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Blood Alley: How Canandaigua is working to revitalize an old neighborhood

Local News

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s a name that sounds ominous: “Blood Alley.” But it’s actually called Phoenix Street, a standard one-way road feeding into main street.

Canandaigua is looking to make the road into a weekend festival destination, and is trying to restore the history of the moniker.

Late last week, the town held a city council meeting, and adopted a task force to investigate turning the area into a “pedestrian friendly” area during the warmer months. The mayor’s seven-person committee will also conduct “test weekends” to see if it will work long-term.

Canandaigua Mayor Bob Palumbo has only been in officer for a little more than a month, but has lived in Canandaigua his whole life. He recalls a time when Phoenix Street was very different, unlike the street filled with businesses it is today.

“Originally it was named that on Phoenix Street because of butcher shops and the meat markets, back, way back. That’s where it got its name,” Palumbo said.

Palumbo says there was a rough patch from the 1960s through the mid-1970’s. That’s where the name of the street was twisted from its original meaning.

“It was kind of a rougher area of Canandaigua, with the bars that were there. And there was a lot of history of fights on the street. So it got picked up as blood alley again,” Palumbo said.

With increased community support, and two new hotels coming to the area — The Inn on the Lake reopening and a new Finger Lake Resort — Mayor Palumbo and Canandaigua are looking into turning the area into a new place for tourists and Canandaigua natives.

“People can be out on the street and give it a different a different atmosphere down there,” Palumbo said.

The plan was modeled after the Linden Street project in Geneva.

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