This project originated on a 2004 tour of the Rochester Subway, organized by the local section of the American Planning Association. While on this tour, Jason noticed this image of Rochester’s iconic Erie Canal Aqueduct and took a photograph of the painting. He was transfixed by the presence of this image of one of the city’s most unique and recognizable structures, rendered in the modern urban art form of graffiti, on a wall within the very structure that the image portrayed. The multiple layers of “sense of place” was profoundly moving.
The Erie Canal Aqueduct, or Second Genesee Aqueduct, is also known as the Broad Street Bridge. The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. It was completed in 1842 and replaced the First Genesee Aqueduct. The structure carried the Erie Canal across the Genesee River in downtown Rochester until this section of the canal was abandoned in 1919. The Rochester Subway was then constructed in the former canal bed and Broad Street was constructed above. Since subway service ended in 1956, the lower level of the aqueduct has been largely unused except by the homeless, occasional utility maintenance, and clandestine graffiti artists.
The Erie Canal Aqueduct’s graffiti wall is a dynamic, constantly changing canvas. This graffiti from 2004 has long since been covered by new artwork. Both Jason and Tanya felt that this art, produced by an anonymous artist a decade ago, so unique and so connected to the place that is Rochester, deserved to be more widely known.
The Aqueduct Graffiti print was printed by Eagle Graphics in the Neighborhood of the Arts. The prints are 18.7″ long and 8″ tall.
To purchase this item please visit our friends at Little Button Craft in the South Wedge, 658 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620. https://www.littlebuttoncraft.com/
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