he Upper Monroe neighborhood provides both commercial bustle and the serenity of peaceful tree-lined streets filled with beautiful older homes. Add in the beauty of Pinnacle Hill (the city’s highest point) along with the many recreational opportunities in adjacent Cobbs Hill Park, and you can see why Upper Monroe is a favorite neighborhood for many Rochesterians.
In 1840, C.F Crosman founded the Crosman Seed House at 901 Monroe Avenue. By 1890 it was one of the largest seed houses in the world encompassing over 1,200 acres. Until it was sold in 1925, the Crosman Seed Company defined the Upper Monroe Neighborhood. However, its legacy still lives today in Crosman Terrace and in the pride that Upper Monroe homeowners take in their yards and gardens and the affinity that residents feel toward their parks and open spaces.
Homes ranging from early 20th century single-family homes, half doubles, row houses and sturdy brick apartment buildings stand proudly over scenic yards and sloping streets. The active Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) and the Monroe Avenue Merchants Association (MAMA) work diligently year-round to keep the neighbors engaged and excited about the area. A mix of homeowners and renters keeps this neighborhood diverse, and locally-owned businesses thrive along Monroe Avenue. Down Culver is the new Culver Road Armory, recently transformed through the work of UMNA and developer Fred J. Rainaldi into an exciting mixed retail, office and restaurants. The innovative vision of the new Culver Road Armory creates a compelling and unique 100,000 sq. ft. product with cutting-edge design elements. This well recognized and prominently located Rochester landmark will bring together a diverse and creative tenant base which when aligned, will make the new Armory and its iconic presence a destination for many years to come. The success of the design has been our ability to achieve the look and feel of a contemporary art museum within the original beauty of the monumental historic brick framework.
Wide Water Community Gardens is the largest and most heavily used community garden in the City of Rochester. It consists of 50 rentable plots and hosts a variety of beautiful, public food-producing, ornamental gardens and events. UMNA worked with the City to purchase the land from the State. UMNA, with help from the City, Third Rochester Enterprises Corporation and New Life Presbyterian Church, broke ground on Wide Water Community Gardens on April 22nd, 2010. It started with 22 gardens and with the neighbors, Scott Miracle Gro and Rochester Area Community Foundation have continued to expand.
Also within the neighborhood are Hillside Children’s Center-Andrews Trahey Campus, the Monroe Milers Youth Cross Country program, and the Center for Youth. Hillside Family of Agencies’ integrated system of services addresses the varied, diverse, and complex needs of children and families. The Monroe Milers group promotes youth running with games, workouts and competition in races designed for grades K thru 12th. The two basic principles they want the kids to know are to “HAVE FUN, AND GIVE IT YOUR BEST.” Furthermore, living a healthy lifestyle during these early years are the building blocks to living a healthy lifestyle in later years. The Center for Youth is the best organization to turn to for young people seeking to deal with, explore, or understand issues of importance to them – from their perspective, and on their terms. Started by kids, for kids, all Center services – from counseling, to shelter, to education, to referrals – are rooted in, and delivered with the knowledge that youth want to, and can, take responsibility for their life choices.
The neighborhood affords a great deal of choice and livability within its borders. Its proximity to Center City, Monroe Village and Park Avenues, and even the shopping and services in adjacent Swillburg and the South Wedge just makes Upper Monroe an even more complete urban neighborhood.
Neighborhoods are living breathing entities, which can change over time. Although we have tried to capture the essence of this area, the Coalition will be reviewing information twice a year to determine if any updates should be made. If you have suggestions for an update, please contact us and we will consider it at the next review.