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…
This is what the building looked like in 2010 when we first read of Jim Fraser’s $60,000 proposal to buy the property and turn it into a rent generating, job producing, store-front and community space.
So what happened? Jim says, “Unfortunately, I haven’t had the resources to pursue new projects since being laid off a few years ago.” A story all too common in our area.
While the building sat boarded up, City administrations came and went. And with no other prospects, decision-makers chose to demolish it a few weeks ago.
“I feel it’s a terrible loss for the community,” Jim laments. “What may have been northeast Rochester’s oldest corner store – but what could I do? There are many, many more properties just sitting and rotting here. Watching it happen can be monumentally frustrating at times.”
Built in 1879, 72 Conkey was quite possibly the neighborhood’s first corner grocery. The rendering above shows how the storefront might have looked after restoration.
Its loss now means that three of the four corners at this intersection are now empty lots; one with some playground equipment, one with an overgrown community garden, and this newest one.
Some may see this thinning out of our city as progress. Fewer neglected buildings mean fewer places for criminal activity to take place. Me, I’m not sure. I still see the same untended lot, but with less of our city’s history intact, and far fewer productive possibilities. I hope I’m proven wrong.
Tags: 14621, City of Rochester, Clifford Avenue, Conkey Avenue, demolition, historic preservation, Ibero, Jim Fraser, Jo Dickinson, Rochester, Rochester NY, urban renewal, urban revitalization
This entry was posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015 at 2:37 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Urban Development. 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.
We’re turning into Detroit.