Southeast Quadrant - Lock 66
The Lock 66 Neighborhood’s historic origins trace back to the Erie Canal, the amazing waterway built in the early 1800's that opened up the “western frontier” from the eastern seaboard. Although the Canal is long gone, the Lock 66 neighborhood remains a vital, eclectic part of city living, reflected through its residents and the businesses that line nearby Monroe Avenue.
The Neighborhood boundaries extend on the north to Monroe Avenue (south side from Goodman to Route I-490), south and east to Route I-490, and west to South Goodman Street. It includes the following streets: Adwen Place, Amherst Street, Boardman Street, Richard Street, Rising Place, Rutgers Street, Sumner Park, and Wilcox Street.
In the early 1800's as each section of the Erie Canal was constructed, people followed: builders and their families, businessmen and other adventurers. They built a variety of homes, first small laborer cottages and later larger single-family homes along the path of the Canal.
Erie Canal Lock No. 66 was located at the junction of Monroe Avenue with the canal. Records indicate that Lock 66 was “a double lock, lengthened at the foot on the berme side, with a lift of 9.53 feet to the west.” The “widewater,” a section that enabled canal boats to turn around, was once located farther south where the ball fields and Lake Riley are now situated within the Cobbs Hill Neighborhood.
In time, Lock 66 was dismantled when the canal bed was replaced by the Rochester trolley line, next the subway path, and finally I-490. The site of the lock is now part of I-490 through the Swillburg Neighborhood.
The Lock 66 Neighborhood Association was established in 1999 to bring homeowners and renters together in community building. Coffee socials are held May through September in Sumner Park, the wide swath of green that splits the street. Sumner Park commemorates an early practitioner of homeopathic medicine, Dr. Charles Sumner. Dr. Sumner practiced medicine in the Rochester Homeopathic Hospital when it opened at 233 Monroe Avenue in 1889. Rochester Homeopathic Hospital later became Genesee Hospital.
Within walking distance of the Lock 66 Neighborhood, residents can find a commercial corridor that offers the best of city living. They can savor Astoria Greek restaurant and Dogtown Hots, “where the best hot dogs live” along with several others eateries. Wilson Hardware and Mercury Posters (art framing and posters) are also close by. In summer months, the Monroe Village Farmers Market brings farm and city closer and keeps food local.
In the art arena, The Genesee Center for Arts and Education at 713 Monroe Avenue is a local landmark. The Center is housed in a former firehouse, first called Hook and Ladder Company No. 4 in 1896, and later Truck Company No. 4 in 1898. Today it contains a plethora of art opportunities for the community. These include Genesee Pottery, Printing and Books Arts and Community Darkroom.
The Lock 66 Neighborhood has come a long way from its origins. It is an active participant with The Monroe Village Task Force, a partnership of the South East Arts Development, as well as the Monroe Avenue Merchants Association, South East Area Coalition, and several adjacent Neighborhood Associations, in a community effort to revitalize this historic city web of streets that once followed the path of the old Erie Canal.
If you would like additional information on this neighborhood, please contact the Southeast Quadrant Neighborhood Service Center:
320 N Goodman St - Suite 209
Rochester, New York 14607