Here’s a quick update on a story we brought attention to exactly five years ago. On this empty lot (shown above) once stood 72 Conkey Avenue. The old 19th century Victorian storefront had been the subject of a demolition-vs-rehabilitation debate—one between the City of Rochester and neighborhood resident, Jim Fraser, who has restored a handful of neglected homes in the area. Jim saw 72 Conkey as a diamond in the rough…
Posts Tagged ‘urban renewal’...
Tags: 14621, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, demolition, historic preservation, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 8 Comments »
Last summer Rochester developer and restauranteur, John Tachin called up RocSubway with a history mystery for us to solve. After four months of digging, we came up empty. But here’s hoping maybe YOU can help us solve the case of the stone lions.
Cue the Pink Panther Theme Song , this one’s a doozy…
Tags: Benvenuto Brothers, Benvenuto Wrecking Company, corbel, demolition, John Tachin, Lake Avenue, lintel, lion head, local history, mystery, Rochester history, stone lion, urban renewal
Posted in Architecture, Art + Culture, Rochester History, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 33 Comments »
As some of you may or may not know, the city recently released a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of another piece of the Midtown site. Parcel 5 , the site in question, is the very long block from Main St to Elm St and between the Windstream building to the west and 1 East Avenue (Bank of America) to the east. Let’s go back to our trusty Midtown site plan for a visual…
Tags: architecture, City of Rochester, downtown Rochester, Filling In, Main Street, Matthew Denker, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Rising, New York City, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban development, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Urban Development | 21 Comments »
The GardenAerial project could one day transform High Falls – Rochester’s oldest neighborhood. A landscaped pedestrian trail is planned to be built all the way around the rim of the gorge. Pre-existing structures & trails would be converted into multi-use public green spaces. And if all goes according to the vision, the entire area (in and around the gorge) could become New York’s first EcoDistrict . But this is not an initiative led by City Hall. The idea was brought to the table by two Rochester residents, and is now being advanced by their non-profit, Friends of the GardenAerial.
The first phase of the GardenAerial project will be funded in part by this this online campaign . But there’s only one week left and $6,600 still to raise. In a recent comment to RochesterSubway.com, city resident Jim Fraser explains why crowdsourced projects like this are critical to the future of our city…
Tags: crowdsourcing, GardenAerial, High Falls Visitor Center, Inner Loop, Jane Jacobs, Jim Fraser, Midtown Plaza, Rochester, Rochester NY, suburban sprawl, urban renewal
Posted in Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester History, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
I can’t put my finger on it but for some reason this little building in an all-but-forgotten part of our city has claimed a big spot in my heart. Maybe because it’s human nature to root for the underdog? Maybe I see the story of Rochester being played out as some sort of metaphor—it’s storied past and it’s uncertain future? And so we fight—with everything we’ve got—to turn the tide.
Tags: Bret Garwood, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Rochester, Rochester Fire Department, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
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…
Tags: Bill Johnson, Bret Garwood, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, Evergreen Street, Genesee Land Trust, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, photo, Photoshop, Project Hope, Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »
Yesterday the little boarded up Victorian house on Conkey Avenue caught the attention of Rachel Barnhart, reporter for WHAM 13 News. And for all of my ranting and raving on this site, I could never have told the story as eloquently as she…
Tags: Bret Garwood, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, Evergreen Street, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Project Hope, Rachel Barnhart, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization, WHAM
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development, Video | No Comments »
If you responded to my plea last week and sent an email to Bret Garwood asking him to stop the demolition of 72 Conkey Avenue, I offer you my sincerest appreciation. As “coincidence” would have it, less than a week after that post on RochesterSubway.com the City Fire Department used the 1879 Victorian building to hold a training session. The photo above was taken on October 18. Now there are great big gaping holes where there was once a roof.
Is this really happening? I know Mr. Garwood received dozens of emails from RocSubway readers, members of Reconnect Rochester, and myself. I can’t help but ask myself is this act in response to those letters? Is the City reading our letters and giggling to themselves? Come to think of it, I didn’t receive a response to the email I sent last week… did you?
Tags: 19th Ward, Bret Garwood, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, Evergreen Street, Genesee Land Trust, Genesee Street, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Project Hope, Rochester, Rochester Fire Department, Rochester Jewish Orphan Asylum, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »
Jo and Jim are quite a remarkable pair. She is a retired school teacher. He works for a company that makes all kinds of machine parts, gauges, and valves. Together they represent nothing short of divine intervention for the City of Rochester.
See, Rochester has a ‘list’. On that list are 200 properties, residential and commercial, that have been given the death sentence. These buildings are on the City’s Demolition List—a list that is only growing. There are some 2,800 vacant structures in Rochester today. If they were all torn down not a single neighborhood would be untouched—though some neighborhoods have more than their share of deteriorating buildings. I myself pass through the northern section of Saint Paul Street everyday on my way to work. Not a day goes by that I don’t think to myself, “gosh darn I wish I could save that old building.” Or “golly gee I wish I could buy that old house and fix it up.”
Tags: Bret Garwood, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, Evergreen Street, Genesee Land Trust, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Project Hope, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 14 Comments »
About a year ago I had the awesome pleasure of riding Seattle’s new South Lake Union Streetcar—a 1.3 mile line that opened in December 2007. Peep this video from Streetfilms.org. Seattle’s state-of-the-art streetcar line features real time arrival message boards, solar-powered ticket vending machines, and human-activated doors to save energy while the train is in layover mode. And check this out, you can find out the next arrival time and actually watch the streetcars moving via GPS trackers all from the Seattle Streetcar web site.
But what has this hi-tech investment done for the South Lake Union neighborhood? For one thing, a Whole Foods Market moved in—downtown Seattle’s first full service supermarket in decades. Plus, new condos, mixed-use development, and Amazon.com’s brand new world headquarters. That’s impressive.
Oh and while I was there I made sure to ride the monorail ! You know I love you Rochester, but I had some serious reservations about returning fromthat trip.
See also Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line.
Tags: Amazon.com, light-rail, mass transit, mass transportation, mixed-use, Rochester Streetcar, Seattle, Seattle Monorail, South Lake Streetcar, streetcars, transit, urban planning, urban renewal, video, Whole Foods Market
Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 1 Comment »
For a little more than 4 years I’ve worked in the High Falls district of Rochester. Last Thursday afternoon I took my lunch (which I usually eat over my computer keyboard) and I walked down Mill Street to Granite Mills Park. Of course you’ve never heard of it. It’s nothing more than a 50 foot square patch of concrete, a few trees, and 3 or 4 benches—not quite a full fledged “park” in the traditional sense. But on this sunny afternoon Granite Mills Park had transformed into a real urban plaza abuzz with music, laughter, people clapping, and even dancing.
A series of midday concerts presented by Hochstein Music School and WXXI called Hochstein at High Falls had kicked off with music provided by the Po Boy’s Brass Band. I don’t know if it was the glorious weather, the site of the surprisingly huge lunch-time crowd, or the sound of those trombones, but think I caught a glimpse of what the future might be like for that neighborhood by the falls…
Tags: Bru, business district, Center at High Falls, Creator's Hands, downtown Rochester, Empire Brewing Co., entertainment district, ESL, flour mill, Granite Mills Park, High Falls, Hochstein Music School, Jillians, Jimmy Mac's, Keys Martini & Piano Bar, Kodak, laser light show, McFadden's, mixed-use, New York, nightlife, Nothnagle, NY, Parazin Building, Parry Building, Partners Building, plaza, Redwings, Rochester, Rochester Railway, Rochester Subway Poster, Saddle Ridge, Spin Cafe, streetcar powerhouse, The Mills at High Falls, Tiki Bob's, Tribeca, trolley, Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corp., urban renewal, urban revitalization, WXXI
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »
The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square . In it Duffy explains his recent coming out against the project as it is currently proposed. He cites recent changes in the business and development landscape downtown, new transportation stimulus funding, and sort of a personal awakening for his change of heart. Let’s show the Mayor we support him…
Tags: city planning, downtown Rochester, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, mass transit, Mayor Duffy, Monroe County, New York, NY, Renaissance Square, Rochester, Rochester City Newspaper, transportation, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
On Monday evening, June 8, 2009, the Rochester Regional Community Design Center will go before Rochester’s City Planning Commission and appeal the decision to allow a Fastrac gas station to be built on Main Street next to the Main/University Inner Loop on-ramp. Roger Brown, Creative Consultant at RRCDC explains, “Though we don’t agree with the Zoning Board’s decision to allow a gas station at that site … much of our case will be about the urban design of the building and how it needs to be designed according to the Center City Design Standards for Main Street.”
I’ll talk more about those “urban design standards” and how you can help. But first, there’s a virus spreading across America…
Tags: architecture, Center City, city, city planning, design, design standards, downtown Rochester, Exxon Mobil, eyesore, fast food restaurant, franchise, gas station, infrastructure, Main Street, McDonald's, mixed-use, Monroe Avenue, Monroe County, multi-use construction, ordinance, Pittsford, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, Roger Brown, RRCDC, sidewalks, suburbs, sustainability, urban design, urban planning, urban renewal, Walmart, Webster, zoning
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »
Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Transportation, and Community Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago will be in Rochester this Wednesday, May 13, to discuss neighborhood revitalization and the importance of transit-oriented development. RocSubway followers do not want to miss this event. It’s also the final lecture in this series entitled Reshaping Rochester hosted by the Rochester Regional Community Design Center .
UPDATE: Listen to the lecture here…
Tags: city planning, development, global warming, human-scale lifestyle, Jacky Grimshaw, lecture, public policy, quality of life, rail, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, RRCDC, suburban sprawl, suburbs, sustainability, transit, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization, walkable communities
Posted in Events, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Rochester Regional Community Design Center . The RRCDC is a group of design professionals, planners, and citizens who donate their time to the purpose of designing Rochester’s public spaces. They offer their design guidance and recommendations to the city through public lectures, design charrettes , and an open-to-the-public design gallery/resource library at their studio on East Main Street. For anyone remotely interested in how cities are planned or issues surrounding urban renewal as they apply to the city of Rochester, the RRCDC is a must-see.
Tags: architecture, Center City, city planning, design, design charrette, downtown Rochester, environment, neighborhoods, New York, NY, public spaces, Rochester, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, sustainability, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »
Okay, I haven’t put the time or effort into crafting my own vision for the old Midtown Tower, so Im not going to be overly critical here. But Im going to show you two concepts for Midtown that were sent to the city this week for review (and 1 wildcard concept). The first drawing (shown on the left) is from local developers Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf. It includes 158 for-sale condominiums with large window openings, common or public use of the former restaurant space on the 14th floor, and mixed-use office and retail on the first three floors. As you can see they’ve also added some shiny (albeit blurry) people to their drawing, as well as a lovely solar-flare effect to make the building look extra shiny…
Tags: architecture, city, concept drawings, design, development plans, downtown Rochester, Harmony Group, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Tower, mixed-use, New York, NY, Patrick Dutton, real-estate, Shane Bartholf, sidewalks, skyscraper, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization, vision
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer and County Exec. Maggie Brooks announced that the Renaissance Square project will be moving ahead, with or without the performing arts center. $45 million would still need to be raised to build the theater, and at this point it looks like that money would need to be raised entirely with private donations — HIGHLY unlikely. So what exactly are we building? A new bus station (essentially a covered parking lot for buses). New classrooms for Monroe Community College. Oh, and a big grassy area where the performing arts center would have been.
Pricetag? $230 MILLION and 10 years of planning!?
Tags: architecture, bus, bus station, bus terminal, city, Clinton Ave, design, downtown, Greenwich Village, Hell's Kitchen, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, MCC, mixed-use, Monroe County, Neil Bauman, New York, NY, performing arts, real-estate, Renaissance Square, Rochester, Senator Schumer, sidewalks, storefronts, street, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Opinion, Urban Development | 6 Comments »