The Great ROC Digital Makeover Contest has come to a close. Scott Wolf’s photo of the Academy Building on Fitzhugh Street collected the most thumbs-up from our Facebook fans. That means Scott will receive a free print of Rochester’s Old City Hall and the Academy Building will get spruced up with a little Photoshop magic. Stay locked in to RochesterSubway.com for the unveiling in a few weeks.
And thanks to all of you who participated by posting your pics to Facebook.com/RocSubway. All is not lost if you didn’t win. I just might get bored one day and give your photo a digital makeover anyway.
Given Rochester’s status as the “Image City” and our surplus of neglected real estate, I figured photos of Rochester would be raining down on the RocSubway Facebook page by now.
Here’s an opportunity to see what your city, town, or neighborhood could look like if given a little time and attention. And all you have to do is post a snapshot and get your Facebook pals to “like” it. RocSubway and Photoshop will do the rest.
Now Accepting Your Photo
Submissions (via Facebook)
Former Mayor Robert Duffy once described Rochester as a gem that just needs to be dusted off. That may be over simplifying things just a bit, but I tend to agree. Look around this city and it’s easy to find great beauty in our natural landscape and our built environment – in the new, the old… and the rusted.
Have you ever caught yourself staring at an abandoned building or a grand old house that has seen better days? Is there a park or a public space that could use a few trees, flowers or a fountain? Maybe you squint your eyes to try and see what once was, or what could be? Whatever it is, take a snapshot.
If you didn’t already know I have severe OCD, this post is surely going to tip my hand. But here goes.
I LOVE Kodak. I own 3 Kodak cameras (one on me at all times) and countless “Kodak moments” hanging on my walls. In fact the very first thing my children saw after the nurses wiped the goop out of their eyes was—you guessed it—a Kodak camera. But there’s one itty bitty thing that bugs me about Kodak… their 19 story office tower. It looks like it was blown up and patched back together with superglue (which by the way was invented by a Kodak chemist).
I pass by Kodak tower everyday on my to and from work; and everyday I cringe a little bit. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s a gorgeous building with great bones. I just think it needs the 1970’s dusted off. And by George, with a little Photoshop magic I’m going give it my best shot. First a bit of history…
As an artist, I think I maybe I see things in the world around me that other people can’t or just don’t want to. I find myself squinting all the time; trying to imagine what could be. I can’t look at a paper cup without imagining what it might become if Jonathan Ive had his way with it. I know there are a lot of people who probably see 72 Conkey Avenue as nothing more than an eyesore; and then there are people like me who see something different. And that boys and girls, is why there’s Photoshop…
Back in January I stumbled upon a Flickr photo collection full of urban exploration photos from all around the Great Lakes and several “rust belt” cities… with several shots from Rochester and the abandoned subway tunnel. Shot after shot revealed some pretty unique views of Rochester’s underground world plus other amazing abandoned structures. As it happens, the owner of these wonderfully gritty photo streams is Chris Luckhardt, organizer of the Toronto Exploration Society. Chris is also the creative force behind Motionblur Studios —a low budget, high quality studio located west of Toronto.
Originally from Stratford, Ontario, Chris Luckhardt’s creative exploration has driven him from New Foundland to Pheonix in search of forgotten places—strangely spiritual, places we’re not ‘supposed’ to go. I contacted Chris to find out a little more about these photos and what enticed him to visit the bowels of downtown Rochester…
ROCHESTERSUBWAY.COM: Hi Chris, I noticed you have a couple of nice shots of the abandoned Rochester Subway. How often do you visit the subway tunnel? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your photos?
CHRIS: Sure, thanks for the feedback! I’m the organizer for the Toronto Exploration Society . The group, founded in February 2005, specializes in urban exploration (mostly around the Great Lakes region) and photo walks (mostly in Toronto). I’m currently west of Toronto in Cambridge, Ontario. Rochester was the first US city I visited strictly for urban exploration. I have lots of photos and video from inside the [Rochester] subway. I’ve been down there 5 times in the past 4 years, the last time being a couple of months ago. I also have lots of SD and HD video, but I haven’t processed anything yet.
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.