Up Rochester’s Old RKO Palace Theater

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The former RKO Palace Theater on Clinton Ave. It was partially unearthed this week by crews building the future RTS bus terminal.
There are few places Rochesterians talk about with such fondness as the old RKO Palace Theater that once stood on Clinton Avenue. Looking at old pictures, I can see why. The place was all dressed up and sparkled inside and out like a glitzy Vegas showgirl. But like many of Rochester’s brick and mortar beauties, she grew old, was chopped up into little pieces, and buried where she stood. All in the name of “urban renewal.” Fast forward fifty years. RGRTA breaks ground on a new bus terminal. And guess what shows up? That’s right – the skeleton of Rochester’s most beautiful movie theater…

(more…)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 95 Comments »

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