Last week Justin Schmidt sent us this incredible old illustration of Rochester Savings Bank. Justin writes, “I thought you would enjoy this; in my collection of Rochester ephemera, I came across this page in The American Architect (Sept. 20, 1928 issue) that shows the ‘complete’ design for the old Rochester Savings and Loan building. I never knew it was incomplete!”
I’ve always been a fan of Rochester Subway content which looks at our city from a different angle. I thought I might contribute something in turn, that looks at our city from an aerial angle.
I noticed this week that Google Earth had updated its imagery to include snapshots from as early as a month ago. It is now possible to follow a lot of tangible changes that have been going on in the city for a while. I put together a handful of before-and-afters that I thought were interesting (to me anyway). Take a look at the album and see if you can spot the differences…
Last week we paid a final visit to the abandoned Sykes Datatronics building on Orchard Street . This week we take a look at recent work submitted by RIT Architecture students that reimagines this former industrial site as a new and robust community center…
Last week, Carnegie Place was largely destroyed by fire. Its life spanned some of the most crucial and drastically changing times in Rochester’s history. I had a chance to stop by after the fire and take some photographs of a building I have always enjoyed; in a part of town that was vibrant and still is the heart of the arts movement in Rochester…
While Buckingham Properties is hard at work breathing new life into Rochester’s old Ward Plumbing Supply building at 739 South Clinton Avenue a group of RIT architecture students is simultaneously using the project to test their own chops. The wild concepts the students came up with are fun to compare with the actual project…
Next month Rochester’s transportation authority, Regional Transit Service (RTS) will open a new $50 million transit center at Mortimer Street in downtown Rochester. According to a D&C story RTS has requested that the City change the name of Mortimer Street to “RTS Way.” Mortimer Street has quietly existed between N. Clinton Ave and Saint Paul Street since Rochesterville was incorporated in 1817.
I’ve spent the last five years of my life advocating for Rochester’s public transit system and building a good working relationship with folks at RTS. That’s why I know they will take what I’m about to say as constructive criticism, and nothing more. Here it goes:
Renaming Mortimer Street after yourself is a bad idea. Don’t do it!! Now, let me explain…
Rochester is a city with a rich history that has experienced a steady decline in population, quality of life, and reputation. Despite this the city has many proud residents who are not satisfied with the status quo. Due to repeated failures we’re skeptical of large projects. This environment of pride mixed with skepticism has produced a generation of Rochester supporters who embrace progressive ideas, respect history, and proceed with caution. My personal contribution is a plan to establish a large State University in Downtown Rochester. We’ll call it SUNY Rochester.
Over the years there have been many proposals for the reuse of Rochester’s abandoned subway tunnel. Some would like to see the tunnel preserved and turned into a living museum open to the public. Others would like to turn back the hands of time even further, converting the tunnel back into a water canal – as it was part of the Erie Canal pre-1920s.
Even today as the City continues to take steps towards the latter option, new ideas continue to surface. The most recent concept comes from RIT’s architectural program, and a very interesting student project being called the ROC Low Line…
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…
As an artist, I think I maybe I see things in the world around me that other people can’t or just don’t want to. I find myself squinting all the time; trying to imagine what could be. I can’t look at a paper cup without imagining what it might become if Jonathan Ive had his way with it. I know there are a lot of people who probably see 72 Conkey Avenue as nothing more than an eyesore; and then there are people like me who see something different. And that boys and girls, is why there’s Photoshop…
If I said Rochester may one day have a rapid transportation system linking RIT to downtown Rochester and beyond, you might automatically think ‘light rail’. Think again. RochesterSubway.com recently discussed the future of Rochester’s transportation infrastructure with Richard Perrin, Executive Director of the Genesee Transportation Council and an AICP certified city planner.
NOTE: If you’ve got a question that we didn’t ask in our interview, please leave a comment at the end of this post and we’ll pass it along to Mr. Perrin who will do his best to answer it as time permits.
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.