ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, state and county legislators, announced an estimated $3 million for the resurrection of Highland Park’s Pavilion Thursday.
Bello was joined by Rochester Deputy Mayor Patrick Cunningham, Assemblymember Harry Bronson, Senator Jeremy Cooney and President of Highland Park Conservancy JoAnn Beck.
Highland Park’s pavilion sat at the highest point of the park, near the water reservoir, for a total of 73 years. It was demolished in 1963 due to what officials say were deteriorating conditions.
The area was nicknamed “Children’s Pavilion” by the local community due to its constant use by kids over its several year span in Monroe County. Since being torn down, families in the area and community groups have attempted to restore the pavilion back to it’s original shape with funding.
Their hopes and efforts to bring back the pavilion were never met with a result, until today.
“The reconstruction is critical to the name of Highland Park,” Bello said. “The new three story pavilion is going to sit on the same land of the original structure. This city deserves a place where children and families can go and enjoy Monroe County, and breathe the fresh air from the rich vegetation.”
According to Bello, the pavilion’s redesign will include a 360 degree tree-top view of the county side, an elevator for increased accessibility, with a completion date projected for October 2024.
The development’s total price tag comes out to $3.1 million, a third of which is expected to be provided by tax payers. Monroe County authorized full funding on March 8th after securing $1.1 in state grants.
“Parks are person, they make a very lasting impact on our lives,” Cooney said. “This stands as a commitment to serve these places and ensure their future for generations to come.
For nearly 30 years, the conservancy located within Highland Park pushed for the return of the pavilion. In the process, they raised an additional $1.2 million through non-profit events.
“We have been advocating for this day since 1994,” Beck said. “This park would not be here without the work of our volunteers and donators, and consistent stewardship of everyone involved. Thank you. This project will spark a renewed appreciation of Monroe County — toward the next 200.”
The announcement follows the anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday.
Olmstead is known by the world as the father of landscape architecture and is responsible for the siting of the pavilion.
“He wanted everyone in Rochester to take in the view of Highland Park.
His legacy spans across the 18th century, with development projects that continue to stand at the highest of integrity — both for their structure but their sophistication.
Monroe County has a dedicated website with information, history and pictures on the pavilion.
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