McCurdy's was a retail giant and pioneer in Rochester for nearly a century and the last of the locally owned family department stores. Though perhaps overshadowed by Sibley's — which was profiled in an earlier "Whatever Happened To…" installment — McCurdy's certainly made its own enormous impact in Rochester. Foremost was the development of Midtown Plaza, the first downtown shopping mall in the country and a project that revitalized the city shopping scene. McCurdy's also was the first Rochester department store to branch to the suburbs when it opened in Greece's Northgate Plaza in 1953. The business started as McCurdy and Norwell Co. in 1901 before changing its name to McCurdy & Co. 18 years later. Founder John Cooke McCurdy was a transplanted Philadelphian who was born in Ireland. The flagship store opened at East Main and Elm streets. Arch-rival Sibley's was further west on Main Street at the time but moved a few years later directly across from McCurdy's. That … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened To … McCurdy’s?
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With summer here, we turn our thoughts this week to a way that Rochesterians kept cool in past years. The swimmobile was, as its name indicates, a mobile swimming pool that city workers brought to neighborhoods. Kids who otherwise couldn’t get to a pool or beach splashed about in the contraption, which looked like a semi-trailer cut in half and filled with water. City Recreation employees carted the swimmobile by truck to various locations, used water from hydrants to fill it, then hauled it away at day’s end. The city also had porta-pools that were set up for longer periods of time at various sites. Other cities, like New York City and Detroit, also used swimmobiles for a time. The longtime TV series The Simpsons even featured one in an episode. Rochester’s swimmobile debuted around 1967. A Democrat and Chronicle story that year said it was developed by then-Recreation Bureau director Joseph Caverly and copied by other agencies across the country. (Other news stories … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened to … Rochester’s swimmobile?
The Red Lion was a downtown restaurant where Rochester’s movers and shakers met to eat, drink and frequently hash out business and political deals. The business began in one of Rochester’s best-known buildings and later moved – begrudgingly – to a brand-new skyscraper just a half-mile east. The original restaurant was run by a group that included a former boxer who later became a town supervisor in Wayne County. Squabbles that forced the Red Lion to move filled news accounts for months. Two separate farewell parties were held after the initial closing date was “postponed.” A suburban version of the restaurant was on Monroe Avenue in Brighton, but this story is about the better-known downtown spot. Opened in 1968 in the Powers Building The Red Lion opened in 1968 in the Powers Building at 36. W. Main St., which had been renamed the Executive Office Building. The landmark building was Rochester’s tallest for years and was noted for engineering … [Read more...] about Whatever Happened to … the Red Lion?
It's time to pass Issue 3 Whether you are a lifelong Bloom-Carroll Local School District resident, a returning BC grad raising your kids, or a welcomed newcomer, our school needs your help! Our small, tight-knit community must rally around our tiniest Bulldogs and vote yes to pass Issue #3 for BC Kids. It’s OUR time to take care of our own…our youngest schoolchildren need a new K-5 elementary school because we are literally bursting at the seams. Students sit all day in tight rows, back-to-back, with no space to explore or expand. We can do better. Our art teacher carries water to her trailer classroom. We can do better. Our little first-graders wait in long lines for a one-stall bathroom. We can do better. Our second graders retreat to cramped, thin-walled trailers that lack necessary security. We can do better. Our intermediate kids eat lunch in a tiny basement cafeteria sporting a single emergency fire escape ladder. We can do better. Our outdated electrical … [Read more...] about LETTERS: County commissioner race, levy question dominate readers’ letters
The woman with the braids thought she was being slick, but all the way across the restaurant at the Beverly Hilton, Michael B. Jordan had her clocked. “There’s this Spidey sense I have now,” Jordan said, wiggling a few fingers near his temple. Jordan, who has portrayed two Marvel superheroes onscreen, was referring to a third: Spider-Man, whose instinct for nearby danger is illustrated by squiggly lines emerging from his head. For Jordan, that sixth sense is activated whenever a fan is secretly trying to take his picture. Though the woman appeared to be focused on her friends, she was holding her iPhone at the sort of angle that the 31-year-old Jordan has come to recognize as a camera trained on him, not them. “I’ve just got to get comfortable with that being my life now,” Jordan said, his lips curling into a half-smile. “After you do a Marvel film, things change.” Few actors would know that better than him. Jordan played … [Read more...] about Michael B. Jordan Is Finally in Control. Now What?