High Falls Overlook Feasibility Study

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The ROC the Riverway initiative will consolidate more than two dozen transformative projects along the Genesee River under a single concept to achieve synergy and leverage the value of Rochester’s riverfront. Revitalizing the Genesee River corridor will help fuel our local economy. RTR will serve as a major asset in attracting new jobs and solidifying our identity as a vibrant waterfront community. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Warren announced the launch of ROC the Riverway in August 2018 with a $50 million initial State investment. High Falls Overlook Feasibility Study was one of the 13 transformative projects along the Genesee River to receive Phase I funding.

Additional information about the ROC the Riverway initiative can be found at https://www.cityofrochester.gov/ROCtheriverway/  

This project is funded by a grant through Empire State Development.


About the High Falls Overlook Feasibility Study

The purpose of this study was to comprehensively investigate the former Station No. 4 structure; to provide recommendations regarding its demolition, rehabilitation, or replacement; and to prepare conceptual designs for the enhancement of the southern portion of the High Falls Terrace Park.  

Extensive investigation of Station No. 4 and the adjacent areas was undertaken to determine the feasibility of reuse of the structure as a tourist overlook.  A team of expert consultants gathered the data required to determine the condition of the primary structural elements: foundations, masonry walls, interior framing supports, and rock face.  Upon compilation and review of all the data, it was determined that reuse of the structure, either through rehabilitation or replacement, was infeasible due to the poor condition of the structure and the costs and safety hazards to undertake the extensive improvements required.  As such, it is recommended that the structure either remains as is or is demolished.

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Improvements to High Falls Terrace Park were also explored as a component of this project.  Since the Station No. 4 Overlook was eliminated as a potential amenity, the project team explored other options to improve the southern end of the park.  Ultimately three schematic design options were created that will improve and enhance the viewsheds from the park, increase visibility and public safety, and provide additional programming in the form of sculptures, restroom facilities, and a zipline launch.

The final report was completed in January 2022 and received final approval in February 2022 from Empire State Development.  Next steps are being evaluated in coordination with the proposed High Falls State Park.

Links to Final Report

Low resolution version 

High resolution version


Project Manager

Ellen Micoli Soffa, R.L.A.