Driving down East Main Street recently, I spotted the name “Martha Matilda Harper” engraved on a building near the old Beech Nut packaging plant. My interest was piqued, since the building at 1233 East Main Street currently houses Tire Trax sales and service. It turns out that the facility is the former laboratories for Martha Matilda Harper, Inc.
I can’t believe that I’d never heard of Martha Matilda Harper, but we can thank her for just about everything having to do with our modern salon experiences, as well as her groundbreaking business methods that pioneered modern retail franchising…
The opening of a medical marijuana dispensary in Kodak’s old Theater on the Ridge at Eastman Business Park has recently been in the news . Columbia Care will turn the leaves, stems and stalks of the cannabis plant into medicine for people with cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, and other neurological conditions. The facility is expected to be up and running this January…
On my almost daily walk along State and Main streets I’ve often noticed this boom lift blocking the sidewalks around the Powers Building . I’ve never given it much thought. I just figured Daniel Powers liked his windows really clean.
Then, last week while at the Fringe, my RocSubway teammate Joanne Brokaw got introduced to Scott Grove. As it turns out, Scott is that guy hanging high up over Rochester’s sidewalks—and he’s not cleaning windows…
With all of the recent flooding in our area, RocSubway reader Michael Delaney wrote in and suggested, “a great idea for an article would be about the history of flooding in Rochester and the civil engineering that has gone into solving the issue. Beyond the dams, I’ve heard that there are huge storm sewer tunnels underneath the city. It would be very interesting to know more about it.”
Situated at the intersection of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, Rochester’s geography has blessed—or cursed—us with a long long history of great floods. Before the construction of the Mount Morris Dam (1948-1952) records indicate the City of Rochester had experienced severe flooding about every seven years between 1865 and 1950. Talk about a pesky problem.
Digging into all of the engineering marvels that have spared modern Rochesterians from most of these high waters could easily span many pages. And I promise to dedicate future posts on the subject. But for now, I want to show just how bad this problem was by highlighting just one flooding disaster that occurred in late March, 1913…
Check out this great photo of the Powers Building from 1968. Notice the workmen up on the ledge of the Mansard roof. Down at street level a shiny new, streamlined façade as been awkwardly forced on top of this 1869 building…
From the 1850’s to the 1930’s stereograms were considered cutting edge home entertainment technology. Two photos taken at the same time from slightly different angles would be view together using a special set of lenses called a stereoscope. The result would be an ever so subtle (yet mind-tingling) simulated 3D view…
All the controversy over whether or not to demolish the 120 year-old brewhouse at 13 Cataract Street got us thinking. Those in favor of demolishing the building say it’s an eyesore and a haven for drug dealers; even prostitutes. So, just remove the building and our problems go away.
But if we demolished every eyesore in Rochester, would we have solved all the City’s problems? Or might we end up tossing the proverbial “baby” out with the bath water? For the next two weeks we’ll take a look at some local eyesores …or rather, opportunities, nearly lost.
We found this old photo of the Powers Building and Rochester’s four corners recently on a vintage photos website called Shorpy.com . Not only is this a photo of one of Rochester’s most celebrated structures at one of the greatest times in the city’s history, but it’s incredibly detailed for such an old photo—right down to the logos painted on the office windows (click on the image to enlarge).
Hey, here’s a bit of fun for you… we hid the RochesterSubway.com logo somewhere in the photo. Let’s see which one of you can find it first. And while you’re searching for our hidden logo, here are a few other things you should take notice of…
The intersection at State and Main Streets in downtown Rochester, known as the Four Corners, was once the epicenter of the city. I’m going to let these two photos do most of the talking for me in this article. The photo below is of the Four Corners, looking north toward State Street.
The postcard I’m holding in my hand is from the early 1900’s (maybe 1912-ish). Holding it up in front of the same location in 2009, it becomes a tiny window onto the past.
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.