While the Erie Canal seemed a feat of engineering when it was dug in the 1820s, Rochester’s Aqueduct is another remnant of the age, housing many layers of history within its concrete walls. Built between 1836 and 1842, it was the longest and largest aqueduct in the country at the time, connecting the east and west sides of the Genesee River.
Rochester’s subway came along in the 1920s, and the Aqueduct’s seven-arch base was eventually topped by Broad Street in 1927. The space was abandoned when the subway shut down in the 1950s.
Today, a palette of graffiti splashes across the old subway bed, bringing both locals and tourists to view both a piece of history and a work of art.
Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the aqueduct is surrounded by other historical structures, including the Talman Building, where Frederick Douglass published his anti-slavery newspapers.