Welcome to the old Vacuum Oil plant on the west bank of the Genesee River in Rochester’s Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood. Abandoned for nearly a century, there has been very little desire to re-develop this 26-acre site due to contamination. Now, the City of Rochester is aiming to use New York State’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas program to clean it up and plan for its future redevelopment. But as of today, this property is still highly toxic. And you guessed it—we’re going inside…
On this day, December 21, 1887 in Rochester history… On the afternoon of December 21, 1887, the Vacuum Oil Works attempted to transfer 14,000 gallons of naphtha (petroleum ether) through a pipeline running underground to the Municipal Gas Company on Canal Street (one mile from the falls). Unfortunately, the companies were unaware that construction on the sewers at Atkinson street (a mile and half away from the falls area) had ruptured the pipeline.
The flammable gas filled the sewers and drifted down the line towards the High Falls/Browns Race district. (more…)
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.