BTW, just what does Prof. Obama's election have to do with the price of tea? Does anybody actually think he has something in common with the population that is the subject of this report? For all intents he is as much the beneficiary of white privilege as anyone else. On the other hand, many of the report's findings could apply to similarly situated people of other hues.
I 4th these notions!! How come nobody EVER brings up the biggest issue - having kids before you're ready. Stopping that would fix many of the other problems that come up. And it's not like getting pregnant is some disease you catch, there are easy and well-documented ways to prevent it. Of course, if your parent(s) didn't choose to use these methods, it might not be immediately obvious to you. It all starts with the PARENTS!!!
The transition from poverty to working class is the easiest of the upward transitions to be made and people born into a disadvantaged set of circumstances are in the prime position to enjoy some upward mobility, regardless of race or neighborhood. Being self-made has some unique benefits that being born with a silver spoon does not convey. Hard work builds character and a key motivating factor is to provide better opportunities for your kids than you had.
My inclination is that the failure to thrive discussed here is not due to people being black, or people being in the city, but it's primarily a lifestyle choice of the people described, e.g. a conscious decision to indulge in unproductive behaviors while gaming the social safety net instead of undertaking the hard work of self improvement, or perhaps just not realizing that there's another way to live due to lack of role models.
Echoing the other comments, the elephant in the room, to judge from this summary, is the self-perpetuating cycle of casual immorality and bastardy. Nothing will change absent an overwhelming moral and spiritual awakening.
It's like Katy said you will have more children in poverty when Mom & Dad are 15 years old. They aren't going to be the CEO of some company. It's time for those in poverty to take responsability to teach thier young to STAY in school, work hard & wait to have kids. I wasn't handed everything, I had to claw my way to were I'm at. My grandparents learned english when they moved here with nothing, both parents were poor growing up & made it to the middle class. Each generation we try to improve our kids education. You got to suck it up & roll up your sleeves.
The economic realities will remain bleak until the concepts of birth control and family planning are understood. It is pretty hard to 'raise' six children, with six different exCon/BabyDaddies with no money and no education. And that is the problem: they are not 'raised' they are released to the streets and the 'village' or 'aunts' , 'cousins' or 'grandparents.' If you look at successful black and Hispanic people, what they have in common is THEY WAITED TO HAVE CHILDREN UNTIL THEY COULD SUPPORT THEM. (Emotionally and financially)
J.A.M., you raise important points. Regarding our contribution to the Eastman House: we make contributions to numerous area arts organizations and other non-profits, as do many local media. That support is clearly stated on the organizations’ promotional material. We’ve written articles praising those organizations, and we’ve written articles criticizing them.
On the issue of the apartment ownership: It’s a two-flat, 100-plus-year-old house next door to our home – meager competition for a 102-unit, spanking new building. I suppose you could say any new apartments are competition for our units. But I’ve cheered on other new apartment developments, when they were in locations I thought were appropriate. And you might make the argument that the density in the neighborhood, and the resulting popularity of the area, makes our apartments more desirable. Our property value has certainly increased. So perhaps we have a vested interest in more apartments. And any development that adds to the city’s tax rolls helps every other city taxpayer, including me.
But overall, I think you’re right: On the apartments issue, I should have indicated that my husband and I own a rental property in the neighborhood, letting readers decide whether that had any bearing on the subject.
I'm not really sure how this report goes from the Boston Marathon bombings to corruption in state government; Is there supposed to be a link between the two? I don't think there is and I'm not sure what the closing argument is supposed to be: What ever will we do about corruption in Albany? And what will we do about the Boston bombings? Not exactly a coherent argument.
The publisher has now acknowledged not one but two significant conflicts of interest that the original print article did NOT disclose: One, her company is a "substantial" (her word) donor to one of the parties to the controversy. Two, as a competing provider of rental housing in the same market, she has a financial stake in the outcome.
To what extent either of these circumstances influenced the article is an interesting question, but not the main point. Any credible code of ethics mandates avoiding even the APPEARANCE of a conflict of interest. Accordingly, at an absolute minimum these conflicts should have been disclosed early and often.
Douglas Fisher - As to "debasing" the Eastman House, one might argue that tacking on the museum wing has already accomplished that debasement. And since the Eastman House management themselves are the folks who threw away their best chance to preserve the, "original creative vision" of the site (assuming that the original early 1900s vision contemplated adding the aforementioned museum wing in the 1980s) perhaps you should be chastising them.
Henry Hope Reed, who died on Wednesday at 97, pioneered the concept of urban walking tours, such that the New York Times once covered his doing this. His lessons are relevant for Rochester.
Whereas the walking tour that I gave in Victor village on Saturday focused on historical aspects of the locale's 19th-century buildings and their occupants -- such as my identifying the long-ago business in one building and the long-ago businessman's home in his nearby house -- Henry Hope Reed's walking tours were a mobile critique of his subject locale in terms of his own architectural lens.
Reed was an unabashed classicist, and rebelled against what he considered to be an unthinking contemporary treatment in adaptive reuses of historic buildings. For a half century, contemporary "updating" via adaptive reuse has been the favored philosophy in utilizing buildings of our historic architectural heritage, following the precepts of Frederick Rath, promulgated nationwide during his tenure at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Back in the day, I took one of Henry Hope Reed's Manhattan walking tours, this one wending through Greenwich Village. I recall particularly his insights into the alternate preservation philosophy embodied in the Jefferson Market Courthouse, repurposed as a branch of the New York Public Library.
While praising the conservation of the Ruskinian Gothic detailing of the 1870s structure, he railed against the blanket insertions of large single-pane window glass replacing the multi-paned window treatment originally used. He felt that it changed the entire massing of the building to have such a series of large blank spaces spread across the walls.
Henry Hope Reed's classical orientation seems to be a lonely voice today. Many in the general population have no compunction about clamoring to debase -- or even destroy -- significant architectural landmarks as they see fit, giving minimal respect to the carefully thought-through architectural vision which created the structure at issue.
Thus, a nationally-significant 1889 brewery castle was destroyed in Rochester last year for a parking lot, with the complicity of City Hall.
Many others have no problem with debasing an important National Historical Landmark locally in favor of inserting next door a 102-unit four-story apartment house looming over the carefully restored and tended historic lawn and gardens. They even support having a swimming pool abutting these historic gardens, while the brick and glass reflect the shouts of swimming children into the intended contemplative repose of the historic gardens.
Oh, sure, the apartment house supporters have their arguments, some of which may sound compelling in the abstract, but they all gloss over their implicit disrespect for the original creative vision of the landmark site which some are seeking to preserve for the benefit of posterity.
RE: Christopher--Great reasoned OPPOSITION! Ms. Towler's statement "adding density to an area of the city that doesn't need more" is ambiguous since "area" could refer to NOTA or the whole Park/East Ave area. But. . .
it's really not unfounded for either considering their one-lane roads can't accommodate current traffic that backs up from Portsmouth to Culver when the Gleason Works lets out or such shortage of parking that one of the businesses on University is considering relocating because clients can't find a place to park. The same is true for traffic now backing up from East Ave all the way to the 490 entrance to get out of the Park Ave area and sometimes over 30 cars waiting in line on the 490 exit to get on Culver at rush hour; of course, finding parking spots for tenants or business customers in the Park Ave. area has always been a major problem. I agree with everything Christopher says: perceptive, important, and balanced.
The city really does need to reassess its values, goals, and planning (as Ken discusses). During the last year the City approved demolition of the Cataract Building (now a parking lot built by NYC developers who never actually came here) after it spent millions to create the faltering High Falls area across the bridge. The 19th century stores there, across from the original Kodak building which could become MCC, have just been restored. Why the demolition? the complete lack of vision?
The City also approved the demolition of the last remaining historic buildings from "Old Brighton" on East Ave. so Wegmans could build its unnecessarily HUGE store which tries unsuccessfully to imitate old buildings now lost forever. So how much more of our city history will be demolished? Will 933 University be next? It certainly is change, but is it worth this ongoing destruction of Rochester's historical "fabric" (borrowing Ms. Towler's word). She's dead-on right in observing this 933 University Ave. proposal of demolition and over-development is a potentially dangerous precedent and potentially (more) bad City planning.
To Rochester Resident: I do indeed live near the East Avenue Preservation District. I hope that proximity hasn't influenced my decision, but it's hard for any journalist to be certain that we're completely objective about the things we cover. I do think my long-time residence there informs my writing. And I'm not at all against apartments; we lived in one, two doors from our current home, when we moved to Rochester. And we own a rental double next door. We like living in a neighborhood that includes a variety of ages and uses. That's why we settled there. That's why we have stayed.
Several readers have noted that I didn't oppose the demolition of the Cataract Building. That was a hard decision for me, personally, because I agree that the building was an important one, and we've lost far, far too many important buildings in this city. This newspaper has campaigned to save many of them. And we fought hard for one of the city's most controversial preservation districts, Corn Hill. But in each case, we've tried to consider the feasibility of the project. Others disagree, but in our opinion, no firm, feasible alternatives had been presented.
Mary Anna, might your opinion on this project have something to do with the fact that you live near the East Avenue Preservation District? Given your lack of interest in saving the Cataract Building, I find it hard to believe that your viewpoint is based on your concern for preservation.
"While this project isn't appropriate for the East Avenue Preservation District, it could be a real boon to other areas." I think what you're really trying to say is that you don't want apartment dwellers moving into your neighborhood. This provincial attitude is a big part of what prevents Rochester from reaching its full potential. You should consider thinking of Rochester as a city, not as a collection of preservation districts.
By the way, I own a house in the East Avenue Preservation District, and I welcome this potential new addition to our neighborhood. I'm not sure where you are getting your data (I suspect you don't have any) on "traffic problems and parking problems", but a good city planner will tell you that we have a long way to go before reaching our "apartment saturation point." If you care about the future of Rochester, you should rethink your opinion. We should encourage the approval of this project, which will bring vibrancy to our neighborhood and to the CITY of Rochester.
I agree with not having an apartment complex built in t he spot proposed.
I have a better idea. Instead of building something new, Let Morgan take the Savannah complex next to Manhattan Square Park and turn it into high range apartments / condos. There are already 126 units there within walking distance of the East End. The Section 8 housing there does no good as all of the jobs downtown have dried up and moved to the Burbs thereby defeating the purpose of having low income people live there. That should be step 1 in bringing people with money back downtown and it also helps to increase momentum on the gentrification that has already started. The restaurants and bars will follow.
Mary Anna, I find your argument against the addition of density in NOTA unfounded. Density gives vibrancy. Also with increasing density and walk-ability the use of automobiles inherently decreases. Furthermore, the parking added by this building is self-contained. While I disagree with your density sentiments I absolutely agree with the notion that the Voiture Building should not be torn down. Hanlon Architects should try to be a bit more creative in the inclusion and rehabilitation of this building into design of the site. I also would stress that the preservation board be pointed in their criticism and recommendations,as this project demands a significant level of care and detail. Bring on the density and the main building, but save the Voiture Building!
As a further point of contention, where was the lengthy and supporting article for the Cataract Building. Why be so vehement for the opposition of the demolition of a relatively non-descript tudor revival, but yet be quiet and even supporting of the demolition of a significantly sited and unique landmark that was important not only to local cultural heritage, but also national brewery architecture as a whole. If you and or CITY are going to battle for the good of preservation, there is much needed reassessment of your values.
"At what point does the density become too much?"
Walkscore.com gives 900 East Ave a score of 84. Pretty good. I moved here from DC where my place had a walk score of 94 so there is plenty of room to go.
"Has this part of the city's southeast area reached its apartment saturation point? "
There is actually a really easy way to tell when a neighborhood has reached its apartment saturation point. When people no longer want to pay $1500 a month to live in an apartment in the neighborhood and prices start falling because supply has soaked up the demand. Erie Harbor is charging high rents. Hickory Place is charging high rents. People clearly want to live in the East Ave area because rents are high. Adding more housing in that area will help more people live there and it will bring even more amenities to the area.
"It is encouraging that Morgan is willing to invest in the city. But the city has other properties that could be developed." Yes. Perhaps Morgan should build some luxury apartments on Wilkins St. However I think that street may have already reached its luxury apartment saturation point.
There are NIMBYs in every neighborhood. Every project will have some reason to be shot down because nothing should ever change because change is baaaad. I see opposition to this by neighborhood groups as complete NIMBYism. "I got mine, screw everyone else." And yes, ParkResident, it's the same self-centeredness as in Pittsford with the Mark IV project.
Mary Anna Fowler writes a well-researched, thorough, balanced presention of this issue. Then she has the courage to draw a conclusion and state her OPPOSITION to this proposal. I live here, I've been to the meetings and full discussions about this development, and I agree with her. The majority of resisdents here are opposed
to thsis proposal becasue a Preservation District has buildings and an atmsophere that are supposed to be
preserved--the Morgan building isn't right for thjis location. It would be fine in the new College Town, or th enew Midtown, etc. That doesn't mean residents don't want appropraite change. This was orinally all single and double houses, so six new town houses or condos would presrebve the characterr of the mebeighborhood--and
Park and East Ave., NOTA, ABC Streets, Upper Monroe, etc. are NEIGHBORHOODS, not districts or urban centers. They all have been brough back to life proimariily by normal working people, not developers, who
bought neglected old houses and fixed themn up with hard wirk and their oown money. It's the historic houses and atmsohere that draws people--not 102 unit commercial apartment buildings. The Voiture building was built as a small mansion by the same architect who designed Oak Hill Country Club. The wife was a descendent of Nathaniel Rochester. The additions added to the front of the huse by the veterans who bought it in 1941 are ugly, but the house isn't, it's not inn riuins, or gutted by fire--it can easily be restored like most every building here has been. The Voiture group, however, doesn't have the money to pay fror a new roodf, kitchen, bar room and other repairs. Demolishing the house and ruining the beauty of GEH and the historic charcater of this
area is not necessaruy or acceptable in a real Preservation District. The Morgans can build theitr apartments somewhere else; GEH and the Greek Orthodox Church are willing to pay for restoration, maintenasce, and at least 20 years or more of their full use: other developers are also interseted in working with the property.
I don't know whether this apartment looks good across the street from the Gleason Works or not. I don't know if its a good idea or not. My neighbors don't like it so I'll go along with that.
Me and a lot of other neighbors would definitely prefer to see something go up in the empty parking lot between Anderson and Atlantic. But we're not developers. Maybe we'll get frustrated enough and develop it ourselves.
On the other hand, the high rise on the corner of Goodman and University is totally incongruent and we don't care. It's a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. It keeps the corner store open and I want that corner store there when I need it.
One thing for certain - density isn't a reason to oppose this. My folks live in high rises in Manhattan, which, by all accounts, seems to be surviving the density quite well.
@Parkresident "but the neighborhood surrounding Starry Nites, while up and coming, is still pretty dicey (wouldn't want my daughter walking around there at night)."
Well, my daughters have grown up in this neighborhood and one thing is for certain - I wouldn't allow my daughters to walk around at night on Park Avenue either.
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