Beautification Committee Offers Something Old and Something New

~ By Sue Porter, Beautification Committee Chairperson

In the coming months, the Beautification Committee will oversee two essential projects.  The first is the renovation of the 1880’s Victorian Gazebo in Dr. Charles T. Lunsford Park.  The second is the creation of a Butterfly Way Station along the Genesee River between Fitzhugh Place and the Ford Street Bridge.

corn hill gazebo

The Historic Gazebo

The historic Gazebo was given to the Corn Hill neighborhood by the Redemptorist Fathers who came from Germany and founded a number of U. S. churches, including St. Joseph’s at 108 Franklin Street in the heart of downtown Rochester. Tragically, in October 1974, the church suffered a destructive fire, which forced the parish to abandon it. In 1979 the Redemptorists donated the Gazebo, once located in a garden behind St. Joseph’s Church, to the Corn Hill Neighbors Association. Built around 1880, its architectural style is Queen Ann and it blended nicely with Corn Hill’s many 19th Century structures.

st josephs church rochester ny
In October 1974, fire destroyed St. Joseph Church leaving only three walls standing, including the clock tower. The structure is on National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The Corn Hill gazebo once stood in a garden behind the church.

Today the Gazebo serves as the symbol of Corn Hill on streets signs throughout the neighborhood.  It provides a stage for musicians during the August music concerts and serves as a meeting place for many events such as the annual ice cream festival on Light Up Night. More recently, it inspired holiday spirit as home to the neighborhood’s Christmas tree. However, the Gazebo needs extensive repairs.  Some of the cost will be paid for by Corn Hill Arts Festival funds that have been earmarked for the project. The Neighbors Association board is exploring ways to raise the remaining funds needed to restore the structure later this summer or fall. 

butterfly way station rochester ny genesee river

The Butterfly Way Station

The Butterfly Way Station is a narrow strip of land along the Genesee River, about one hundred feet long, scheduled to become a perennial garden filled with pollinator-friendly plants. The Seneca Park Zoo Society will plant the garden and its staff will train neighbors how to maintain it and how to present interpretive workshops to teach children and adults about the importance and preservation of pollinators in our world.  Two Corn Hill families have donated $4,000 and we are seeking another $1,000 to pay for the project. Installation will occur in the fall of 2021 or spring 2022.

Volunteer Opportunity

The Beautification Committee is also inviting volunteers for Saturday, April 17 at the Gazebo as we show some TLC for the gardens at Dr. Charles T. Lunsford Park.

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