Southwest Quadrant - 19th Ward
The 19th Ward Neighborhood’s motto - “Urban by Choice” - says it all.
Residents here pride themselves on the rich diversity of their neighborhood and are passionate about their community. As one of the city’s largest, the 19th Ward’s geographical boundaries reach north to Chili Avenue, east to the Genesee River, west to Interstate 390 and south to Scottsville Road. Its natural assets include the Frederick Law Olmsted designed Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River and historic Erie Canal.
The social activism of its residents is legendary. The 19th Ward Community Association is one of the oldest in the country. Each year the WCA holds a home tour to show off its housing options ranging from one-story cottages to large mansions. An annual CROPWALK raises money to fight hunger locally. In June, the Aberdeen Square Fair offers a cultural day of arts and crafts. Later in the year, the neighborhood holds a Candlelight Dinner and a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
Its schools include the Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School Commencement Academy (or Wilson), one of the top high schools in the country.
Its earliest settlers congregated in the early 1800s, when the Genesee Valley Canal was built as a south-to-north bypass route around dangerous river currents. Failing as a canal, it later became a railroad bed and is now an abandoned right-of-way that today’s environmental activists eye for future rehabilitation.
Along with community building, the area is the scene of a major redevelopment project known as the Brooks Landing Project, which is located on the west bank of the Genesee River. A pedestrian bridge connects Brooks Landing to Rochester’s leading economic engine, the University of Rochester River Campus and Medical Center, which includes Strong Memorial Hospital. The 80-room Staybridge Suites extended-stay hotel anchors the project and was completed in 2008. Other components include a vibrant coffee shop operated by Boulder Coffee Co. More exciting work is in progress for this area, with the Brooks Landing II Public Improvement project underway.
Two area churches continue to maintain an active profile in the 19th Ward. Genesee Baptist Church was founded in a home on Genesee Street in 1868 in response to the wild Rapids community. It grew into a sturdy brick church on Brooks Avenue. In the early 1900s, St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Church joined the scene. Now it is a combined home to several Roman Catholic parishes and the Emmanuel Church of the Deaf. It is the summer site of the Westside Farmers Market. More changes are planned, including a facelift for businesses on Thurston Avenue, another shopping destination for the neighborhood.
If you would like additional information about this neighborhood, please contact the Southwest Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center:
923 Genesee St.
Rochester, NY 14611