Yesterday I walked around High Falls in Rochester. I’ve taken a stroll through here dozens of times, just to enjoy the the somewhat blank but slowly evolving canvas of industrial brick and hard working metal. A ghost of Rochester’s past and a former hydroelectric power center for the city, the collection of tiny streets that sweep away from the bustle of the city now plays home to offices, new small businesses and a lovely event space.
Attempts to turn the area into an entertainment district have failed mightily, as growth westward across the Genesee River from the east side has struggled to gain traction. The area has become a much better fit for small business growth, an incremental step toward a brighter future for this beautiful land of colorful brick that proudly flaunts its weathered facade. The cold touch of a crisp but sunny winter afternoon brought out the colorful blanket of industrial tones, and while the natural landscape lays in waiting for the warm embrace of the distant spring sun, the bones of High Falls still show their glory all year long. Armed with only an iPhone and a love for this sleepy section of the city, I went for a little walk.
The area’s crown jewel is the 96-foot waterfall, who’s vicious roar is revealed as you turn the corner and make your way across the Pont de Rennes footbridge. As walk toward the Genesee Brewery on the east side of the river, the country’s largest urban waterfall plays host to the background of Rochester’s northern downtown cityscape.
The long and soft orange rays of the winter sun coated the winter-stricken landscape, but the bones of Rochester’s past, and ironically, the city’s future, still stand tall and beautiful. With revitalization efforts in the works, and the Genesee Brew House attracting renewed interest in the area, this former center for energy production has potential to power a vibrant tomorrow for Rochester and its citizens.