Ryan Green is a student at University of Rochester. Last month, after joining up with the University’s Urban Explorers (UrbEx ) club, he toured Rochester’s Times Square Building, formerly the Genesee Valley Trust Company . You probably know it by the enormous set of wings on top of it. Aside from maybe the Mercury statue, those “wings of progress” are easily the most recognizable element of Rochester’s skyline. And while they have a story all their own, there’s plenty more history to be found on the fourteen floors beneath.
Although the building is not open for public tours, Richard Calabrese Jr., who manages the property, says he likes touring the urban explorer group because of their genuine curiosity. Although, if a fundraising tour is requested, Calabrese says he’d consider that. “I have all kinds of history that I’ve learned over the years.” Ryan Green had such a good time touring the building, he wanted to share these photos, and his experience, with us…
J. Frank O’Connor, known by his clients and friends as “Scrappy” O’Connor, was a merchant tailor. After a long weekend of partying, he would be murdered during a drunken battle in his office (shown above) on the second floor of Rochester’s Sibley Building. O’Connor’s body was found about 6:00 p.m., Monday, August 28, 1922. These are actual crime scene photos by Albert R. Stone…
A much anticipated documentary on the prohibition era will air Sunday night on WXXI. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tell the story of “the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” which outlawed alcohol and tossed everything we thought we knew about America upside down.
The following is an excerpt from a 1992 edition of Rochester History magazine, edited by Ruth Rosenberg-Naparsteck, City Historian…
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.