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Posts Tagged ‘Rochester history’...

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 »

The First Snapshot of Rochester’s Buildings of Historic Value

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

A map of Rochester's Buildings of Historic Value [Thanks to: Jim Fraser and Joseph Becker]
Scientists have known of the existence of DNA for over fifty years. But until recently external link, no one had ever seen a photograph of that tricky little double-helix. For the preservation community in Rochester, the image above could be just as big of a breakthrough as photographing DNA for the first time. We had a fuzzy idea of their existence, but until today no one had ever seen a map of the city’s Designated Buildings of Historic Value (DBHV). And I mean NO ONE. Not even the people who put the list together…

(more…)

Thursday, January 24th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development | 10 Comments »

RochesterSubway.com Talks at TEDxRochester

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Mike Governale at TEDxRochester. Mike is a designer, blogger, and founder of a local public transit advocacy group, Reconnect Rochester. [PHOTO: Jeffrey Hamson]
Last November I had the ridiculously huge privilege to give a talk at TEDxRochester. The gravity of the honor may have been too much for my little brain to comprehend. In fact, when they initially asked me to do it I said “no thanks” – twice. Long story short, I gave in. And I’m glad I did, because the experience was one of those “once in a lifetime” things.

Since much of my talk was influenced by you, RocSubway readers and participants, I thought you’d like to watch (and share) the official video which has just been released. A word of caution: I’m not the most riveting public speaker, but there is lots of good stuff buried within this 12-minute presentation, so watch thru to the end if you can…

(more…)

Monday, January 21st, 2013
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 4 Comments »

Saving Car 60: The Last Passenger Car From Rochester’s Subway

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The last remaining Rochester subway car... #60. [PHOTO: Christopher Hauf, Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum]
Hopefully you caught yesterday’s story, “Rochester’s Adventure in Optimism” about the defunct Rochester subway. If you missed it give it a read. Originally published in the City Newspaper in 1983, the article mentioned the sole surviving subway car, car #60, and the effort to bring it back to Rochester and restore it to working order. Yesterday I received a more detailed explanation of those restoration efforts from Otto M. Vondrak, one of the trustees of the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Henrietta, NY. Here’s the story of subway car #60 from Otto…

(more…)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 2 Comments »

West Main Street. c1908?

Friday, January 11th, 2013

View of Main Street, Rochester, NY. c.1908. [PHOTO: Detroit Publishing Co. via Library of Congress]
Here’s one heck of a photo – Rochester’s Main Street around the turn of the last century. It was snapped from a fire escape at 102 W. Main, near the corner of N. Plymouth Avenue, looking east. Make sure you click on the image and zoom all the way in for all the incredible detail. Across the street you’ll notice some pretty major landmarks. The most obvious one being Hotel Rochester on the far right…

(more…)

Friday, January 11th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 16 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 »

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 »

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 | 10 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 | 24 Comments »

Back to Main Street

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Main Street Rochester. c.1908 [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone Collection]
The image above was printed in the Rochester Herald on October 10, 1908. This was Main Street looking east from the Four Corners on a busy day in October. The sidewalks are thronged with pedestrians. Several traffic police are standing at various spots in the intersection. A cluster of westbound trolleys, one labeled “Plymouth” and the other “Saratoga”, have stopped in their tracks. A few people are waiting to board, and others are crossing the street in front of the stopped cars. Several wagons, some covered, are traveling along the street. But then the trolley tracks were ripped up…

(more…)

Friday, September 28th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 70 Comments »

Where’s Cogswell?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

This was the corner of Main and Fitzhugh Streets (1884). Can you find Cogswell? [PHOTO: Rochester Public Library]
Often times while I’m doing research for a story, I’ll stumble upon something new and get completely sidetracked. Today I was digging for information on the Academy Building when I found the image above. It’s a shot of the Rochester Savings Bank building located at the corner of West Main and Fitzhugh. The Academy Building is to the immediate left of the bank. But forget the buildings for now. Do you see that strange little man standing in the lower left corner of the photo? That was actually a drinking fountain named Cogswell…

(more…)

Friday, September 21st, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images | 5 Comments »

Rochester’s Old Federal Building Should Go

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Old Federal Building (now City Hall). [PHOTO: Richard Margolis]
“Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a city landmark, the old Federal Building is considered a fine example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. No one’s particularly interested in using it, however, because inside it’s dark, gloomy, usually uncomfortable and just plain ramshackle. Blow it up. It’s an ugly thing…and not particularly interesting inside or out…It should be demolished. A modern, tax-producing building would be a better use for the site and would give more new life to that section of downtown…”

(more…)

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 10 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 | 10 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 »

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