Launch Slideshow

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Revitalize This!

Revitalize This!

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    Rochester, N.Y.'s neighborhood revitalization project will create more open spaces and gathering areas.

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    Public art, lighting, artistic seating, wayfinding kiosks, and unique interactive sidewalks in Rochester are designed to attract and reatain knowledge-based workers and build on city's tourism industry.

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    In a workshop orchestrated by subconsultant Studio William Cochran, more than 120 residents and business owners collaborated in teams of eight to 10 people using custom-designed game boards that showed images of various types of art. The red and opaque "gem" clusters represent the budget for that particular element.

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    The local and national artists who contributed to ArtWalk 1 were encouraged to consider Rochester's infrastructure assets as potential canvases



















The winning contractor, which will be selected this spring, will complete the majority of the traditional major roadway and sidewalk reconstruction and also will work closely with the artists who will be installing the art pieces along the corridor.

Public works will maintain some of the street and sidewalk improvements, as well as some lighting and landscaping. Property owners will be responsible for the balance of that maintenance.

"The original ArtWalk effort was a success largely due to the community passion for the neighborhood and the willingness of the city to defer the project for one year while the ArtWalk concepts were developed," explains Paul R. Way, PE, project manager for both projects. A managing engineer and project engineer from the Rochester Architecture & Engineering Bureau dedicated about one-third oftheir time to the project.

"ArtWalk 2 is a much larger effortfor the city to administer and manage.We have more staff on the project team,which includes not only a project managerbut also real estate staff, appraisers, realestate attorneys, and the Rochester Public Art Policy Commission," he adds.

'Money Follows Vision'

To guide the process of developing the design, a series of one-on-one meetings was held. Representatives from the city's water and sewer, planning, engineering, and environmental departments, met with schools, local businesses, and cultural institutions.

An eight-person steering committee consisting of neighborhood representatives from the community met biweekly with the design team.

Four "design workshops" were held to determine project focal points and identify locations for the artwork. Additionally, a project-specific Web site was launched, and social networking tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn were used to keep the community involved in the team's progress and informed of public meetings.

The community will provide artistic content for various elements including Poet's Walk, a collection of granite bands and stone blocks engraved with poetry and set into the sidewalk, accessed via cell phone; Rochester Stories, recorded "true" stories imbedded in an illuminating sidewalk; and Facesof Rochester, a self-portrait project to befeatured in temporary exhibition during construction.

Similar to the vision and economic impact of the original ArtWalk, this asset-based community development project likely will boost real estate values, increase tourism, and create opportunities for small business owners.

"These are the initiatives that help build great cities and act as catalysts for growth, community pride, and quality of life," says Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy.




- Lichtenthal (tlichtenthal@townofbatavia.com) is assistent town engineer for Batavia, N.Y. and the former ArtWalk 2 project manager for Bergmann Associates. Steele (ssteele@bergmannpc.com) is the current ArtWalk 2 program, manager for Bergmann's Associates.


Web Extra

For photos of homes, art, and plantings along the original ArtWalk project, visit here.