Tag Archives: urban renewal

City of Quality

27 Sep

Rochester is in the process of demolishing its version of the Main Place Mall & Tower. Here’s a video from 1963 touting the Midtown Plaza Mall’s arrival.

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Old Batavia & the Mall

6 Apr

Anyone who’s been to downtown Batavia knows that the south side of Main Street has retained the charm and character it had long ago. It’s as if the 50s stuck around, and while some of the storefronts are empty, it’s a bustling place during business hours as people conduct business, shop, and grab coffee and lunch.

The north side of Main Street, however, has a concrete bunker on it posing as a “mall”. Although a few hardy businesses and doctors’ offices eke out a decent living there, it’s a dilapidated eyesore, and a stark reminder of what a mistake 60s and 70s-era urban renewal was. To make matters worse, the individual stores are individually owned, but the city owns the common areas. Makes uniform renovations or wholesale demolition hard to come by.

The Batavian’s Howard Owens dug up an early-70s interview with the then-chief of the Batavia Urban Renewal Project, David J. Gordon. It’s quite eye-opening, and one wonders, in retrospect, what Mr. Gordon would think now of his pet project.

Batavia Before

14 Aug

Before urban renewal tore down half of downtown Main Street and replaced it with the fugliest “mall” in the area. Found at the Batavian.

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