High Falls, named for its spectacular 96’ waterfall, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and is rich with history. It is a designated City Preservation District and New York State Heritage Area, to preserve, enhance and depict the natural, cultural, social and historical resources and events that have contributed to the development of New York State and to provide educational, inspirational, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations. Recognizing that the falls could be harnessed for energy, early settlers began building mills here as early as 1807. Throughout the 19th century the neighborhood was home to a variety of industrial uses. By the 21st century, High Falls reinvented itself as a residential and business hub, housing some of the city’s most prestigious advertising, architecture, and technology firms. Former industrial buildings have also been adapted to stunning lofts and apartments.
One of the remaining cobblestone streets is named for the Brown brothers, who constructed Brown’s Race to harness the waterpower. An interpretive version of the Race is being converted by Greentopia and the City of Rochester into the FlourGarden, a 300-foot-long sustainable, native-planted garden and water feature.
The Pont de Rennes pedestrian bridge provides panoramic views of the Falls and connects High Falls on the west side of the gorge to the St. Paul corridor and Genesee Brewing Company on the east. It is a must-see destination for any visitor to Rochester, and for residents who are ‘in the know’. Check out the High Falls Center and Museum, or the summer concert series or Rochester’s River Romance Festival.
The Genesee Brewery has bolstered an emerging eco-brewing district as well as a popular new center and restaurant. Sahlen Stadium, Frontier Field, and the new Monroe Community College building are right there, and just around the corner is Center City, for anyone looking to work or play downtown.
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.