Reclaiming Identity: Utilizing Historic Fabric to Revitalize Downtown Rochester

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America’s first boomtown, Rochester, New York, rapidly decentralized after World War II. Like other mid-sized industrial cities, Rochester struggled to retain residents and businesses as suburbia flourished. Recently, the city is witnessing a resurgence as national trends favor urban living. This growth coupled with initiatives to develop downtown, leads to Rochester’s obligation to reclaim its identity on the Genesee River by adaptively reusing its historic structures, establishing public spaces, and developing vacant lots to benefit current and future residents and businesses. The development of downtown by respectfully utilizing historic fabric will address the unused skeletons of past endeavors by reclaiming these spaces.

The opportunity to reclaim the abandoned Erie Canal aqueduct and Broad Street Bridge, through programming will fit the needs of the downtown. The development of the structure as a centerpiece will assist in the city’s revitalization effort and breathe life into the central business district.