Sorry for the Tina Turner reference… it was all I could think of to describe the enormity of this big wheel. I’m talking 25 foot and
12 tons just under 20 ton*!! Um, ok so who are these hooded dudes, and just where do they think they’re going with our giant wheel? These strange photos were taken late Tuesday afternoon by Tom Dubois and Peter Simpson…
Last summer you may remember the City of Rochester agreed to sell the High Falls Center to Ben Kendig who plans to convert the underused building into office and residential space. Kendig owns several other buildings in the High Falls neighborhood restoring and bringing many of them back from near certain demolition.
As part of the sale agreement, Kendig has agreed to take over the maintainence of the adjacent Triphammer Forge “park” area. A crew is now getting ready to refurbish the wheel and clean the water pit. The wheel is being removed so they can work on the spokes, blades, and axle.
The work is estimated to cost $364,000. However, the agreement with the City gives Kendig the option to buy the High Falls Waterworks building (visitor center & museum), to which this investment would be applied.
Dang. I had hopes of giant water wheel races down State Street.
About the water wheel
and Triphammer Forge
A unique archaeological park, the Triphammer Forge site provides a good view of the layers of history found in Brown’s Race. The Triphammer Building burned in 1977. As the rubble was being cleared, a long-forgotten basement room was uncovered that housed the buildings massive (25-foot) water wheel, constructed of wood and iron.
The Triphammer Building was built as a forge in 1816 and occupied by the William Cobb Scythe and Tool factory. A large, heavy hammer, the triphammer, was raised by waterpower and dropped to forge wrought-iron tools. In 1830 the building was advertised for sale as having a furnace with the greatest blast in the state and two triphammers.
In the 1830s, Lewis Selye bought the Triphammer Building. Previously, in 1826, he had constructed the building at 208 Mill Street that extends between Brown’s Race and Mill Street. In these buildings the Selye Fire Engine Company built Rochester’s first fire engines and supplied fire engines for federal fortifications and other sites across New York state. A cast-iron shaft transferred power from the Triphammer Building to the Mill Street plant.
*UPDATE: Lee Klug, of Klug Crane Service informed us the wheel is actually just under 20 tons… not 12 as previously stated. Thanks Lee!
Tags: Ben Kendig, Browns Race, Center at High Falls, High Falls, Mill Street, Peter Simpson, Rochester, Rochester NY, rochester photos, Tom Dubois, Triphammer Forge, Triphammer Mill
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 8:59 pm and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Urban Exploration. 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.
The Center at High Falls, which will likely soon be owned by local developer Ben Kendig, should be a local history and art gallery like before, but this time a joint effort between the Museum and Science Center and the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.