An aerial view of the Group 14621 Neighborhood reveals a patchwork of city streets along with the deep natural gash of the Genesee River gorge. The view takes in the orange stone tower of St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church on Hudson Avenue and the purposeful design of Seneca Park. On the ground, a rich diversity of people fill an area that borders the Genesee River to the west, North Goodman Street to the east, Clifford Avenue to the south, and north to East Ridge Road.
The rich heritage of Rochester, New York 19th-century immigrants is still present in Group 14621, particularly along a stretch of Hudson Avenue known affectionately as Polish Town. St. Stanislaus Kostka Church draws hundreds each year to its annual Polish Arts Festival. This Romanesque Revival Church, dedicated in 1909, received the Landmark Society’s Special Achievement Award in 2004 for restoring the interior and 120-foot bell tower. Other historic landmarks remain in the area. On St. Paul Street, the Rochester School for The Deaf, founded in 1876, maintains a scenic campus. Old Carthage, the city’s earliest settlement and river port in the 1880s, was located a few blocks north.
Group 14621 Community Association, named for the area’s zip code, has been a consistent champion of the neighborhood since 1974. Founded by residents concerned with public safety and zoning issues, the association works on multiple fronts: creating youth training programs, securing grants for home repairs to low-income homes, planting community gardens, and acquiring and selling vacant and foreclosed properties to first-time home buyers. Its efforts helped keep Hickey Freeman Co, a world-renowned manufacturer of handcrafted men’s suits since 1899, in the neighborhood, close to its worker’s homes. Other local businesses also started in Group 14621, including R.C. Shaheen Paint and Salvatore’s Pizzeria. Residents enjoy two (2) popular R-Centers on Carter Street and Avenue D for recreation and positive engagement opportunities for all ages. EZ Rochester Junk Removal
Group 14621 has passionately led community visioning and rehabilitation efforts throughout the years. Residents and community leaders worked hard with Ibero-American Action League and the Healthy Kids Coalition on Project HOPE, culminating in a community-built playground, walking and biking trails, and community garden on the corner of Conkey and Clifford Avenues. Project HOPE successfully challenged the community to transform their notions of health and play in an area not previously considered a safe space.
Other projects include the 2011 “La Avenida” streetscape beautification in Rochester, NY, and a plan to rehabilitate vacant houses using green initiatives for new homebuyers, known as the Remington Super Urban Proposal. In 2013 the Joseph Avenue Business Association (JABA) drew community members in to create a comprehensive plan addressing issues from streetscaping and litter to pedestrian safety and illegal drug activity. Portland Avenue residents also engaged in a 2009 visioning walk and community design workshop that resulted in a thorough conceptual plan and positive steps for the community to take. Currently, the Northeast Neighborhood Service Center runs a new Urban Agricultural and Educational Training Center at 500 Norton Street to provide residents with future options to connect with nature and the community. Find out more about the garden and stay up-to-date with events.
Check out different neighborhoods like Homestead Heights