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Welcome, readers, to the first of a three part series on Charlotte. This first part will serve as an introduction to the series and a brief history of Charlotte. The second part will be a survey, in the engineering sense, of the current state of Charlotte. It will include the demographics of the neighborhood and the built environment, as they exist today. Finally, the third part will layout a vision for Charlotte that works to harness all of the potential of the neighborhood. This final part will be broken into recommendations for residential and commercial development, transportation, and governance.
The plans described here will be ambitious, but we shouldn’t let ourselves shy away from ambition – as you may know, Charlotte has recently been in the news over some redevelopment plans. While Filling-In believes both plans have virtues, they both have numerous weaknesses as well. Because we are unassociated with any of the plans currently in play, and will believe they are built when we see it, the plans presented here will assume they did not happen, and instead will show a different vision of Charlotte’s future.
No, the headline isn’t in reference to the recent controversy surrounding the port development. I wanted to take a look back, at the “good ole days,” when Ontario Beach was known as the Coney Island of central and western New York. Here’s a birds eye of view of all the shiny happy fun… The Dentzel carousel. The L.A. Thompson’s Scenic Railway. The Auditorium (a.k.a. the House of Hilarity). Such good times.
Then I noticed the peculiar site of smoke and flames in the background (click the image for a larger view). Holy smokes! Charlotte is burning! Somebody call 9-1-1!!
Ok, so by now you’ve heard all the commotion happening up near the port at Charlotte. The City of Rochester has two development proposals – one with 200 rental apartments, and one with 120 for-sale condos and 50 townhomes. Both would have retail and other mixed use space. But the BIG difference, one looks like Cornhill Landing, while the other would have—deep breath—tall buildings…
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…
When I first moved to Rochester’s Swillburg neighborhood thirteen years ago, my favorite place to eat was Highland Park Diner. I remember this Rochester Landmarks poster, by Richard Margolis, hung over one of the booths there. I used to stare and study those landmarks all the while shoveling Aunt Bee’s Homestyle Meatloaf into my face. Ah, my first taste of Rochester. Today I own that poster, and I’ve now been to all but one of the 38 landmarks on it. It’s a great feeling!
Now you can get your hands on a copy of this Landmark poster from the RochesterSubway.com Gift Shop, and start checking them off your list too. Can you name all 38 landmarks? No peeking! The answers are after the jump…
There are several insanely awesome events going on this weekend from the East End Fest to the Rally for Roc City Skate Park at High Falls. All very worthy and worthwhile. But there’s one that deserves a mention because of what it represents for our community.
Bill Moran of WCMF has set up a last minute family picnic and concert at Charlotte Beach to answer the beach park brawl that took place there last weekend on Memorial Day. The idea for Bill Moran came after the fights at Ontario Beach Park Monday night and the calls he got from his listeners. “One that stuck in my head is a guy that lives on Latta Road. This is his back yard and he said I’d rather drive 40 minutes to Sodus than come here. Let’s not be bullied out of here. The sum of our families is greater than the people who make bad decisions.”
He’s calling it “Rockin’ the Beach” — a park-wide picnic with lives bands and face painting for kids. See the event details on Facebook and RSVP to let your friends know you’ll be there.
Greetings from Rochester! Lately you may have noticed lots of old images stuck to the sides of the buildings downtown. The images are actually larger reproductions of old postcards—some a century old—and they pay homage to the gorgeous buildings that once lined Rochester’s streets. For the past two years I’ve been collecting a lot of these same vintage postcards. I like to say “vintage” instead of “old” because most of them are new to me – plus I can’t imagine these incredible images ever getting old in the other sense of the word.
Well, I finally did it. It was a monumental task but now you can flip thru my entire collection of vintage Rochester postcard images right from your computer. All 178 views – scanned, uploaded, and labeled for your viewing pleasure…
I grew up on the south shore of Long Island — about a half-mile walk from a Long Island Railroad station. As a teenager without a car I could leave my sheltered suburban Cape Cod style house, and in less than an hour be smack dab in the center of Manhattan. Not only that, but for just a dollar extra I could reach just about any corner of New York City’s five bouroughs by hopping on a subway car. Can you imagine if New York City had scrapped it’s subway in favor of a highway?!
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.