Rundel Library North Terrace Project in Rochester, NY

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There was a time when I wasn’t sure Rochester was fully committed to assembling a collection of interconnected public space anchors that could elicit the sort of nuanced, “look what I found” place-making adventure that we see in our greatest American cities. Thankfully, as usual, I was proven wrong.

The Rundel Library North Terrace project, another crown jewel in The Flower City’s RocTheRiverway campaign, was introduced to the public a little over a month ago. Featuring a theater-style compliment to Rochester’s historic Rundel Library, and an unobstructed overlook of the raging Genesee River, the space begs the casual onlooker to stop and explore the artfully-sourced urban real estate.

With nuanced seating options, flowing lines of concrete and creative planters, this new mini Mecca of public space in the heart of The Flower City’s downtown is a welcomed addition. Furthermore, views of the raging Genesee River, formally the natural force that powered the mills that made Rochester the world’s largest producer of flour in the late 19th century, have been re-imagined to connect Rochester residents to their history once again.

Finally, the not-do-obvious piece of interactivity in this space comes to life with the push of a button… a crosswalk button!

And the space takes on a new glowing life at night…

It’s a small step. A piece among many planned and completed additions as part of Rochester’s efforts to invigorate its downtown, create dynamic public space and reconnect residents and visitors to the riverfront.

Rochester’s population is beginning to rise after decades of population decline. And as more of these spaces take shape, Rochester begins to look more and more like a city manicured with purpose and the unwavering dedication to the human connection with transcendent design that brings us together.