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Posts Tagged ‘urban explorers’...

Inside Rochester’s Abandoned Walters Psychiatric Building

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Inside the abandoned Walters psychiatric building. [IMAGE: Snoop Junkie - Rochester Urban Exploration Squad]
By Mike Governale

The complex of the Rochester Psychiatric Center external link (a.k.a. Rochester State Hospital or Monroe County Insane Asylum) is legendary among urban explorers and history fanatics alike. Originally built in the early 1800s as the Monroe County Almshouse (or poorhouse), new buildings and facilities were gradually added to care for the mentally ill.

Although the hospital still operates to this day, a few buildings were closed in the mid-1990s and now sit in various states of decay. One notable example we’ve explored previously is the towering 16-story Terrence Building which looms over Elmwood Avenue. Another is the sprawling Walters Building (originally known as the Orleans Building) which we’ll be exploring today…

(more…)

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 38 Comments »

Deep Inside Rochester’s Big Old Sibley Building

Monday, November 18th, 2013

The Sibley Building, Rochester NY. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
This former department store (Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Company) is truly massive. Rochester’s Sibley Building external link weighs in at over 1.1 million square feet (23 acres of floorspace) – easily the largest building in Monroe County.

WinnCompanies external link out of Boston now owns the property and plans to spend up to $200 Million over the next five years to bring it back to life as mixed-use space. Holy smokes, do these guys have their work cut out for them. You may have noticed new windows and awnings along Main Street? Some 2,000 windows have yet to be replaced.

Last week the UofR Urban Explorers Club went on a tour through the maze of hallways and spaces, from the dark sub-basement all the way up to the two massive water tanks on the tower rooftop…

(more…)

Monday, November 18th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 121 Comments »

A Tour of Rochester’s Times Square Building

Monday, January 7th, 2013

A photo of a photo of a man atop the Times Square Building, Rochester, NY. [PHOTO: Ryan Green]
Ryan Green is a student at University of Rochester. Last month, after joining up with the University’s Urban Explorers (UrbEx external link) club, he toured Rochester’s Times Square Building, formerly the Genesee Valley Trust Company external link. 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…

(more…)

Monday, January 7th, 2013
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration | 37 Comments »

Exploring the Caves of Rochester, NY

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Rico Cave in the Genesee River gorge near Lower Falls. [Flickr PHOTO: bobbybeans]
Just when I think I’ve done everything there is to do in Rochester, I discover another little hole in the wall. Literally. Check out these photos of what is unofficially known as “Rico Cave” near Lower Falls…

(more…)

Thursday, November 15th, 2012
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Urban Exploration, Video | 28 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 | 101 Comments »

That Night in the Subway Tunnel: “We felt we were being followed”

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Ever have that feeling someone, or something, is following you?
Last Halloween I posted a ghastly warning about the abandoned Rochester subway tunnel. That warning was sent to us by a reader who claimed he knew people who once lived and died in the tunnel, and that he now feels a strong “spiritual pressure” whenever he returns there.

Jeffrey’s not the only one who feels these strange vibes from the subway tunnel. RochesterSubway.com often receives stories like these from people who claim to have been followed, or chased, out of the defunct subway. Though rarely do we get to see physical evidence of the ghoulish bouncer.

Last week Aaron Killeen sent in this mysterious photo (shown below) and gave a spine-tingling account of a night inside the Rochester subway, which he says he and his friends will not soon forget…

(more…)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011
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Posted in Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 6 Comments »

Johnny Knoxville Uncovers Detroit’s Beautiful Ugly Side

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Knoxville takes us inside some beautiful ugly parts of Detroit such as Eastown Theater.

Johnny Knoxville may be a jackassexternal link but today he shows us that even ugly can be beautiful. In what is actually a 30 minute advertisement for Palladium Bootsexternal link, Knoxville turns urban explorer and takes for an eye-opening ride through some of the hardest hit areas of Detroit…

(more…)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 6 Comments »

Chris Luckhardt… Pro-Photographer. Canadian. Rochester Subway Explorer.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Chris Luckhardt shooting inside an abandoned train yard warehouse in Manchester, NY. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection external link full of urban exploration photos from all around the Great Lakes and several “rust belt” cities… with several shots from Rochester and the abandoned subway tunnel. Shot after shot revealed some pretty unique views of Rochester’s underground world plus other amazing abandoned structures. As it happens, the owner of these wonderfully gritty photo streams is Chris Luckhardt, organizer of the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris is also the creative force behind Motionblur Studios external link—a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.

Inside the abandoned Lee Plaza in Detroit, Michigan. This was Chris's first attempt at an HDR composition that included a person. (photo: Chris Luckhardt)

Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Chris Luckhardt’s creative exploration has driven him from New Foundland to Pheonix in search of forgotten places—strangely spiritual, places we’re not ‘supposed’ to go. I contacted Chris to find out a little more about these photos and what enticed him to visit the bowels of downtown Rochester…

ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Hi Chris, I noticed you have a couple of nice shots of the abandoned Rochester Subway. How often do you visit the subway tunnel? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your photos?

Chris Luckhardt is the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris says he lives a life of 'creative exploration.'CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society external link. The group, founded in February 2005, specializes in urban exploration (mostly around the Great Lakes region) and photo walks (mostly in Toronto). I’m currently west of Toronto in Cambridge, Ontario. Rochester was the first US city I visited strictly for urban exploration. I have lots of photos and video from inside the [Rochester] subway. I’ve been down there 5 times in the past 4 years, the last time being a couple of months ago. I also have lots of SD and HD video, but I haven’t processed anything yet.

(more…)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
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Posted in Art + Culture, Interviews, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Urban Exploration | 6 Comments »

A Ghastly Warning from the Abandoned Rochester Subway

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

This Rochester Streetcar and Subway weekly pass from October 1935 wishes riders a 'Happy Halloween'.

Okay so Halloween is fast approaching. I hate the stinking day myself for reasons I won’t get into. But I recognize that most people like a good ghost story so I thought I’d share this. I regularly ask people to send us personal stories and experiences from the Rochester Subway and last summer an individual named Jeffrey Smith sent us a rather blunt warning about the abandoned subway tunnel. Claiming it to be hallowed ground, Jeffrey warns, “Leave it alone, don’t mess with it. It is fine the way it is, we don’t want your stupid shops or anything like that in it. I refuse to go within 100 yards of any of the entrances because of the strong spiritual pressure I feel going there…”

(more…)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories | 6 Comments »

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