This week on The Historians Podcast, an update on a previous program on the origins of the New York State Thruway from Tim Tielman of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo-History, Architecture and Culture. Tielman explains why the Thruway was built some miles south of Rochester. He also delves into historic preservation in greater Buffalo. [Read more…] about Why Does the Thruway Avoid Rochester?
The New York State Thruway Authority has announced construction will begin this month on a $450 million project to redevelop the 27 service areas located on the New York State Thruway. The service areas were originally built in the 1950s, with the last significant redevelopment taking place in the 1990s. On July 29th, ten service areas will close for work to begin on the first phase of the project. Fuel services will remain available at all locations during construction. [Read more…] about 27 Thruway Service Areas Being Modernized
This week on The Historians Podcast New York State Thruway user and Historians Podcast listener Robert Burns makes frequent trips between Rochester and Albany. He has questions on the history of the Thruway, built in the 1950s. For example, why was the Thruway built so far away from Rochester?
We get background on Thruway history from a 2015 interview with Bruce Dearstyne, author of the book Spirit of New York. [Read more…] about NYS Thruway History Subject of Historians Podcast
Gray Hudson Hornet
—In Memory of Don Greene, 46-er #1949
It’s upside-down-bathtub design made
1950s Hudson sedans look like think tanks
with the shallow end toward the rear but
who knew this when Buffalo Boy Don Greene
pulled up in front of my childhood home
at 6222 Forty-Third Avenue in Hyattsville
Maryland to give me a ride to my summer
construction job working for Paul Schaefer
in Schenectady New York in summer 1962
and I fixed Don my specialty sourdough
pancakes I’d learned to make the summer
before in Alaska’s Brooks Range to fuel
our long road trip north and Don refused
a third pancake because he was a mountain
climber then and explained how he would
not carry an extra pound in his climbing
pack so why pack it on his person which
logic suited me fine because I expected
sermons from older friends then since
I was the youngest of four kids myself
and didn’t yet need the Buddha’s help
to dis-identify with my ego which mostly
looked like the derby hat Charlie Chaplin
sat on and that I inwardly chuckled over
when Don’s old Hudson motored onto
the New York State Thruway that had
no Interstate Route number back then
nor pushed northward toward Montreal
right through the Adirondack Mountains
the weekends subtext of my summer job.
The Rooftop Highway, conceived as a thruway extending from Champlain in northeastern New York to Watertown in northwestern New York, is considered by some as the last major link missing from the state system of highways. It has been in the news again in recent years, particularly with the availability of federal stimulus dollars to enhance our infrastructure. As always, plenty of pros and cons are presented, and a whole lot hangs in the balance.
At times, the concept has been described as 20 to 30 years old, but it actually goes back much further. I’m old enough to recall the intense discussions during the 1970s, which takes us back 40 years. But even that is still well short of the idea’s birth. [Read more…] about A Short History of the ‘Rooftop Highway’
The essay on public history in the newly published second edition of the Encyclopedia of Local History, provides some fresh insights. The Encyclopedia, edited by Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen, a long-time leader in the field, and Amy H. Wilson, an independent museum consultant and former director of the Chemung County Historical Society in Elmira, is a rich source of fresh insights on all aspects of local history. [Read more…] about Public History and Debate of Public Issues
New York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. About 37% are “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” according to DOT, a reminder of the need for continuing investment to maintain valuable resources.
Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of three historically significant bridges shows various connections to history. [Read more…] about Bridges And New York History