Revitalizing the Lyell Avenue neighborhoods


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – The city of Rochester is planning to revitalize one of its most historic areas. The Lyell Plan would capitalize on the neighborhood’s Italian roots and celebrate its diversity today.

The city of Rochester, along with the Community design center, has released the ‘Lyell Plan’ recommendations. The plan focuses on ways to revitalizes the Little Italy Historic District as a key gateway to the Lyell Avenue Corridor.

In the Little Italy Historical district, the history of the community goes back 150 years. Hundreds of buildings date before the 1920s, including the Flat Iron Cafe, recognized by its Italian flags.

The Little Italy Association is hopeful that a ‘ Lyell Plan’ revitalization project will celebrate that history.

“These corridors and cultural districts bring the city not only its charm but emphasize its history and emphasis the value of the area for future investment,” said Silvano Orsi, president of the Little Italy Association.

The plan is a product of multiple community meeting as well as both the city of Rochester, and the community design center

It focuses on the Lyell Avenue Corridor from State Street to Broad Street.

It’s not just about the neighborhood’s Italian history. Today, the Lyell Avenue area includes Latin and Asian communities as well.

“They have a very diverse population, they have a large immigrant population, many refugees. And so they really felt that no one had really claimed that international aspect of the community,” said Maria Furgiuele, executive director of the community design center.

The plan focuses on four key recommendation including;

  1. Transforming the little Italy historical district into a community gateway for Lyell Avenue.
  2. Creating an international bazaar.
  3. Swapping the location of parking lanes and bike lanes in order to increase safety.
  4. Targeting key neighborhood assets for redevelopment.

“We want to make sure that this is a safe area for the community, that’s the number one priority, that everyone is included in what we’re doing. And we invite and encourage the new cultures that have moved into the area and the old cultures to get involved,” said Orsis.

The full recommendation for the ‘Lyell Plan’ can be found below.

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