Transforming Buildings & Neighborhoods
Recent discussions about the fate of the 120 year-old brewhouse at 13 Cataract Street got us thinking. Those in favor of demolishing the building say it’s an eyesore, beyond repair, and a haven for crime. With peeling paint, missing windows, and holes in the roof, certainly the iconic building has seen better days. And yes, crime does occur around the building; that is not an issue to be taken lightly. But will demolishing the building solve this problem?
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? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of these former “eyesores” to show that almost any building can be rehabilitated, to demonstrate how this rehab can, in turn, transform a neighborhood, and to remind us all of opportunities that were almost lost.
696 University Avenue
When Paul Kramer saved the Flatiron Building from demolition in 1981 pigeons & bats were living in the top three floors. It now has 18 loft apartments and 7 businesses, including Starry Nites Cafe and Edibles Restaurant. The Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) is today one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Rochester, when just fifteen years ago it was one of the most troubled. Despite its stunning success, the neighborhood remains remarkably affordable and diverse. This building is now largely considered the anchor of the neighborhood. Click the “before” image below to see how this building was transformed into a neighborhood asset.
Here is the “eyesore” before rehab:
And here’s the rehabilitated Flatiron Building, an anchor in the neighborhood and a catalyst for further revitalization and redevelopment:
Want to see more “eyesores” that have been turned into economic opportunities and assets for our neighborhoods and city? Visit our Success Stories page to see the full list.