The Cobbs Hill Neighborhood’s quiet gentility and proximity to recreational and green spaces attract and retain residents who relish the neighborhood’s expansive 20th-century homes on the tree-shaded street.
Nunda Boulevard is one of Cobb Hill’s neighborhood’s most inviting streets, featuring an expansive grassy mall designed by landscape architect Alling DeForest. The Pittsford native, who worked for a time in the prestigious Landscape Architectural firm of Olmstead Brothers in Massachusetts, is considered one of the foremost landscape architects in the U.S.
Once farmland within the Town of Brighton, it was annexed by the City in 1914. Today the neighborhood’s western boundary begins at Cobbs Hill, stretches north to Route 490, east to Route 590, and south to the city line and the Town of Brighton.
Cobbs Hill offers panoramic views of the Rochester skyline and contains a city reservoir at its highest point. An architect with the A.J. Warner & CO, J.F. Warner, designed the reservoir’s columned gatehouse. The company designed most of Rochester, New York’s most prominent architecture: the original City Hall, St. Mary’s Hospital, and the Powers Building, among others. At its base, Lake Riley on Culver Road offers picnic pavilions and playgrounds, while baseball, softball, soccer fields, basketball, and tennis courts offer opportunities for sports.
Cobb’s Hill had less bucolic use during World War II when it served as a POW camp. During the day, 60 Italian prisoners worked on local farms. As the war progressed, the Italians were allowed to work unguarded and were joined by local citizens at weekend dances. German prisoners followed, and they too were popular with residents who would stand outside the barracks and listen to their impromptu choir sessions. After the war, the barracks were converted to apartments. EZ Rochester Junk Removal
Washington Grove, a 27-acre sanctuary of undeveloped walking trails, is harbored in Cobbs Hill. The Grove elicits high praise from the Sierra Club, which praises “nature’s cathedral” of giant old oaks that attracts hikers and dog walkers.
The neighborhood is also home to Temple Beth El, a congregation that dates back to 1865 when the first Jewish families came to Rochester, NY. Church history recounts Beth Israel as a small “Leopold Street shul” in Rochester. By 1916, a new synagogue was opened at Meigs Street and Park Avenue corner. In 1963, a new Temple Beth El on Winton Road was designed by architect Percival Goodman, an advocate for modern architecture in constructing religious buildings.
Across the street, South Winton’s First Unitarian Church is a complementary structure to Temple Beth El. The church, designed by world-renowned architect Louis Kahn, was named “one of the greatest religious structures of the 20th century” by Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger.
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