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Posts Tagged ‘urban renewal’...

72 Conkey Avenue: Lost

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

72 Conkey Avenue has been demolished. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
By Mike Governale

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…

(more…)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 8 Comments »

RocLinks 1/24/15

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Motorcycles in an abandoned warehouse in Lockport, NY. [PHOTO: Chris Seward, Flickr]
By Matthew Denker

Today’s RocLink photo was taken by Chris Seward external link on April 3, 2010 in an abandoned building in Lockport. Chris says the three-story building was brimming with antique motorcycles and parts. According to this article external link the bikes made their way here from Kohl’s Cycle Salvage shop on the north side of the Erie Canal. The Mr. Kohl died in 2002, and the motorcycles were left here until the building crumbled around them.

And now, from local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…

(more…)

Saturday, January 24th, 2015
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester Images, Rochester News | 3 Comments »

The Mystery of the Stone (Benvenuto) Lions

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Here's hoping maybe YOU can help us solve the case of the stone lions. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
By Mike Governale

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 external link, this one’s a doozy…

(more…)

Sunday, January 11th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Art + Culture, Rochester History, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 31 Comments »

Filling In: Midtown… Parcel 5

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Let's take a look the City's RFP for Midtown Parcel 5...
By Matthew Denker

As some of you may or may not know, the city recently released a Request For Proposals (RFP) external link for the redevelopment of another piece of the Midtown site. Parcel 5 external link, 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…

(more…)

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
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Posted in Urban Development | 21 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 »

72 Conkey: The Tide May Be Turning

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

In a sudden change of events this week, the City sent a crew out to 72 Conkey to cover the holes in the roof.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.

(more…)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

See What’s Possible at 72 Conkey

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

With a little help from Photoshop, I've taken a shot at illustrating how the storefront at 72 Conkey Avenue could look if the City gave local resident Jim Fraser a chance to apply his skills and vision to the property. [Illustration: Mike Governale]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 Iveexternal link had his way with it. I know there are a lot of people who probably see 72 Conkey Avenue as nothing more than an eyesoreexternal link; and then there are people like me who see something different. And that boys and girls, is why there’s Photoshop…

(more…)

Sunday, October 24th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

Help Save 72 Conkey — Part III

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

13 WHAM News picked up the story of Jim Fraser and 72 Conkey Ave.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…

(more…)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development, Video | No Comments »

Help Save 72 Conkey — Part II

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The Rochester Fire Dept. put these gaping holes in the roof of 72 Conkey 5 days after RochesterSubway.com readers emailed the City asking to please save this historic building. [PHOTO: Jim Fraser]
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?

(more…)

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »

You Can Help Save 72 Conkey Avenue

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Jim and Jo are in the process of saving and restoring 6 abandoned Rochester properties. They want to save this storefront on Conkey and Clifford Avenue. The City wants to tear it down. You can help. [PHOTO: heckeranddecker.wordpress.com]
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 Listexternal link—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.”

(more…)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 14 Comments »

See Seattle’s Super Sweet Streetcar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

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 external link and actually watch the streetcars moving external link 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 external link! 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.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 1 Comment »

Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Photo simulation of a new Rochester streetcar on Main Street.

America seems to have taken a renewed interest in mobility. Maybe due to President Obama’s recent commitment to high speed rail—or perhaps the positive results seen in towns like Portland and Denver have caught our collective attention. Whatever the reason, from the top down, people are rethinking our automobile-oriented culture—and getting excited about the possibilities.

There’s also good reason to focus on transportation as a way of jump-starting economic development. Industry requires access to people. And people need to have easy access to centers of employment. Continually improving access makes further development possible. Interrupting access will have the opposite effect. Likewise, doing nothing or simply maintaining existing infrastructure for an extended period of time will also hinder development.

For 30+ years Rochester has relied on the infrastructure choices it made in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. At that time we made development choices that encouraged our population to emigrate from the downtown core. We scrapped our extensive streetcar system, choked off downtown with the construction of the inner-loop, and paved super highways to take us from the city to the NY State Thruway and beyond. Since then that’s exactly where our money, our workforce, and our future have gone—down I-490 and out of state.

(more…)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Video | 38 Comments »

It May Be High Times for High Falls

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

High Falls, Rochester NY.

For a little more than 4 years I’ve worked in the High Falls districtexternal link 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 Parkexternal link. 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.

Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series Poster. A series of midday concerts presented by Hochstein Music School and WXXI called Hochstein at High Fallsexternal link had kicked off with music provided by the Po Boy’s Brass Bandexternal link. 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…

(more…)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

Mayor Duffy Awakening

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Anti-RenSquare banners hang over the neglected storefronts at Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Photo taken May 2009.

The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square external link. 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…

(more…)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

Gas Stations Pose Urban Design Challenge

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Abandoned Mobil station at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Clover in Pittsford, NY. It's been years since they removed the pumps from this station.

On Monday evening, June 8, 2009, the Rochester Regional Community Design Center external link 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-rampexternal link. 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…

(more…)

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Jacky Grimshaw to Give Lecture on Transit-Oriented Development

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Transportation, and Community Development  at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in ChicagoJacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Transportation, and Community Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology external link 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 external link.

UPDATE: Listen to the lecture here…

(more…)

Friday, May 8th, 2009
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Posted in Events, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

Designing Rochester

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The RRCDC office at the Hungerford Complex, East Main Street. This building features a design gallery and resource library free and open to the public. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Rochester Regional Community Design Center external link. 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 external link, 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.

(more…)

Monday, April 13th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »

3 Different Visions for Midtown Tower

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Midtown Concept #1 by Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf.Okay, I haven’t put the time or effort into crafting my own “vision” for the old Midtown Tower, so I’m not going to be overly critical here. But I’m 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…

(more…)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

The Renaissance Square Dance

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Renaissance Square as proposed by RochesterSubway.com.
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer and County Exec. Maggie Brooks announced that the Renaissance Square project External Link 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!?

(more…)

Sunday, February 1st, 2009
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Posted in Opinion, Urban Development | 6 Comments »

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