From the Convention Center street entrance, turn right on Main St, and right again at South Ave.
From the Hyatt Hotel pedestrian entrance, turn left on Main St, and left again at South Ave.
From the Rochester Municipal Parking, follow the signs to South Ave and turn left on South Ave.
Your first stop is the corner of South Ave and Broad St: N 43° 09.300 W 077° 36.470
On this site, on April 21, 2006, the double helix ramp of the parking garage inexplicably collapsed. WMDHGQ (visit link
) . If you plug these coordinates into googlemaps, the streetview shows satelite images of the demolition. Coordinates N 43° 09.300 W 077° 36.474 show the demolition at a more advanced stage. Look to the north to see the the repaired garage, without the ramp.
Look to the southwest corner of the intersection, where you will find the Rundel Memorial Building, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County by the Monroe County Library System. Built in 1934, this building has four waymarks associated with it (Libraries, Dated Buildings, NRHP, Etched in Stone): WMDBK7 (visit link
) ; WMDBK3 (visit link
) ; WMDB9Z (visit link
) ; MBKZ0 (visit link
) . If you can't take the time to go any closer, then you should be able to read some of the extensive etchings featured in the last of these waymarks.
Look to the southeast corner, directly south of your position, and you will see the Bausch & Lomb (B&L) Public Library WMDBN2 (visit link
) , which was constructed from 1995-1997 as an expansion to Rundell. The building also boosts extensive etching on its South Ave face WMDBN4 (visit link
Take a moment to grab a cup of coffee, at Tim Hortons, which is visible from these coordinates. It is in the B&L Library on the Broad St side, east of your current position: WMDCFY (visit link
From here, move to Washington Square Park. Walk east on Broad St and turn right at Stone St. Follow Stone St south to the traffic circle, where it turns into St Marys Place. Continue across Court St to Washington Square. The coordinates for this second stop are N 43° 09.202 W 077° 36.310. Washington Square Park is listed in the Rochester and Monroe County American Guide Series book (pp 99-102) published in 1937 for its role in the history of our city: WMDFGG (visit link
) . It has been in the news recently in connection with the Occupy Rochester movement, which has established a tent encampment here: WMDHD3 (visit link
The story of this location starts with the Albert Paley sculpture, called Genesee Passage, which you passed to get here: WM65ND (visit link
) . You should be standing at a Civil War monument MWD9TN (visit link
) which is topped with a statue of Abraham Lincoln WMD9TG (visit link
To the west, across St Marys Place, is St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, for which the street is named. This church anchors four waymarks (Roman Catholic Church, Dated Building, NHRP, Wikipedia Entry) : WMD9V1 (visit link
) ; WMD9V3 (visit link
) ; WMD9V6 (visit link
) ; WMDAER (visit link
Turning counterclockwise, the next site (if not obscured by the Occupy Rochester tents) is Geva Theatre, across Woodbury Blvd from the park. This is a 550 seat live theater venue today: WMDC8Z (visit link
) , but it was the Naval Armory - Convention Hall: WMDC98 (visit link
) , which holds significance going back to 1868. William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft and Governor Charles Evans Hughes gave their stump speakes here. The United Garment Workers assembled here in 1912 to determine whether to unionize in order to win an 8-hour work day and better pay.
Continuing counterclockwise, the next site, across South Clinton Avenue is the Universalist Unitarian Church (This Old Church, NRHP, and church organ and chimes): WHDCE0 (visit link
) , WMDCDR (visit link
) and WMDCPF (visit link
) . When the electrified organ was dedicated in 1908, Mark Twain came to hear the organ played to accompany a soloist, which was somewhat groundbreaking, as accompaniment was considered an "unsuitable" use of an organ.
Your third stop is N 43° 09.212 W 077° 36.462. To get there, walk north on St Marys Place toward Court St. As you pass St Mary's Church, you will pass a meditating garden. Feel free to sit and meditate on a bench around the water fountain, WMDCFX: (visit link
) or walk over to the Horses On Parade, "Blue Stallion", WMDCFT: (visit link
When you are ready to move on, turn left onto Court St, and walk west to the far side of Court St and South Ave. You should see a 'You Are Here' sign WMDAY6 (visit link
) at the third set of coordinates. If you have a little bit of time, you might walk a stretch of the Genesee Riverway, with the guidance this sign provides.
Directly to the north is the south side of Rundell Memorial Building. Take the time to read more of the etchings. Then proceed across the Court St Bridge toward the fourth stop, N 43° 09.199 W 077° 36.588
Before you cross the Genesee River, on your left, you will see the Lehigh Valley Railroad Station, which has been converted to a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. This is a much acclaimed eatery, which has its origins in Syracuse. This building ensconces five waymarks (Windmill, Railroad Station, Dated Building, NRHP, Bar-B-Que joint): WMDAVF (visit link
) ; WMBKY7 (visit link
) ; WMBKYA (visit link
) ; WMDATH (visit link
) ; WMB2 (visit link
The bridge itself is a historic place, and a stone, arch bridge designed by J. Y. McClintock, a Rochester city engineer in 1893: WMDAW1 (visit link
) ; WMDAW5 (visit link
) ; WMDAWN (visit link
) . There is something to be learned from each waymark writeup.
Look south (to your left) as you cross the bridge and you will see the Court Street Dam, WM7PR6 (visit link
) , and beyond that, the Frederick Douglass - Susan B. Anthony Bridge, which is an arched suspension bridge, which happens to be listed in Wikipedia: WM6CWA (visit link
) , WM6CFZ (visit link
) , and WMDCDD (visit link
As you are crossing the bridge, look to the northwest, to see the 21 foot sculpture of Mercury, atop the Thomson Reuters building: WMDKCP (visit link
) , WMD966 (visit link
) and WMDHD1 (visit link
At the other end of the Court Street Bridge is another 'You Are Here' sign, WM6E22 (visit link
) . Here, you will find another interpretive sign further south within this micropark, explaining some of the history of the Court Street Dam. Take the time to read it.
From here, you are going to your fourth stop: coordinates N 43° 09.260 W 077° 36.632. Crossing Court Street and follow the Genesee Riverway Trail north toward the Aquaduct Bridge.
As soon as you have crossed the street, you will encounter the back side of Rochester War Memorial, WMDATC (visit link
) , topped by the War Memorial Eagle, WMDATG (visit link
) In the same green space, you will find a memorial tree (waymark in progress).
The Riverwalk runs between the Genesee River and the Blue Cross Arena. At these coordinates, you can see the Eternal Flame inside the war memorial, WM6MAG (visit link
) , on your left. Turn around, and see the Second Erie Canal Aqueduct at the Broad Street Bridge. You can actually see into the aquaduct portion from this viewing platform, and the graffiti within: WMDK32 (visit link
) . There are four waymarks associated with the bridge now (Stone Bridge, Arch Bridge NRHP, Engineering Landmark): WMDA35 (visit link
) , WMDA37 (visit link
) WMDECCN (visit link
) , and WM9A22 (visit link
In order to return to the Convention Center, you need to climb the stairs to return to street level. Cross Broad Street immediately to see one more important sign of history: WM9AWF (visit link
In order to return the Convention Center (N 43° 09.364 W 077° 36.582), you have two choices. You can go directly north by going down the stairs beside the sign (described above) take Aqueduct St to Main St. This street has an alley feel to it, so I don't recommend it. The alternative is to walk west to the corner of Broad and Exchange Sts, then turn right and walk north to Main St.
Before you turn away from the corner of Broad and Exchange, notice the main entrance of the Blue Cross Arena, WMD9KZ (visit link
) on the southeast corner, and on the southwest corner the Gannett Building, another building on the NRHP: WMDAWX (visit link
) . Note the bas relief art in the frieze of the building: WMDBJN (visit link
) and WMDAX4 (visit link
) . This building was world headquarters for the Gannet newspaper conglomerate until 1986, and still serves as headquarters to the daily Democrat and Chronicle WMDHD7 (visit link
) . On the northwest corner of Broad and Exchange, across from the Gannett Building is the Times Square Building. The cornerstone of this Art Deco banking building was ironically laid on Oct 29, 1929, the day of the stock market crash that started The Great Depression: WMDHMQ (visit link
) , WMDHMG (visit link
) . Note the bas relief art over the windows entitled "Trust" and "Security".
When you get to Main St, turn right and walk east across the Main Street Bridge. Before you reach the bridge, you will find one last interpretive sign on the north side of Main St: WM9AG6 (visit link
) . Crossing the Main St Bridge, you will be facing the Convention Center, WMD9KZ (visit link
) . The Main Street Bridge is the second of two stone arch bridges designed by J Y McClintock. Two waymarks describe this bridge (with potential for one more: NRHP): WM9AEZ (visit link
) and WM9A4B (visit link
) . Cross this bridge and you are home!
One more waymark to claim, if is approaching dusk or you are staying the night in Rochester: the night views across the river from the patio outside the Convention Center will put the finishing touches on your walking tour of downtown Rochester: WM7PR4 (visit link
) . My advice is this: read the writeups - there's a lot of great stuff in them, if I do say so myself, and claim what you can! Counting this one, there over 60 waymarks that can be claimed, with one or two more planned as of this writing!