Many Cultures, Much Community

The 14621 Neighborhood

The Northeast Rochester neighborhood known by its zip code is a fabulous cultural mosaic. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Eastern Europeans make this one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Rochester. Along with cultural diversity is natural splendor you'd be hard pressed to find in any city: on the west edge of 14621 is historic Seneca Park and the spectacular Genesee River gorge. From crashing cascades to running salmon, the gorge is place that never gets old! Recreational trails both existing and in the works seamlessly connect this neighborhood with its impressive nature. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of American landscape architecture, Seneca Park preserves a priceless slice of wilderness in the middle of a highly developed urban area. The park's paths along the high bank of the Genesee River gorge, the trout pond and the picnic grove make for wonderful outings. At the Zoo,also located in the park, children love to splash in the stream-like wading pool and climb the huge rope spider web. The dramatic Rocky Coast underwater exhibit lets patrons stand within inches of swimming polar bears and sea lions. 

Seneca Park, designed by renowned landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted; Seneca Park Zoo. [PHOTOS: Dan Dangler]

Drive or walk down the broad park-like streets of the Seneca Ridge neighborhood, or the intimate, tree-lined ones of Polish Town and you will find many tidy homes and trim yards of residents who take care of their property. Visit the scenic campus of the Rochester School for the Deaf, located on the eastern bank of the Genesee River, and you will find an institution that for more than 125 years has been at the forefront in caring for the special needs of deaf students and their families. 

Stop in at the Group 14621 office on North Clinton Avenue, and you will discover a grass-roots community organization that since 1974 has tackled tough issues like drug trafficking and abandoned housing. Group 14621 rehabilitates housing in the neighborhood, works with residents to form block clubs, publishes a monthly newsletter and staunchly advocates for services and resources for Northeast Rochester.

Butterhole, located just south of Ridge Road, was until recently best known for Silver Stadium.Replaced by Frontier Field, the former baseball arena has been transformed into an industrial park for light industry and high-tech firms.

On the western edge of 14621 lies Old Carthage, the area's earliest settlement. Two centuries ago, the bustling river port at the lower falls of the Genesee rivaled its village sister to the south: Rochesterville. East of Carthage is Polish Town, named after the waves of Polish immigrants who began to settle the area in 1880s.They built streets of sturdy workman's cottages and in 1907 completed the lavish St. Stanislaus Church. Today the church's newly renovated 102-foot spire towers majestically over Hudson Avenue. On the eastern edge of the district, St. Andrews Parish also traces its roots to immigrants, this time from Germany.

Today, 14621 is best described as a cultural mosaic. African-Americans, Hispanics,Asians, Bosnians, Ukrainians, and Turks have joined European-Americans to make this one of the most ethnically diverse residential area in greater Rochester. Food and specialty stores reflect that rich mixture. Shoppers can find Asian groceries and Caribbean delis along with neighborhood classics like Wojtczak's Bakery and Hartmann's Old World Sausage & Meats.