72 Conkey Avenue: Lost

72 Conkey Avenue: Lost

This article was scraped from Rochester Subway. This is a blog about Rochester history and urbanism has not been published since 2017. The current owners are now publishing link spam which made me want to preserve this history.. The original article was published October 25, 2015 and can be found here.

72 Conkey Avenue has been demolished. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

     By       Mike Governale

Here's a quick update on     a story    we brought attention to exactly five years ago. On this empty lot (shown above) once stood 72 Conkey Avenue. The old 19th century Victorian storefront had been the subject of a demolition-vs-rehabilitation debate--one between the City of Rochester and neighborhood resident, Jim Fraser, who has restored a handful of neglected homes in the area. Jim saw 72 Conkey as a diamond in the rough...

72 Conkey Avenue before demolition. [IMAGE: heckeranddecker.wordpress.com]

   This is what the building looked like in 2010 when we first read of     Jim Fraser's $60,000 proposal    to buy the property and turn it into a rent generating, job producing, store-front and community space.

So what happened? Jim says, "Unfortunately, I haven't had the resources to pursue new projects since being laid off a few years ago." A story all too common in our area.

While the building sat boarded up, City administrations came and went. And with no other prospects, decision-makers chose to demolish it a few weeks ago.

"I feel it's a terrible loss for the community," Jim laments. "What may have been northeast Rochester's oldest corner store - but what could I do? There are many, many more properties just sitting and rotting here. Watching it happen can be monumentally frustrating at times."

72 Conkey Avenue before demolition. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

   Built in 1879, 72 Conkey was quite possibly the neighborhood's first corner grocery. The rendering above shows how the storefront might have looked after restoration.

Its loss now means that three of the four corners at     this intersection

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are now empty lots; one with some playground equipment, one with an overgrown community garden, and this newest one.

The newest empty lot at Clifford and Conkey Avenue. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

   Some may see this thinning out of our city as progress. Fewer neglected buildings mean fewer places for criminal activity to take place. Me, I'm not sure. I still see the same untended lot, but with less of our city's history intact, and far fewer productive possibilities. I hope I'm proven wrong.    * * *

Chris Gemignani

Chris Gemignani

Rochester, NY, USA