Thursday, December 17, 2009

Midtown Plaza

Those outside of Rochester won't be able to understand my feelings.

Midtown Plaza, the country's first indoor mall, was built in the 1960's. I moved to Rochester in 1974 and at that time downtown Rochester was a fun place to go - day or night.

Through the 70's and 80's, downtown Rochester thrived. Then, like a lot of other big cities, Rochester slowly became a place you didn't want to go to.

On the local news these days, they are talking about the tearing down of Midtown Plaza. It brings tears to my eyes. Yes, it has been closed for years now, and this day was inevitable. But still, it hurts.

I have a lot of memories of that place over the years. I remember evenings out to dinner with friends at the Top of the Plaza, a very nice restaurant at the top of the Midtown tower. When I was a suburban housewife in the 1970's and early 1980's, there were the Sibleys and McCurdy's department stores. . . THE place to shop for quality and variety of merchandise. The suburban Sibleys and McCurdy's just didn't have the extensive variety that the anchor stores downtown had.

There was the monorail and Magic Mountain with Santa at Midtown Plaza every Christmas. We took John and Michael when they were just little guys to ride the monorail. Thinking back, the two of them fit into one car. . . now looking at them, it is hard to imagine even one of them fitting inside one of those "tiny" cars!

In later years, when I was in real estate, many of my closings were at law offices in downtown Rochester. I always went to closings with my buyer clients and I loved showing my out of town clients downtown Rochester. . . showing them the Clock of Nations at Midtown and telling them all the fun things there were to do and see downtown.

You could find unique shops downtown that you couldn't find anywhere else. Nowadays there is a different class of people that hang out downtown. Most of the professional offices have moved out to the suburbs.

Back in those days, I could never imagine doing most of my shopping on the "internet"! Facebook, e-mail, online banking, and computer solitaire were unheard of in my life! I didn't even know what a personal computer was back then.

Times change. I sincerely hope that someday downtown Rochester can be the thriving, fun place to go AND SAFE place to go that it once was.

1 comment:

  1. You are lucky you got to experience it when it was vibrant! I never got to experience downtown like that, but there are a lot of little neighborhoods like The Upper Monroe Neighborhood, Southwedge and Neighborhood of the Arts that are revitalizing - just not exactly downtown unfortunately.


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