When I was a little boy around five years old I use to beg my mother to bring me downtown. It use to be tons of fun and there was so much to do even though we never had much money to spend. She would bring me to all the stores such as Sibley’s, B. Foreman and my favorite McCrory’s. McCrory’s use to have this counter that you could sit at and I remember having my grilled cheese sandwiche and a hot cocoa. Across from there was hot pizza which was another favorite of mine.
Then around Christmas we would go to Midtown Plaza and wait in line until I was able to ride the amazing Monorail that would go straight through Magic Mountain. Afterwards I would go see the big man known as Santa Clause and tell him what I’d want for Christmas. Things could get no better for a little boy who had the privilege of experiencing downtown Rochester, NY and Christmas back in the old days.
Whenever I drive down Main Street I can see all the people who use to jam pack the area back in the 1980’s. There was so many people walking around you could hardly move without banging into them. I can also picture the old fashioned McDonald’s that use to be there.
I’ve witnessed many changes over the years such as the big three known as Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox falling from being major companies to practically going out of business. Many of the old buildings that use to tower over Downtown Rochester, NY are gone with some of the Historical ones left being refurbished. Too bad Midtown Plaza didn’t make it.
Recent developments include the creation of Tower 280, the Democrat & Chronicle moving to Main Street and Clinton Avenue and the biggest one, filling in a huge part of the Inner Loop. It’s sad to see many of the old things we remember growing up disappear but it’s also exciting to see things moving into the future.
The last old feature of Downtown Rochester, NY that has went through a huge makeover is the courtyard next to Sibley Square and the Liberty Pole. All the old brick walkway has been replaced with all new cement with modern lighting and new old fashioned styled benches to sit on. And if you’re looking for the old water fountain that once existed don’t bother, thats gone too.
I know it’s hard to see our once beloved Downtown, Rochester, NY change from what we remember growing up to something we hardly recognize but if the rest looks as good as the courtyard close to Sibley Square maybe change isn’t that bad after all.
Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think.