ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Another portion of ROC the Riverway was completed Tuesday as an art installation was added to the North Terrace of the Central Library of Rochester.

Located in the Rundel Memorial building, the multi-year $9.8 million improvement project added a Rundel Library North Terrace with an outdoor movie theater, an overlook to the Genesee River, an “interpretive water runnel” meant to represent the old canal and subway tunnel underneath the terrace.

The project also included restoration and reconstruction to the foundation of the building, lighting features meant to mimic the Genesee River, and four public art installations commissioned by the city.

The central piece, “Gateway,” sits at the corner of South Avenue and Broad Street, and includes carvings of significant city symbols. “Water Table” is an interactive water feature on the terrace. “Mill Wheel” is an homage to the importance of Rochester’s water-powered-past. The final piece, “Flour City Canal Boat” is a seating sculpture built into the terrace.

Chevo Studios, based in Colorado, created works to commemorate the city’s history in water power, manufacturing, transportation, and innovation.

“This improvement is a vibrant public space for our children and families to enjoy our historical infrastructure along the Erie Canal,” New York State Assemblymember Demond Meeks said. “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.”

Several special activities are planned over the next several weeks to celebrate the opening. Events include 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.

Check out the library’s calendar to see all upcoming events.

The city has been working on improvements to the building as part of ROC the Riverway since 2008, when they started repairs around and underneath the building. A timeline for the project can be seen below:

  • Phase I (2008): substructure repairs on the perimeter and beneath the library building.
  • Phase II (2010): substructure repairs under the loading dock, and Court Street south and east terraces.
  • Phase III (2013): repairs on the southern portion of the Court Street terrace,  including a new top slab, pavers, and drainage system for both the terrace and adjacent loading dock.
  • Phase IV (2017): north terrace on Broad Street was closed to the public due to significant structural deterioration and safety concerns; project planning and design began.
    • Summer 2018: Rundel Public Library released a Call for Artists/Request for Qualifications
    • Spring 2020: construction began on the north terrace
    • Summer 2022: renovations completed

“This project is another example of the energy that is emanating from our downtown,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said. “Buildings are springing up or being renovated all along our waterfront, bringing new residents and new businesses to downtown. 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.”