Northwest Quadrant - Charlotte
Residents of the Charlotte (pronounced shar-lot) neighborhood enjoy the best of all possible worlds -- a scenic resort village situated inside a world-class city. A very active and cohesive Neighborhood Association completes the small-town feel. In summer, locals and visitors flock to Ontario Park Beach, music concerts and special events like the Rochester Harbor and Carousel Festival. Each winter, the Lakeside Winter celebration draws hundreds to the "Chilly, Chili Challenge" and "Polar Plunge," along with dog sled runs and "frostbiter" sailboat races.
The Charlotte Neighborhood Association, founded in 1962, ranks among the largest and oldest neighborhood groups in the city. It is ever watchful of the environmental and historical assets within its boundaries, which begin on the east at the Genesee River, reach west to the boundary of the Town of Greece, south to historic 19th century Holy Sepulcre and Riverside cemeteries, and ends north at Lake Ontario.
First, home to Seneca Indians, then European settlers, the confluence of Lake Ontario and the Genesee River forms a natural port that attracted international trade until the War of 1812. Later, its commercial usefulness diminished with the arrival of the Erie Canal in 1823. Undaunted, Charlotte rebounded to become "The Coney Island of the West" as hotels, cottages, and a small amusement park edged the shoreline. One one Fourth of July in the late 1800's, 20,000 people arrived for a day at the beach. In 1905, a genuine Dentzel menagerie carousel was built and "The Dutchess" remains a landmark today as one of only 14 "antique menagerie carousels in the United States."
By 1916, the village of Charlotte was annexed into Rochester and a neighborhood was born. Houses on its residential streets range from large turn-of-the-century homes and small cottages alongside post World War II houses and apartment complexes.
Architectural landmarks include the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum and Tower (the first lighthouse was built in 1822, and replaced in 1862) and the Charlotte Library (1919) which is housed in an old firehouse.
An aging Stutson Street bridge was replaced in 2004 by the Colonel Patrick O'Rorke Memorial Bridge, which honors Irish immigrant and Union a Union Colonel killed in the Civil War.
Restaurants that line Lake Avenue, the neighborhoods main thoroughfare, include fine and casual dining. The first Abbot's Frozen Custard, a Rochester institution since 1902, is located across from Ontario Beach. Some restaurants have given new life to historic buildings, like Hose 22 Firehouse Grill on Stutson Street, and the new, upscale Pier 45 Restaurant that is located in the Port of Rochester Terminal overlooking the river.
Important green spaces within the neighborhood include Turning Point Park, Trail and Rain Garden on the Genesee River. The Genesee River Trail, designated as a national recreation trail in 2006, is nearing completion in its southern route from downtown Rochester to the port. When completed, the urban, off-road trail will travel along the Genesee River from downtown to Lake Ontario. It currently links the Erie Canal Heritage Trail and the Genesee Greenway Trail (Erie Canal to Pennsylvania).
Within the last decade, some $150 million dollars of public money was funneled into the area. The Charlotte neighborhood is once again readying itself for another renaissance as the city makes plans for a Port of Rochester Marina and housing with some of the best lake views in town.
If you would like additional information on this neighborhood, please contact the Northwest Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center:
71 Parkway - First Floor
Rochester, New York 14608