Grassroots Effort to Save Historical Subway from Unceremonious Burial Gains Support

When an underground movement in the form of an abandoned subway tour group was forced by the City of Rochester to come out of their beloved tunnel in the interest of public safety, their efforts to block the subways planned twenty one million dollar burial by the city gained widespread support.

Rochester, NY (PRWEB) June 23, 2005 -- The grassroots group S.E.C.R. (Subway Erie Canal Revitalization) was formed in early May of this year to save the subway in downtown Rochester, New York from utter annihilation, and they have quickly won the endearment of the public for the subway.

Filmmakers Fred Armstrong and James P. Harte have produced a 45 minute video documentary on the history of the Rochester Subway, which operated from 1927 to it's abandonment in 1956. Using archival images, interviews and contemporary footage, "The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway" tells the story of the smallest city in America to build and abandon a subway.

Since the abandonment, the old subway has required periodic maintenance and repair by the City of Rochester, and in fact "holds up" major sections of roadway throughout central parts of the city. The city plans once and for all to permanently pack the subway with dirt this December, to the tune of $21 million.

S.E.C.R. and supporters are advocating for a moratorium on the burial, to buy time for seeking alternative solutions which would preserve this historical underground wonder. Arguments for saving the subway include the potential for tourism and incentives for new business and jobs; all things which would enhance the economy in the struggling downtown district.

As part of their campaign, S.E.C.R. began giving underground tours of the subway. Early on, when one tour roster soared to over 300 participants, the City of Rochester took notice. S.E.C.R. was asked to halt the tours, and the city posted "No Trespassing" signs at entrance points to the subway. Without skipping a beat, S.E.C.R. continued the tours above ground, taking advantage of the additional historical points to be cherished around the city. S.E.C.R. has also launched a web site to gain wider support, showcase photos, and educate others:

As one "save the subway" supporter observed, "It seems to me that twenty some million dollars to bury it is a bit of a frivolous funeral. That money might be better spent investing in the development of it for the future of the city, rather than in just burying its past."

Public interest continues to grow and agree with that.

As it should. The subway is, in a very abstract way, absolutely romantic. To Bury it? That would be an irrecoverable tragedy.

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