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I was taken aback when I saw the new East Ave. Wegmans construction. Approaching the store on East Ave. from the east, it looked like a giant wall along Winton.

Big Box, welcome to the neighborhood.

Rendering of view from East & Winton

Indeed, the renderings of the final design of the east side of the building look very wall-like. There will be plants and a nice sign, but the back of the building is to a major arterial.

I get why the neighborhood fought to have architectural elements included in the design, but there’s only so much you can do to dress up a big box. I shop at the East Ave. Wegmans and I’m very much looking forward to the new store, but I can’t say I’m happy at how this is progressing.

The south and west sides of the new store will be quite attractive. But when you get off the highway at University/East/Winton, you’ll see the Wegmans Wall.

Rendering of east side of Wegmans East. Ave.

Links of the Day:

– A developer broke ground on Brooks Court, a 29-home subdivision near Brooks Landing. A cul de sac will be built on the 4.5 acre parcel. The layout and the homes are positively suburban. It seems like a weird fit for the 19th Ward.

– The developer of BayTowne Plaza in Penfield thinks he can “replicate a traditional town center combined with a massive Super Walmart and an ocean of parking.” That’s simply not possible.

– Buffalo and Rochester have the lowest percentage of underwater homes in the country.

– Syracuse has a large mural made up of QR codes that can only be seen on cell phones.

– The New York State Fair discovered outsourcing bathrooms doesn’t work.

Buffalo, the rudest city in America.

29 Responses to The Great Wall of Wegmans

  1. August 23, 2012 at 11:40 am Louis P responds:

    Looks much better than many of the buildings around the are still though. No complaints from me.

  2. Isn’t this a huge improvement over the old store?

  3. August 23, 2012 at 11:45 am Tony Mittiga responds:

    The Winton-East-University intersections are so busy, with turning lanes, merges, and a high volume of traffic, that sightseeing is almost out of the question for motorists. You had better concentrate on driving. Very few hardy pedestrians pass by, and they have to focus on the traffic as well. The car is the problem, not the architecture.

  4. I don’t get the reasons for any concern/ Have you looked at the many eyesores all around that area? The Wegmans installation is vastly superior in quality and aesthetics to the mish-mash of ugliness all around it. I see it as a major improvement, wall or no wall. Seems like grasping at straws to find some negatives when one should applaud Wegmans for constructing yet another state-of-the-art facility that will serve the community in myriad ways.

  5. August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm Orielly responds:

    I can’t recall the last time Wegmans did something really bad and when hearing about it, did not take action. Considering all they do for this city and their commitment to this area I think we owe them the benefit of the doubt and let us see what the final product looks like before we put up complaints. If it ends up ugly, they will make it pretty.

    I am amazed that Wegmans went through the bother with East Ave store. They could have kept it the way it is and put the millions in another area super store in Boston Philly etc. Their net gain would have been far greater w/new store in a major city. As a city, we need to get off their backs and support their new investments in this area vs constant opposition by a few in the minority. .

    • we should declare it a landmark like folks wanted for the buildings that were torn down for the site. We could say it was representative of post-modern box architecture.

  6. “Must be our mural gene”

    I’d rather have a blank wall than those “works of art” on St. Paul! The mural on the wall behind the Purple Plaza at Winton and East has got to be the most boring (albeit non-scandalous) mural I’ve ever seen. If we must have murals, let’s keep it to flowers, fruits and vegetables. And butterflies. I like butterflies.

  7. August 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm Pat McDermott responds:

    Cul de sacs are terrible. Why did the city allow this? http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2011/09/street-grids/124/

  8. First of all, Those aren’t the final design renderings. Unfortunately the final design doesn’t exist anywhere on the internet, but can be seen hanging on a the wall at the East Ave. Customer Service Desk. I can still think so many ways it could be improved.

    I wish people would stop being so ridiculous about Wall Therapy. The Project was a great gift to our city and the murals are world-class. Although I personally think our local FUA Krew does better work on North Clinton. Blank walls must go!

    • August 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Yes, those are the final designs. The bottom pic was dated 6/11, the same week the city gave final approval. The upper pic was dated 3/11 and doesn’t differ from the bottom one.

  9. I believe the bottom, but the upper pic is quite different than the ones posted up at Wegmans.

    • August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm Rachel Barnhart responds:

      Hmmm, these are the ones submitted to the city for its approval, so I can’t imagine they can legally deviate.

  10. Link to story about Buffalo being rude goes to BayTowne story.

  11. August 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm Sarah J responds:

    That tidal wave of a wall is an insult to the neighbors. “Here, look at my naked back side while I put lovely clothes on the front bits.” There is a solution, though. Tear down the Wendy’s and Buckman’s on the other side of the street, for parking, paint the wall white, and make it the first urban drive-in theatre ever built!

  12. August 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm Orielly responds:

    “That tidal wave of a wall is an insult to the neighbors”.

    No its not. A minor insult would be to keep the East ave store the way it was. A major insult would have been to close that store.

    That supposed ‘wall’ insult to the neighbors here, is a begged for ‘insult’ by over 25000 letters asking for a Wegmans to be built in their area, nation wide.

  13. August 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm Michael Bloch responds:

    Hopefully, when the East Ave. Wegmans is finished it will look like the artist renderings. I think it will because Wegmans usually does what they promise.

  14. Guys we all Know Rachel Barnhart is just playing Devils advocate.This new Wegmans will be awesome! So good for that area!

  15. August 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm Sarah J responds:

    Not Awesome…

  16. August 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm Mittens responds:

    Oh god…. I was under the assumption that Brooks Court was going to be new urban housing, but why am I not surprised?

  17. Did you notice the schools link from Brooks Court web page was to:


    Now that’s funny.

  18. August 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm Fernando responds:


  19. Pingback: Only One Left » The Rochesterian

  20. February 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm louis rossi responds:

    Thank god that claustrophobic dump is gone.

  21. March 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm MB Rogers responds:

    You guys are complaining about a “wall”! Try living in the capitol of New York State, which is Albany by the way and having to travel 120 miles to get to any Wegmans. With gas edging towards $4 per gallon that has significantly decreased my trips to the Dewitt Wegmans (closest location). But now I can look forward to driving 180 miles and shopping in Boston!

    NOTE to Wegmans delivery trucks – feel free to stop in Albany as you drive by our exit on the Thruway – we’ll treat you to a coffee!

    I don’t know what the Wegman family has about our area but if it relates to the Golub family, enough! There don’t appear to be any qualms about going into anyone else’s backyard, i.e. Shaw’s and Stop and Shop in MA.

    Would love to have someone from Wegmans respond to this as no one from the company ever responds to the numerous emails and letters we send on a regular basis!

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