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Rundel Library North Terrace Project is Complete

In the Community: City of Rochester News Release

Photo from https://cityofrochester.smugmug.com/Evans-Administration/ROC-the-Riverway-/Rundell-Library-Ribbon-Cutting/i-BST2VVC/A

ROC the Riverway Rundel Memorial Library North Terrace Improvement project is finally complete. 

“The Rundel Library North Terrace project is an exciting and synergistic addition to the public library building,” Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said. “Its completion is a testament to the evolution and innovation that is taking place in our Center City, and provides the community with even more opportunities to enjoy Downtown programming  Authority of the State of New York, and many others, we are able to increase visibility and access to our riverfront.”

The $9.8 million, multi-year development project features an outdoor riverfront theater, an overlook to the Genesee River and an interpretive water brook representing the old canal bed and former subway tunnel that rests beneath the terrace. 

Visitors can enjoy outdoor seating, landscaping and an interactive water feature. 

“This improvement is a vibrant public space for our children and families to enjoy our historical infrastructure along the Erie Canal. Located in the heart of Downtown Rochester, our community can thrive on what our Library has to offer while overlooking the Genesee River. This experience will provide a greater connection to our city through art and community engagement,” said NYS Assemblymember Demond Meeks. 

The north terrace renovations are part of a multi-year development project to overhaul the structure of the library building and terraces. The project included the reconstruction of the structural concrete beams, slabs, columns and foundations of the Rundel building and the elevated north terrace.

Several special activities are planned over the next several weeks to mark the opening of the library terrace, including Sidewalk Astronomy with the Rochester Museum and Science Center, site tours of the terrace to discuss the historical significance of the artwork by the City’s historian and theatrical performances.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said the project is another example of the energy that emanates from downtown.  “Buildings are springing up or being renovated all along our waterfront, bringing new residents and new businesses to downtown,” Bello said. “Projects like the newly renovated Rundel Library Terrace provide a welcoming and accessible gathering space that utilizes our library system as the central community hub it was designed to be.”

The project also includes four public art installations that the City commissioned. Colorado-based Chevo Studios artwork and honors Rochester’s legacy of water power, manufacturing, transportation and innovation inspired by the Genesee River and Erie Canal and the industry that built Rochester.

“Each artwork is designed to be both a beautiful piece of sculpture and a welcoming place to be…to allow visitors to engage with the sculptures and explore the chapters of history that reside on the site,” said Andrew Dufford, artist and principal at Chevo Studios.

North Terrace Public Art Installations

  • The Gateway: the central piece on the terrace sits at the corner of South Avenue and Broad Street and includes carving of symbols signifying Rochester’s rich history
  • Water Table: an interactive water feature at the terrace overlook
  • Mill Wheel: a reminder that waterpower provided the industrial growth for the Flour City
  • Canal Boat: an interpretive seating sculptural in the terrace

The project was funded by N.Y. State’s Empire State Development through the ROC the Riverway program, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Friends and Foundation of the Rochester Public Library and RG&E. To learn more about the Rundel Library North Terrace Structural Improvement project, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/rundelterrace/ or the public artwork at roccitylibrary.org/rundel-public-art/.