Northwest Quadrant - Maplewood
The Maplewood neighborhood may have stayed only a park had the city agreed with landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead’s original plan - a linear park along the Genesee River gorge that joined Seneca Park with Maplewood Park. Instead, between 1870 and the 1930s, grand estates on large lots and architecturally distinctive homes were built on its shady tree-lined streets.
Today residents enjoy the best of urban living: beautiful older homes that increase in value (many are listed in the National Register of Historic Places) and a lively diverse population working together to preserve its history and protect its future.
The current neighborhood’s boundaries reach west to Mt. Read Blvd., north to the historic Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and east to the Genesee River. Its southernmost boundary, Driving Park, was a popular “sulky” or harness racing course, Rochester Driving Park, from 1874 to 1895. Along with the racetrack, it also hosted exhibition shows such as Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Several of the streets were designed by Olmstead including Seneca Parkway, which includes a central street mall almost one-mile long, now lined with an impressive collection of early-20th-century homes in a variety of architectural styles.
Farther north, the former St. Bernard’s Seminary, erected in 1892 with red Medina stone, was transformed into St. Bernard’s Park studio and one-bedroom apartments, many with vaulted ceilings.
The Maplewood Neighborhood Association, whose motto is “Historic Maplewood - A Family Place," often draws 75-150 participants to its monthly meetings. It also publicizes numerous ways residents can get involved: block clubs, the CERT (Certified Emergency Team, Dewey Avenue “Adopt-A-Block” Litter Pick-Up, Maplewood Gardening Team, and the MNA Arts Committee.
Each June, a festival at the Maplewood Rose Gardens reminds the neighborhood to stop and smell the roses. First planted in the 1920s, the Garden attracts thousands of visitors. Some 3,000 rose bushes with over 250 varieties are planted there. The Park also includes the path to the Genesee Railway Trail and an especially scenic view of two of the river’s waterfalls with the gorge.
Maplewood recreation assets also include the architect Claude Bragdon-designed YMCA, at 25 Driving Park Avenue, built in 1916. Most recently, it underwent a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation.
Religious congregations within the neighborhood are also architecturally noteworthy: the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Flower City Park, Hope Ministry at Emmanuel Temple on Seneca Parkway, Ascension Episcopal Church on Lake Avenue and the Dewey Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Residents are looking for ways to bring new businesses into the area to make their urban neighborhood even more inviting. One such business is The Dark Horse Café on Dewey Avenue, which serves both as coffee shop and a neighborhood-meeting place.
If you would like additional information on this neighborhood, please contact the Northwest Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center:
1099 Jay Street - Bldg D/Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14611