Within the last year I have written a great deal about cities and the historic buildings they should be obligated to see maintained. Many cities cannot, will not, or do not want to penalize or fine the industrial and commercial property owners who fail to maintain the buildings within their care. Often what happens is that these neglected buildings are then demolished because they are supposedly beyond repair or structurally unsound.
It should be noted that buildings are rarely too far gone, even when roofs are missing and the “elements” have begun to reek havoc, and that often these very buildings are “structurally sound.”
“Double Jeopardy” wasn’t invented by Alex Trebek. It’s actually a procedural defense in our system of justice that forbids a defendant from being tried more than once for the same (or similar) charges. Unfortunately this rule doesn’t seem to apply with historic preservation in Rochester. Because the very same owner of this historic church at 660 West Main Street will, for a second time, ask the Zoning Board for permission to demolish the structure to make way for a discount store.
Dawn Noto is president of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association. She was concerned about the demolition plans in March of 2013 when the Zoning Board blocked them the first time. This time Dawn says the conditions are no different and the City should be working with the owner on a plan to rehab the church building instead of entertaining his plan for a second time…
Last September the Bread and Water Theatre group expressed interest in purchasing the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 660 West Main Street after learning that its owner had asked the City for permission to demolish it. That demolition request has been denied (for now). Meanwhile, the same theatre group now has its eye on another historically significant church…
Two important cases will go before the Zoning Board this Thursday: the ongoing saga of one historic church on Main Street, and design concerns regarding the future College Town. Salvation for the church, as well as the promise of a pedestrian-friendly College Town, may hang in the balance.
First, if you’ve been following the story of the little white church at 660 W. Main Street, owner Marvin Maye will make one more appeal to challenge the building’s status as a Designated Building of Historic Value. If he succeeds, he could have a clear path forward to demolish the 140-something-year-old church.* And in its place would go a Dollar General store…
About a month ago, someone set up a petition in opposition to a plan to demolish 660 West Main Street (formerly Westminster Presbyterian Church) and to prevent the building of a Dollar General in its place. The owner of the petition is using “Susan B. Anthony” as an alias. And this week “Susan B. Anthony” sent me a plea for help via email…
RochesterSubway.com has learned that Marvin Maye, owner of 660 W. Main Street, is making a renewed push to demolish the historic church. And one local theatre group has expressed interest in saving the building…
Dawn Noto, President of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association says this section of the city is in the early stages of a renaissance. But the turn around of West Main and the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood isn’t happening by accident. Years of planning, community involvement, public and private investment, and careful preservation of valuable historic assets have been key factors. Noto knows this progress is fragile. That with one short sighted development decision, years of work could begin to unravel.
The church shown above sits vacant at 660 W. Main Street . It’s on the City’s list of historic buildings and potentially eligible for the National or State Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately the building’s owner is itching to demolish it… to clear the way for a new Dollar General store…
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.