The Swillburg neighborhood is a cozy, active, triangular-shaped twenty-block community in Rochester, New York. The neighborhood, home to dedicated and caring residents, is bordered by Field Street, South Clinton Avenue, Meigs Street, and I-490. The charming, narrow streets and natural mixture of homes and businesses offer a village feel with the convenience of city living.
Swillburg’s historic center is said to be the Karages farm, memorialized by Karages Place, a short narrow street that runs between Clinton Ave and I-490. It is next to the Old Erie Canal, which is now I-490. At the turn of the century, George Goebel ran a prominent pig farm at the corner of Henrietta Street and South Goodman Ave. Swillburg’s name may have originated here because Goebel’s pigs fed on neighbors’ garbage, known as swill.
Irish and German immigrants settled in the working-class neighborhood at the turn of the century, setting up specialty shops, grocery stores, and other businesses along thriving South Clinton Avenue. Today, businesses such as the 1930s Highland Park Diner, upscale Rooney’s Restaurant, and the authentic India House provide diverse dining opportunities.
Swillburg is convenient to all the cities of Rochester, NYC has to offer, including the University of Rochester, Highland Park, Kodak Hall, and the George Eastman House International Center of Photography.
A typical evening in Swillburg might include a leisurely walk through a community garden, a bite to eat at a local establishment, or a movie at the beautifully-restored Art Deco Cinema Theater. Otto Henderberg Park is named after a lifelong Swillburg resident who fought to save the neighborhood after the City Council announced plans to dissect it with an extension of I-390 from Brighton to downtown. The council in 1975 voted to abandon goals, but not before a swath of 40 houses was demolished to make way for the project. The park was eventually built in place of the wrecked homes. One of the destroyed homes, 14 Sycamore Street, was where famous jazz musician Cab Calloway was born. A commemorative plaque now stands in its place.
Gardens and Parks
Otto Henderberg Park
The cleared land between Avon and Sycamore Streets (off of Field Street) was turned into Otto Henderberg Square in honor of the longtime resident who spearheaded the successful campaign. Surrounded by front porches and quiet residential streets, this green square is now a lovely spot for a picnic with the kids or for one of our community gatherings. EZ Rochester Junk Removal
The Labyrinth Garden is located @ Henrietta/Pappert. A slate and brick path meanders through a perennial garden filled with dozens of colors. Daffodils burst through the snow in the spring; peonies and irises fill the galleries with color; roses and vines climb trellises in the summer; variegated grasses tower in the fall and keep their shape through the winter.
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