Author Topic: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester  (Read 4117 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« on: October 01, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Elements of Urbanism: Rochester



Once known as the  Young Lion of the West , America's first boomtown faces many of the same issues taking place locally, in regards to urban revitalization.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/906

Ocklawaha

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 12:19:10 PM »
Looks like a pretty cool city, damn I might even visit if it wern't full of New Yorkers and if they'd let me do the falls in my Kayak! 

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OCKLAWAHA

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 06:16:37 PM »
Interesting piece.  I was really surprised to learn about the abandoned subway line.  I never knew they once had one.  It would be great to see it revived but it may not make sense in terms of cost.

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 08:18:21 PM »
The subway was originally the bed of the Erie Canal.  Even if it can't be used for rail, it's a piece of Rochester's history that should not be filled in with dirt (something the city proposed, but caught a lot of heat for).
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RiversideGator

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 10:28:47 PM »
Agreed.  Even Jacksonville with our water table could have such a shallow subway in many areas of town.  Just dig a big trench, add railroad tracks and cover it up.   ;D

Ocklawaha

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2008, 11:23:55 PM »
The subway probably has a whole new life, but not as heavy rail as it once was planned to become. Rather, make the whole thing a ultra-light-rail or streetcar project, and get what Buffalo did without the Zillion dollars a mile cost. Damn, this thing was used by freight until recently, so it's nearly turn-key. Maybe a coat of paint, some track work and overhead wire. badda bing - badda biff - SUBWAY!

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OCKLAWAHA

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 02:37:08 AM »
Nice work! Lots of interesting elements to the city.

Is the Eastman School of Music really part of the "nightlife" though? I'll have to ask my friends there for the lowdown, but from what I have always been told before, nobody dares walk around the conservatory area after dark.

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008, 07:33:55 AM »
Probably not.   However, its in the area the city has branded as the East End.  From my experience, the East End felt similar to our Bay Street.  It had a couple of places, but nothing like a Ybor.  However, Rochester does do a better job of promoting their budding urban nightlife and dining districts.
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CMG22

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2008, 09:24:39 PM »
The area around Eastman is better than that around Hemming Park at night.  There's a picture of my favorite coffee shop, called "Java's."  It's the second picture down from "The Eastman Theater anchors the East End." Great atmosphere, and there's only an alley between it and the Eastman Theater.  There's a strip of bars not far from there, too.  And many more not quite as consolidated but still well within walking distance, even in December.  I plan on doing it tomorrow while home... :-)
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ProjectMaximus

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 11:43:08 PM »
The area around Eastman is better than that around Hemming Park at night.  There's a picture of my favorite coffee shop, called "Java's."  It's the second picture down from "The Eastman Theater anchors the East End." Great atmosphere, and there's only an alley between it and the Eastman Theater.  There's a strip of bars not far from there, too.  And many more not quite as consolidated but still well within walking distance, even in December.  I plan on doing it tomorrow while home... :-)

Home in Rochester, you mean? So you're a northern transplant? Cool.

CMG22

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2008, 09:38:03 AM »
I sure am.  I guess that makes me a "damn Yankee!"  And I did indeed visit the bars and coffee houses all around the East End every night except Christmas Eve.  Although I think I ruined my leather low quarters (I no longer own boots), I managed to no be harassed, panhandled, and my car was not broken into nor ticketed despite some rather unique parking... :)   I even had dinner at a place, located behind an independent movie theater, which is not unlike Bistro Aix.  It's always packed, but we managed to get seated.  It is really a wonderful little area of the Rochester...
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 09:51:23 AM by CMG22 »
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cityimrov

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 03:19:43 AM »
What similarities does Rochester and Jacksonville had in determining their futures and their eventual failure?  Both of these cities were strong and powerful in the past.  Now that the past is gone, what happened? 

I-10east

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 05:00:17 AM »
Can't say that I ever saw an urban area with a waterfall, that's pretty cool. Like Riverside said, I was suprised that Rochester had a subway.

Not to go of course, and I don't wanna beat a dead horse(my last time saying this) but I totally disagree that State and Union 'cuts off' downtown Jax from Springfield. A non-barriered street with four lanes doesn't 'cut off' anything, State is merely just a borderline where Springfield ends, and DT begins. Now FSCJ does actually cut off about three blocks, no seemingly endless four mile stretch by no means. There are plenty of pedestrian crossings to get over State and Union (at decent intervals). Even Julia Street has one at State. "Cut off" are very strong words; Infastructure like the Arlington Expressway, I-10, I-95, and I-295 comes to mind. Hell, even though Beaver St has less traffic than State & Union, I would argue that crossing Beaver is every bit dangerous as State & Union; I dunno about you, but I rather cross a street where the traffic is flowing from one direction than both directions. I crossed those streets plenty of times with no problems, so I don't buy the high intense frogger, 'eight pedestrian deaths a week' talk. Most of the deaths are due to jaywalking; If you jaywalk, better make damn sure that you hurry across, and not tip-toe thru the tulips.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 05:35:06 AM by I-10east »

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 08:47:57 AM »
The term "cut off" is much deeper than simply determining if one can walk across something.  In terms of urban context, it deals with the state of the environment moreso than the physical condition of the street.  State and Union certainly do cut downtown off from Springfield from an environmental aspect.  That environment includes the make up of the streets themselves, the traffic they carry, the odd pattern of one way streets connecting with them, and the surrounding non-pedestrian scale land uses.  Btw, before this environment was created (primarily to keep whites and blacks apart during the mid-20th century) downtown's pedestrian scale environment extended a few blocks north to Springfield Park (Hogans Creek), which served as a "central park" seamlessly tying the two urban districts together.

What similarities does Rochester and Jacksonville had in determining their futures and their eventual failure?  Both of these cities were strong and powerful in the past.  Now that the past is gone, what happened? 

Perhaps a decline in the historical manufacturing base within their urban cores?  For example, I just read somewhere the other day where Eastman Kodak's employment has steadily declined in the last 20 years from 62,000 to 7,000 in urban Rochester.  What that article didn't say was what was the impact of this company's decline on local suppliers, small businesses, and neighborhoods that supported this large company throughout Rochester's history.  By the same token, our urban core has had a steady decline as major companies like the Jacksonville Shipyards, Jacksonville Terminal Company, West Jax railyards, Independent Life, Gulf Life, American Heritage, etc. have shut down or relocated.

The major difference for us is that our suburban areas exploded in population while Rochester's suburban growth rate has been significantly lower. There's simply not as much interest in living in Upper NY as the Sunbelt in recent decades.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 09:04:57 AM by thelakelander »
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Tacachale

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Rochester
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 12:04:31 PM »
^i think that's pretty much it. However I think the real difference is that as an overall economic region Jacksonville hasn't declined like Rochester and similar cities have, but our big economic drivers have shifted out of the urban core. In the mid-century as manufacturing declined other things like the port, logistics and the navy have taken off; those are things that aren't tied to the city center. On the white collar side, as we've declined as a banking and insurance hub it's been replaced with things like back-office banking and finance. Unlike hq's that stuff benefits less from being nearby other businesses, so a lot of their operations have relocated to suburban office parks. All the while the region continues to grow and prosper, but this hasn't come to downtown yet.

Trying to revive downtown in these conditions we'd do well to follow Orlando's lead. They have an even higher proportion of their population living out in suburbs and exurbs; even more of their economic base away from downtown; and much much more by way of their attractions outside downtown. But they've managed to channel some of their growth into downtown development. If it can happen there it can happen here.
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