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Broad St. Underground: ANOTHER Proposal for the Abandoned Subway!

September 23rd, 2013

Lewis Childs, co-founder of Broad Street Underground, explains how Rochester's abandoned subway tunnel could be converted into commercial and retail space. [PHOTO: RochesterSubway.com]
Rochester’s old subway tunnel hasn’t seen a passenger car come through here in nearly sixty years. But lately, redevelopment ideas are arriving with unbelievable frequency. A few weeks ago we were talking about the ROC Low Line; an underground park designed by a team of RIT students. This week, another local group has come forward with a different plan. And these guys want to take theirs beyond just an academic study. Stand clear of the yellow line folks – here comes the “Broad Street Underground” concept…

Broad Street Underground would be a row of underground shops and restaurants inside the abandoned subway tunnel. [Drawings courtesy of Broad Street Underground]
Lewis Childs (architect), Neal Rudin (photographer, writer, inventor) and John da Silva are working on a plan to convert the interior of the Broad Street aqueduct external link into an underground galleria, connecting South Avenue and the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on the east side of the river, to Exchange Street and Blue Cross Arena on the west side. They envision a row of shops and restaurants stretching along the south wall of the tunnel from one end to the other, with a two-tier pedestrian walkway running along the north wall.

Childs and his team are still in the early conceptual stages. So there’s no web site or fancy 3d rendering to share just yet. But you can meet Mr. Childs and hear him talk about the plan in the video below…

Childs says the Broad Street Underground will be similar in nature to the Ponte Vecchio external link in that it will be a bridge with shops on it. But he also draws comparisons to Montreal’s Underground City external link and the adaptive reuse of Underground Atlanta external link.

Montreal's Underground City is one of the largest underground complexes in the world. [PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons]
In stark contrast to the Broad Street canal rewatering plan external link which would rip open the aqueduct like a can opener and destroy the top tier of arches, the Broad Street Underground concept would preserve the aqueduct bridge in its entirety. And, unlike the canal rewatering idea or the ROC Low Line public park, this new idea would generate tax revenue directly (in theory) from the business establishments inside.

Most of the automobile lanes on Broad St. would be retained. The parking lane and first automobile lane on the south side of the street would be removed to allow sunlight to spill into the galleria. The south sidewalk would be enclosed and pedestrians would have a view down into the space. [Drawings courtesy of Broad Street Underground]
At street level, the parking lane and first automobile lane on the south side of the Broad Street bridge would be removed to allow sunlight to spill into the galleria. The south sidewalk would be enclosed and pedestrians would have a view down into the space. The remaining three or four automobile lanes on the bridge would be retained.

There’d be several access points into the space at either end of the bridge. A multi-level music venue or night club would be located on the east end of the bridge. And a rubber-tired trolley would be employed to connect the project with other downtown destinations and parking facilities.

There'd be several access points into the space at either end of the bridge. A multi-level music venue or night club would be located on the east end of the bridge. And a rubber-tired trolley would be employed to connect the project with other downtown destinations and parking facilities. [Drawings courtesy of Broad Street Underground]
I spoke with Childs for the better part of an afternoon, and he is confident in the long term viability of the project. “Rochester already has this beautiful historic site here. If we can use it to connect the convention center and the arena, and bring in the right mix of commercial tenants, shops, restaurants… we can make this a stop off point for out-of-town tourists, but also serve the city’s existing residents and employee workforce year-round.”

Childs estimates that there could be about 80,000 square feet of leasable space built out within the aqueduct and the tunnels adjacent to it; on the Exchange Street side and on the South Avenue side under Rundel Library.

Broad Street Underground is currently working to establish their 501(c)6 – similar to a 501(c)3 non-profit but for the purpose of promoting business (like a chamber of commerce). They will then seek to recommend a private developer capable of building out the space according to their vision – although the City of Rochester ultimately has the final say in what, if anything, gets built and who gets to build it.

The group believes this kind of private/public partnership is what separates the Broad Street Underground idea from ones in the past that have required large amounts of funding from the City or Monroe County.

By their estimates the Broad Street Underground will cost just over $21 Million to complete. A yearly operating budget of $1,450,000 would be covered with a projected $3,096,000 in revenue from leases, advertising, events, gift store sales, naming rights, etc.

Here's a plan view of the Broad Street bridge with shops and pedestrian walkway inside. [Drawings courtesy of Broad Street Underground]
Broad Street Underground is currently working to meet with nearby businesses as well as the Mayor’s office to build support for the idea. Childs says they did manage to get on Mayor Richards calendar for a meeting, but with the election happenings, that meeting has since be postponed.

So now we’ve heard at least four different ideas for this tunnel: open a museum external link with trolley rides, rip up Broad Street and convert it back into a canal external link, build an underground park, or an underground galleria of shops. Use the comments and let us know which idea YOU prefer. Or, dare I ask, perhaps you have your own idea?

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at 7:53 am and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

44 Responses to “Broad St. Underground: ANOTHER Proposal for the Abandoned Subway!”

  1. David says:

    I like this idea the best, because the incentives will align the most readily to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  2. Paula says:

    I was recently down there for the first time (my daughter had her senior pics taken down there) & I was in awe of all of the beautiful arches!!! I must say…all of the artwork is amazing as well. I would hope that all of the arches would be preserved & retained so that everyone could still feel the history there.

  3. Thanks for mentioning that, Paula. Lewis Childs did tell me that effort would be made to preserve some of the murals and leave them viewable to the public. I forgot to include that in the story.

  4. Kevin Yost says:

    I suggested that back in 2005, when they were first suggesting filling in the tunnel, and be similar to the Atlanta Underground, just with a small stream running in the middle, similar to what is above ground in Frederick Maryland, to a basin by Frontier Field, between Morrie Silver Way, Broad, Oak, and Brown streets, then drain out and drain Frontier Field and out through Brown’s Race and save the west High Falls wall.

  5. Mittens says:

    Yeah out of every proposal I’ve heard, this is my favorite.

  6. Paula says:

    Thanks for the reply. It really needs to keep that gritty feel…juxtaposed with the classic architecture. I’d be really bummed if it was turned all glossy & new…

  7. Neal Rudin says:

    As one of the core group of this project I’d like to add that Broad Street Underground would be the hub, heart and fulcrum of the whole of this part of the state. It will be the place where everything that this region is noted for is presented and celebrated. We have over 200 wineries and enormous agricultural industries and some of the best schools in the North East. Our Eastman School of Music is legendary. We are a city of great heroes such as Eastman, Anthony, and Douglas. Our technologies are world class.
    We have a plethora of wonderful sister cities to showcase and interact with with our new technological expertise.
    BSU will be a miniature and constant world’s fair.
    All these things including our integral connection to Hollywood, which wouldn’t exist without Mr. Eastman’s “magic picture film”, which by the way, is celebrated just 120 miles away every year in Toronto and in other cities within a days drive will find our city. It can be the next place they come after each festival.
    Rochester will become the brilliant heart and the new “Young Lion of the East”…

  8. David says:

    Ohh kayyy… we know the organizers are not going to be guilty of hiding the project’s light under a bushel.

  9. Neal Rudin says:

    Rochester is a puzzle with the wrong picture on the puzzle box. We live in a spralling mansion whose decor is shoddy. We complain about the weather yet won’t stoke the fire. We need to put the right picture on our puzzle box…

  10. Christopher Brandt says:

    Absolutely agree with the notion of making broad street a modern interpretation of Ponte Vecchio in Florence, or for that matter Main Street Bridge in Rochester before 1960. However, you need to consider how this connect to grade very carefully. The grand sloping entrance near Dinosaur BBQ would be great, but that may be affected by the Canal Harbor Development that is going in there. Also, I would contest that the mass and perception of the bridge not be drastically effected by the skylights and stair cases down into it. What ever is added should be minimal in its aesthetic and should not obscure or compete with the stone, concrete, and graffiti of the bridge. Examples of this are the overhanging walkway at road level and the reduction of the arched openings.

    In addition those shops look to be rather dark, as the restaurant obscures much if not all the light that may be able to reach to the lower level, which seems to only have 8′-9′ ceilings. Perhaps just one level with a mezzanine. Or you could water one side with about 1′ of water and have walkways along it and bring the floor of the shops/restaurants even with the bottom of the central wall openings (this would presumably give some workable space for mechanicals running the entire length of the bridge). Add some interior or deeply recessed operable windows and you’ve got some beautiful high ceiling-ed light filled shops and restaurants to showcase Rochester’s best localfare while celebrating the gritty, beautiful and industrial history and nature of the aqueduct/subway.

  11. Christopher Brandt says:

    Correction on the above. Erie Harbor Park not Canal Harbor (which is just south of it). I’m also not a big fan of demolishing the RGE Station #6. It would be great to reuse that space also as perhaps a large multi-level restaurant and bar on the water.

  12. Neal Rudin says:

    The interior must be climate controlled or it’s livability will be compromised. We need to keep this a relatively warm and dry environment.

    As for localfare, let’s not limit ourselves to what we already have if we want the world to come here as was done in Cleveland with the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. We need a place that will surprise us and our visitors and not be just another outlet.

    We have remarkable sister cities and should capitalize on their unique offerings.

    Imagine what China, Japan, Italy, Israel, Russia, Poland, Ireland, Mali,and Puerto Rico, etc. can bring to the table. “We are a city that changed the world” and will continue to do so. We must see ourselves from the outside and not from our usual pedestrian point of view. I did a guesstimate of the amount of money has been made in the last 100+ years and it is on the order of $15,000,000,000,000. We are a city that makes billionaires and they come to many yearly film festivals a short hop away.

    Rochester’s future is very bright.
    We even benefit from global warming…

  13. Paula says:

    Ive been a follower of “Rochester Subway” for about a year, & have marvelled at the pictures of the subway & all the tagging/artwork. As I am partially disabled, it has been difficult to navigate it…but I finally did & am so happy to have done it. There is a spirit there that should not be broken. The photographer who took my daughter’s pictures is well-versed in Rochester history & his educating me was awesome. As an interior designer, I can “see” things in a space immediately…it’s what I do. I guess the timing of my visit couldn’t have been better. I would like to see the actual plans for the space, & perhaps join the team…I don’t want some esoteric talk that I’m feeling that is being communicated by the invested parties involved…although I do understand that this is in the early stages of planning. Let’s just say I’m skeptical about the scope. I’m thinking that a more open air bohemian feel would be more appropriate. Enjoying the conversation…much appreciated.

  14. Jay says:

    Yes to this, please. I love the museum idea, but this is the most economically viable.

  15. Neal Rudin says:

    The problem with museums is their inability to maintain a constantly attractive environment. The less flexible museum looses its appeal over time. The world’s fair scenario is much more apt.
    It’s regenerative.

  16. chase tyler says:

    I just searched ‘rochester’ on urban dictionary, and the first result was “a city with a wicked past and no future”. That hits the nail right on the head.

  17. Paula says:

    So in one breath I hear that this should be uniquely Rochester, & in another I hear that we should follow Europe…or Cleveland…or we should hope for all the imports. Why are you looking for all the rich people??? Should this not be for Rochester first??? Are we not important enough??? That insults me. And will probably insult all of Rochester. (I suggest not taking that tact at a public meeting.) I am one of those people who moved to Rochester & lamented about no here being of sound vision from any community leader. But this is not how Mayor Hudnut built Indianapolis. I am probably more toward “museum”, however I think there is definitely room for some retail. Less is more, is it not??? And please…I lived in Cleveland. I probably should just keep my mouth shut on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. What they did best in Cleveland was preserve their buildings…by going forward. The subway can indeed be regenerative…you just need to think a little more, Mr. Rudin…(((ahem))) If you REALLY want to study a city that is not Rochester, it should be Indianapolis. I lived there too. And many others. I am by no means “pedestrian”, nor are my thoughts, thank you, & the citizens of this city are not either. The thing is, Mr. Rudin, we don’t like being talked down to, & we love our history, & we should celebrate OUR history & no one else’s. The great people of this world have done things not for notoriety…notoriety comes not from the grandeur of a man’s structure, but from the simple passion of a people’s heart. You will say that I have taken this personally, sir.. & I will not really care.

  18. Neal Rudin says:

    The Broad Street Underground project is designed precisely to address our uniqueness and the effects that we have had on the whole world.
    It reflects our identity as an integral puzzle piece in world history. It has the qualities of a museum and along with that of an international cafe’ district. Less is more? More what?
    If we dwell on “Rochester First” and no retail what will be in this enormous space? There is close to 100,000 sq. ft. not including the mile long tunnel. There is no shopping downtown and little to do. Is that what you want more of?
    You want a trolly? To where? The airport? How many people will use it and who will pay for it in the first place?
    Indianapolis already has a world class draw with the speed way.
    If Rochester has been such a good purveyor of its own identity then why did it take 100 years to get any images on Main Street. The only ones that are now there that show us what we used to be 100 years ago. This is the city of Kodak. There should be images that remind us of what this marvelous technologies is used for not just “family pictures” of our old house.
    The streets are mostly silent in a city that boasts one of the world greatest music schools.
    What’s up with that?
    This space can become the place the world and we come to find out what and who we are.
    Tourism can not be outsourced!
    We have a magical place in this magical city.
    We are a city the help change the world…
    Think big or just fade away..

  19. KevinD says:

    Not mentioned here – the fate of “Underground Atlanta”, which was eventually shuttered.

  20. Paula says:

    Ummmmm…I never said that I didn’t want retail, & I never said I wanted a trolley. I don’t think this is appropriate for major retail, but hey it’s not my money…oh wait…maybe it is. There’s way more music in this area than there was in Cleveland… you know, the place with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There’s a ton of things to do here. We have festivals up the ying-yang. Yes, there should be some retail. Yes we need to make it safe & secure. Combining the past with today is what it is today…the beautiful architecture & the artwork that lines the tunnel. These artists should be celebrated. And included, if they wish. I’m not talking the gang tagging…I’m talking these people of Rochester…you know…Underground People, who HAVE contributed with their art. Unconventional, yes, but that’s just the point. These are the artists of Rochester. I’m sorry, but that is the spirit of this place. This is inclusion of art. It’s a musical score down there of ART. I say…I want the music to stay & let’s make music with that.

  21. Christopher Brandt says:

    Just for clarification’s sake. The majority of the Broad Street Tunnel has unfortunately been filled in.

    Another idea to throw out there would be connecting to the Terminal Building at 65 W Broad Street. the building still has its Subway Station and is right next to our government center and a burgeoning crop of housing. An international cafe seems to be trying to hard. I have yet to experience or hear of something like it.

    A mix of program something like the following would excite me and I would assume other young professionals like me.

    Half urban/industrial art gallery, half exhibition space, half permanent retail/sevice, half short term/dynamic retail, half museum. It could become the home base of Wall/Therapy, a performance venue for up and coming artists, the first place you take out of town visitors, a space for exchange of ideas, a constantly rotating gamut of clothesline festival artist, and the best late-night bisto/bar in the city.

    A multi-use, multi-program, multi-hour concept that celebrates the city’s uniqueness, diversity, and history over the progenitor of it all, the Genesee River, would be something I would celebrate and would yearn for. I would not want it to be glossy, sterile, and clean..make it active, raw, and exciting.

  22. Paula says:

    I could not (& did not) say it any better, Christopher. For the record, I am no longer a young professional, but yes, this is what I see young professionals wanting. I want that Urban Art to sing…thank you for mentioning Wall Therapy.

  23. Kevin Yost says:

    According to Underground Atlanta’s webpage and Wikipedia page, it is still open. In addition to connecting with the Terminal Building (the 1920’s version of the Nojay-era version of Ren Square/bus station), the Broad Street Tunnel should also connect with the soon-to-be-former D&C Building, when it, like the Terminal Building, also gets a new use.

  24. Neal Rudin says:

    All cities need a warm dry heart and center.
    All cities need to have a place where they tell their stories. A place that reflects who they are.
    We have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves while at the same time, keeping a constant eye to our past.
    I also see a need for water taxis that transport people up and down the river from RIT to UR to Corn Hill that runs most of the year. A second line could run from Charlotte into Irondequit Bay. Most everyone likes to ride on a boat but few want to own one.
    If this place was in Europe there would be canal boats and zip lines. If we play our cards right we would end up creating a place that the students want to stay in after they finish school. A place where they set up shop.
    Mr. Eastman created the substance that helps the world share its stories and its dreams. Anthony and Douglas opened up the doors to freedom.
    We live in a garden.
    We are a city that changed the world….

  25. Jason Haremza says:

    @Chris Brandt: The majority of the tunnel was not filled in. Only the section between, roughly, Brown and West Main Street. The section between West Main and Court remains unfilled.

    Re: Underground Atlanta. Currently open or not, based on what I’ve read, it appears that it has struggled pretty regularly almost since it opened in the 1960s. Sounds a lot like the High Falls Entertainment District story. Perhaps not a good model to emulate.

    Re: Sub-surface retail in general in Rochester. The retail market is very limited in downtown Rochester. 80,000 sf of leaseable space in the tunnel in enormous. Our first priority should be to fill street-level storefronts to bring a modicum of vitality to our downtown streets. Underground shopping works in Toronto and Montreal due to the very high population densities.

    My ideas? “Lean urbanism.” Maintain the tunnel. Open it up (legally) a few times a year for public tours. Tacitly let the graffiti artists continue. Longer term? Maybe install a secure public walkway through the aqueduct, connecting the convention center and arena.

  26. Neal Rudin says:

    We are not talking about an outlet mall type situation with the same stuff as you see in Market Place. As for street level store front, we do have a problem with weather and security.
    We need a warm and dry place not another wet reminder of our North Eastern existence.
    These things can be over-come within the BSU project.
    This underground prospect is truly unique along with 7 parking lots in the area. Two which will be connected underground. No one else in the world has such a chance at revitalizing a city as does this. This is a European style environment and should be treated as such.
    ” Maintain the tunnel. Open it up (legally) a few times a year for public tours…”
    You know that the up keep of the tunnel system costs the city a lot of money and that BSU will actually address this problem and, at the same time, keep it open constantly so that even more people share in the art work along with all the things that can be placed within it.
    Think big in a city that actually changed the world and not from the point of view of a small back water community that we think we are.
    A modicum of vitality? Another CVS?

  27. Paula says:

    1. Mr. Rudin, please stop repeating the same things. You are sounding like a snake oil salesman. Have a DISCUSSION…not repeating the same rhetoric & talking down to every responder.

    2. Jason, I have to agree (dear Lord help me) with Mr. Rudin that the maintenance on just a walkway would not be logical. I think that there is a happy medium possibly. I would have heated brick walkway, street lighting, definitely security & repairs are needed down there…there would have to be a way of securing the entire tunnel, of which there are many opportunities to enter it as it is now. Some retail…keep the wall art, some museum.

    3. If you are interested Mr. Rudin, I have the perfect security head for you.

    4. When will we see some real plans???

  28. Neal Rudin says:

    During the nice times of the year we tend to forget what it is like in the winter.
    Imagine always have a warm and secure place with wonderful attractions and with a respectful appreciation for the great artwork down there.
    If you like the arts then imagine how many more kinds of them that could be displayed down there.
    Optical, film, water, wood, constructs, ceramics, etc., etc…That is just the beginning if what is possible with this site.
    We will update you on the details later…

  29. Patrick says:

    Here’s a great idea that I think every one could get behind. Put some shops down there, not a lot just a few at one end. Leave the other end for the street artists to keep doing what they do. So you still get that revenue from the shops with out completely getting rid of the art that people want to see.

  30. Patrick says:

    I take that back. I like what Jason haremza is proposing. Sorry I skipped over a few posts

  31. RaChaCha says:

    Weighing in late here. I agree with Jason Haremza: what will work best, I think, is a start-small-but-start-somewhere approach that embraces the “lighter, quicker, cheaper” and evolutionary approach of placemaking. While not consciously using that as a framework, when I was one of the organizers of the Chill the Fill campaign, that was the basic approach we used to looking into future uses for the subway tunnel: what could be done in the near-term vs long-term, how could uses evolve over time, and how could multiple uses and concepts work together. Some of those involved in that process had a strict “either-or” preference for one particular use or another, but many of the rest of us were committed to “both-and.”

    That said, visioning does have value, and I’m very glad to see some recent proposals that strike me as heading in the right direction. I think aspects of various proposals could be mixed and matched, so to speak. In a sense, though, it seems to me that things are still in something of the same state they were in back in 2005: some entity or organization needs to be established or step forward to partner with the City to first establish control over the space, and then begin programming the space — a process that would almost certainly be highly organic at the beginning.

    An important analog to this situation is the reuse of the interiors of the grain elevators at Silo City in Buffalo. In just a few years, they have been cleaned out, made secure, and made available for increasingly creative and well-attended events such as City of Night. As a result, Silo City is now solidly on the community’s radar, and long-term planning has gotten underway with several years of experimentation under everyone’s belt to inform it. To have developed a master plan first would have been a wasted exercise.

  32. Neal Rudin says:

    We are not interested in getting rid of the art!
    We need wonderful enrichments, such as they are to reinvigorate our community. We are actually proposing to enlarge the artists opportunities to have even more venues to ply their skills and within an enclosed and heated structure. Now sculptures, fountains, weavings, ceramics and carvings, etc, will find their homes within a well protected arena instead of a weathering and often disfiguring environments as is now.
    For it to work without the constant seeking of funds from the government it we must create a viable enterprise.
    Secondly, Rochester needs to have a center where our greatness is reveled to ourselves and our guests. We can have a new heart and center that will re-empower us with a renewed self-awareness.

  33. Kevin Yost says:

    My feeling is that the “art” that is in the Subway tunnel right now is ugly graffiti and must go. That’s just my thought.

  34. Patrick says:

    well Kevin if you don’t like the art then don’t go down there. its fine where its at because where its at not every one has to see it. so people like you don’t get a hard-on over it being on buildings. I mean I’m all for them painting on buildings. makes it easier to see all of it with out flash lights.

  35. Neal Rudin says:

    If you want it to go just go down there and paint over it. It’ll only cost you a couple of thousand in paint and a couple hundred hours to cover everything… By the way, why must it go… because you hate self expression?

  36. Kevin Yost says:

    I guess I am just into concrete, conservative, realistic or impressionistic artwork, rather than graffitti.

  37. John Thomas says:

    I’m a newbie to this discussion. Wow, where do I start. As the City’s past transportation planner for 30 years, I was involved in what to do with the subway bed for, well, 30 years. The Aqueduct remains undeveloped not for a lack of plans and visions, but for a lack of, you guessed it, MONEY.
    And money means an operator of the facility–be it the Rochester Convention Center, GEVA theater, The Rochester Science & Museum Center, or a rich developer with vision. Given the City’s financial condition, the City just can NOT be the operator. However, the City CAN chase federal/state funds for the capital portion of the project IF the costs are “reasonable.”

    I like Jason’s suggestion for “lean urbanism” and the other suggestion to mix and match the various plans. In the end, the vision depends on the operator’s vision. So who is this operator? My best guess is the Rochester Convention Center. They could draw bigger conventions if they had more space, and there was some interest in using the War Memorial for this space. An all weather connection between the two facilities using the Aqueduct could enable this expansion. With RG&E’s cooperation, use Station 6 as a connector.
    Did you know there are, not one, but three, water wheels in the sub-sub basement of Station 6 from a mill that even pre-dates the aqueduct! How would you like to walk by those rehabbed water wheels on you stroll between the Convention Center and the War Memorial. Heck, if I was the Convention Center, I would want to connect to those water wheels even without an expansion to the War Memorial, just for a tourist draw to people coming to the Convention Center.

    So, this discussion should focus on the Aqueduct OPERATOR. We can fill in the details after that. But, I will say the Broad Street Aqueduct redevelopment remains a lost opportunity for the City and the region.

  38. RaChaCha says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you, John. I was one of the organizers of the Chill The Fill campaign to save the subway tunnel, and set up the cooperation between that campaign and the Rochester Regional Communty Design Center to look at future uses for the tunnel. We had a lot of discussions about incremental, multiple uses that might change and evolve over time — what the Project for Public Spaces would call “lighter, quicker, cheaper.”

    Those efforts largely went on hold when the City announced plans for its study, and I later moved to Buffalo, so I’ve been rather out of the loop. But one of the things I had suggested, repeatedly, was to start small by working to get basic access control, making the space safe, then beginning to hold events and tours so that the space was in frequent use and showing itself off. And then working toward other uses such as, like you suggest (and for the reason you suggest), the link between the arena and convention center. I’m convinced a not-for-profit entity could do something along these lines, by working in conjunction with an established entity like the ones you mention.

    A great model of what could be done is right here in Buffalo — Silo City. Old grain elevators and associated vacant industrial space have been cleaned out and made useable to host community gatherings, art events, and tours. Come on out to one of the events at Silo City next summer, John — and bring friends! — and see if it doesn’t give you some ideas 🙂

  39. John Thomas says:

    I would be glad to make a trip to Buffalo to see their Silo City. Sounds like a good model of community involvement. Are there scheduled dates for this spring/summer?

    We already do similar Aqueduct tours typically around the River Romance activities in October and there was the World Canal Society event in the Aqueduct complete with a catered meal with tables on carpeting (I didn’t get to go to the latter event but it must have been a sight to see). Plus I’ve often given ad hoc (and illegal) tours of the subway bed for various people/organizations. I do like the idea of a non-profit to hold even more events in the Aqueduct. Could it be ReConnect Rochester or the Rochester Regional Community Design Center or ? Just saying….

  40. RaChaCha says:

    John, I checked on schedules of events for next year, and was told they will be posted on the new website http://www.silocityrocks.com/ as they are finalized. So stay tuned…

    I’ve lead Aqueduct tours, as well — both official and unofficial 😉

  41. Ran into Neil again and we continued to share enthusiasm for revitalizing our community. I do it by growing the game of golf. And I can see some opportunities for the space that would involve golf. Why not attract my many golf club clients who are busy downtown and long for a few golf moments during their busy day? Not enough golfers, you say. Must be you weren’t at the recent major championships in our community. Rochester is golf and our new city administration may find some future in that fact.

  42. Neal Rudin says:

    Golf is a multimillion dollar enterprise that can draw people downtown year round…

  43. John Thomas says:

    Again, who is the golf OPERATOR? Don’t give me an activity, give me an OPERATOR of that activity.

  44. I have lived in Rochester all my life(65 years at the time of posting). I have been hearing about proposals for the subway for the past 20+years. So far not one has moved forward. In part a I believe because of the lack of vision of past leaders.I fear that a great treasure will be lost due to a more high profile plan that includes high end condos. I notice that the concepts proposed here originated in September, 2013. Until this year when the mayor through her support to the high end project the proposal seemed to be as underground as the tunnel.
    There is an expression, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well this wheel needs more squeaking to get a proper consideration. I feel it might already be too late. I suspect that city council may have already made up their uninspired minds to go the route of condo and visiable above ground projects. The supporters of this project need publicty now, not after council makes a decision. Former mayor Duffy is the only one I have seen shut down a proposed major project.
    I would like to see the current vibrancy of graffiti arthave a roll in future subway plans. That is the major draw to the subway. If a decent amount of this type of ongoing work can not be maintained I think we will loose a part of our culture. There should be a blend of retail, history and graffiti art to give the subway a vibrant changing feel. A mueseum of this art of you will.

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