Northeast Quadrant - Upper Falls
The Upper Falls Neighborhood has its origins in Rochester's immigrant German community. Its earliest settlers built a brewery by the Genesee River's 96-foot High Falls and established dairy farms that gave an area farther north the name "Butterhole."
By the 1950's, the 1,389 square mile area bounded by Clifford Avenue, Central Avenue, North Street and St. Paul Street was a rich mix of cultures. A notable resident during that time was Dr. Freddie Thomas, one of the first African American biological researchers at the Eastman Kodak Company and the University of Rochester. The Dr. Freddie Thomas High School on Scio Street honors his work as an educator, composer, historian and scientist.
After the 1964 race riots, a triad of problems - degraded housing stock, poverty and crime - buffeted the area for several decades.
CONEA, the Coalition of NorthEast Associations, was founded in 1982 by a group of determined residents and stakeholders to focus on housing, crime prevention, economic development and youth leadership. Over the years, CONEA has worked with Flower City Habitat for Humanity to create several single family homes and apply for grants through the New York State Affordable Housing Foundation, to help improve existing homes. One of its largest revitalization efforts brought a Tops Supermarket to the neighborhood. It promotes PAC-TAC (Police and Citizens Together Against Crime), Neighborhood Watch Programs and landscape enhancements. In 2009, CONEA worked with the City's Forestry Department to install an avenue of new trees in the area. It also partners with six neighborhood block clubs: Reed Park, Henry Street, Evergreen Street, Edward Street, Vose Street and Mark Street Block Clubs
St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church on North Clinton Avenue remains the major architectural landmark of the neighborhood. Its tall steeple (the 10th highest building in the city) looms 220 feet above a gothic stone church built in 1890 that is still partially enclosed by an original 19th century wrought iron fence. It remains a vibrant parish today. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 it has acted as "the spiritual home" to the Rochester Fire Department, hosting the annual Firefighter's Mass.
It's "bi-lingual Parish House" contains a universal Pre-K program, as well as an After School Program, and plans to add an Eldercare component to the facility. On the fourth Sunday of every month, Eastman School of Music students hold musical concerts at the church.
One of Rochester's oldest employers remains a vibrant part of the neighborhood. The Genesee Brewing Company at 445 St. Paul Street traces its lineage back to Aqueduct Spring, Rochester's first brewery, built in 1819. It is one of the largest and oldest continuously operating breweries in the US, best known for Genesee beers as well as the J.W. Dundee line of craft ales and lagers.
If you would like additional information on this neighborhood, please contact the Northeast Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center:
500 Norton Street
Rochester, NY 14621