New projects on Culver Road – Just in time for winter!

A fresh blanket of snow has just fallen on our city—and if you peek just below it, you’ll see a number of fresh and unique streetscape elements appearing on the section of Culver Road bordering the Triangle neighborhood (between East Main and Bay). These projects, which have come to fruition via partnerships between neighborhood volunteers, local artists and businesses, and the Healthy Blocks Initiative at NeighborWorks® Rochester, are part of a larger focus on the walkability, curb appeal, and general appearance of the major commercial arterial. Here are some quick facts about the new projects:

COMMUNITY MURAL

 Mural: Shawn Dunwoody // Photo: Mikey Vargas-Rodriguez

Mural: Shawn Dunwoody // Photo: Mikey Vargas-Rodriguez

Where: on the back of the building which houses Johnny’s Pub (next to the Rick Muto mural), 1378 Culver Road. The mural’s original proposed location was on the Culver-facing wall of the old Family Dollar (now Dollar General) plaza, but had to be moved due to insurance requirements imposed by the building’s owners and public safety concerns regarding the construction of the exterior wall.

What: a community project initiated at the 2016 Community Leadership Institute (CLI), which is a convening of resident volunteers and non-profit staff held by NeighborWorks® America each year. Triangle neighbors have attended in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The CLI focuses on peer sharing, education, and best practices for resident leadership development.

Who: the mural was designed by Shawn Dunwoody after a public visioning forum held at St. Mark’s and St. John’s Episcopal Church in July. The design went through a number of iterations before its final version was approved by the Triangle neighborhood group.

When: the mural was painted by Shawn and community volunteers on November 25 and 26, and installed on Tuesday, November 28.

How: funding for the project came from the CLI Action Plan Grant and from other resources cultivated by NeighborWorks® Rochester’s Healthy Blocks Initiative.

 

COBBLESTONE MICROPARK

 Photo: Monica Finger. Excuse the orange fence!

Photo: Monica Finger. Excuse the orange fence!

Where: outside the historic cobblestone house at 1090 Culver Road – the last remaining cobblestone house in the City of Rochester.

What: a project that also came from the CLI, this time from 2015! ‘Microparks’ and ‘parklets’ outside businesses and in the public sphere make the street more beautiful and inviting for pedestrians and cyclists.

Who: McCord Landscape Architecture provided landscape design services, Scott Construction of Rochester tore out the asphalt and graded the site, and Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care installed the hardscape and did all planting. The Landmark Society of Western New York has been working with the property owner, the City of Rochester, and NeighborWorks® Rochester to move the house itself towards rehabilitation.

When: the parklet was completed on December 1. However, it will be getting a touch-up in the spring when the plants come back up, so keep an eye out for a celebratory event to be held next year!

How: besides the grant provided by the CLI, additional funding for the micropark was given by Frontier Communications and by NeighborWorks® America’s Pride in Place opportunity.

 

CULVER/EAST MAIN ARTISTIC GATEWAYS

 Gateway: Thievin' Stephen // Photo: Monica Finger

Gateway: Thievin' Stephen // Photo: Monica Finger

Where: four painted ‘gateway’ structures will stand prominently on the corners of Culver Road and East Main Street, serving as welcome signage to the four neighborhoods that meet at this intersection (Beechwood, the Triangle, North Winton Village, and ACE). As of writing this, one has currently been installed (on the North Winton/Southeast corner) and the other three are nearing completion.

What: the gateway signs began as an idea from the (you guessed it!) 2014 CLI. Although it has taken many years to realize the concept, the purpose remains the same: to celebrate both the unity and cooperation between the four neighborhoods and their distinct uniqueness.

Who: local muralist Thievin’ Stephen worked with students at East High School and other neighborhood leaders to develop a portfolio of notable architecture from each of the four neighborhoods. Using those images, he created collages and painted them onto wooden gateway structures using a stencil/spray paint method. Thievin’ Stephen’s work can be seen all over the City of Rochester (check out his Instagram for more).

When: the first gateway was installed on December 7. Weather permitting, the other three will be installed by the end of 2017.

How: the City of Rochester contributed the bulk of the funding for the gateway project. Thank you!