Death To The Inner Loop

View looking north from 24th floor of former Xerox Headquarters
View looking north from 24th floor of former Xerox Headquarters

I think that is the lake out there and our house somewhere on the horizon at the upper right. Tim Schapp used to have a view like this when he worked in the Lincoln First Bank, the white building on the left of this photo. Innovation Square, the former Xerox corporate headquarters, was our first stop on Saturday’s Rochester Landmark Society tour. This is the view from the shared office space on the 24th floor. We visited the gaming center on a lower floor and then an apartment before moving on to four other buildings. The repurposed, former industrial spaces were the most interesting. The newly constructed apartments are nice but a little too orderly.

To an old guy who grew up here it is just amazing how many living paces there are downtown now. Of course that goes along with the large scale exit of retail and office workers.

What you don’t see in this photo is the eastern portion of the old Inner Loop. The city listened when Chuck Cuminale led the crowd at Colorblind James gigs in the “Death to the Inner Loop” chants. The powers that be filled half of it in and apartment buildings sprung up overnight.

The recent “Clarissa Uprooted” show at City Space made it clear how destructive the highway boom was to cities like ours. But as Adam Paul Susaneck put it in an article in this morning’s paper, “It’s heartening that a few places show that change is possible. In Rochester, N.Y., the east side of a massive highway loop that cuts through the city’s Black community and walls part of it off from downtown has finally been demolished, the street grid stitched back together and affordable housing built on the site where the highway used to run. And yes, in many cases, cities should follow Rochester’s lead. “

1 Comment

One Reply to “Death To The Inner Loop”

  1. Except that the side of the Loop that was filled in was in a white neighborhood and the new apartments are not ‘affordable’, they are market value which means $1500+ for a small one bedroom. Obviously that writer did not do any homework. It will be interesting to see the changes to the rest of the Loop when they fill it in. So far it looks like a very different approach. And Chuck was so right!

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