Last week a reader, Michael Krauklis, sent me this picture and asked two perplexing questions. Michael said, “I’ve worked downtown just next to the Broad Street bridge for 11 years now, and the entire time there has been a strange feature in the river just south of the bridge . Upon first glance it appears to be a spring, in the middle of the river, but with further inspection one can see the carcass of an old abandoned structure surrounding it… What was the original purpose of this and where is the water is coming from?”
I have seen these strange concrete triangles in the river myself, and I know there are more than one of them. But I had never noticed the spring water bubbling up! In either case, I had no good answer for Michael. So, I started digging. Here’s what I found out…
For decades it’s been an inconvenient truth for Rochester. The abandoned Erie Canal turned ghost subway tunnel has long been considered a ticking time-bomb. It’s widely known that the city has wanted to fill at least the west end of the tunnel for many years, citing critical safety deficiencies in the structure beneath the street surface. But, with Rochester’s ongoing economic struggles and estimates into the $10’s of millions, the project has been repeatedly delayed (or swept under the rug). Until now…
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.