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How many cities have a waterfall right in the middle of their downtowns?

Not many.

That’s why Michael Philipson, who owns a marketing firm in High Falls, helped found Garden Aerial. The nonprofit is dedicated to radically transforming the High Falls district.

“The ultimate goal is to turn attention to High Falls, the original start of Rochester, make it a world class destination,” Philipson said.

Garden Aerial just got a big boost from city government. City Council will vote this month on approving a state grant application for the group’s project. The project is still in the design stages and there is a lot of uncertainty about its future. But the nod from City Hall gives Garden Aerial, which many people don’t know about, more legitimacy.

So what is Garden Aerial’s vision?

1. Build a “floating garden” on the Pont de Rennes Bridge.

2. Build another bridge that gets up close to the falls. It would loop around the gorge.

3. Create a wintergarden on the brewery side of the falls.

Below is a video of the possibilities, but Philipson warns a lot could change.


Links of the Day:

– The Buffalo Bills have thumbed their noses at the public and declined to ease blackout rules. But they’ll have no problem accepting tax dollars for stadium renovations.

– An audit has found major problems with Rochester’s parking bureau. WHEC reports there are issues with collections and letting workers park for free.

– A Syracuse area animal shelter finds that few people want to adopt black cats.

Be very afraid of Asian carp. Very afraid.

Cool (and sad) pictures of the demolition of 13 Cataract St.

8 Responses to High Falls of Future

  1. What will be done about the winds that blow up the gorge from the north? Plexa glass shields on the north side of the bridge?

    This isn’t the <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=minneapolis+ruins&hl=en&site=webhp&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=A0AAUJeBO-LL6wHhs7H1Bw&ved=0CEsQ_AUoAQ&biw=853&bih=531&quot; Minneapolis Mills Ruins Park .

    Experiment: go stand out on the bridge in early spring or walk around the interior of the High Falls side streets at night.

    The Victoria Era folks tried to do it and they didn’t like it either. It took Sam Patch to get them to go there in any numbers.

  2. July 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    it is sad when they tear down buildings that are so beutiful you can see the hand of the man who designed and feel his emotions in the stone to be replaced with a steel and glass box that looks like it was made by a machine for robots.

    this is america 2012 a country with no soul just stupid slogans and tattoos.

  3. July 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm Orielly responds:

    Actually the city has two falls, a massive river gorge and a great lake with water front.. yet none of the city ‘attractions’ have these gifts of nature at their center.
    San Antonio has built a river walk with boats a supposedly huge attraction around a river the size of Irondequoit creek
    Before we refill the canal a low speed rail train along the river gorge connecting Charlotte to the city then going out east ave to with connections to Naz Fisher, RIT and UR makes the most sense. Let development work from there.

  4. July 13, 2012 at 11:03 pm tony mittiga responds:

    With Niagara Falls, a true world attraction, just 80 miles away, how could the High Falls ever enter that category? Even around the State there are other magnificent falls-the Great Falls of the Mohawk, Glens Falls, and the falls in Letchworth Park. Hmmm, just maybe with the right kind of marketing…….

  5. As a biker, involved in the Rochester biking community, I support this idea. On many rides we stop at High falls and I have always wondered how we could revitalize this area more. There are a few nice shop’s and a multiple turn over bar and that’s about it. They used to hold the party in the park over in High falls and I wish they had never moved it to a parking lot next to a bridge over pass and the police station. High falls gives off a used up industrial era vibe when it could be so much more. I think we should consider the opportunity here. Yes, there are other attractions with in a 100 mile radius that are far more well known, but shouldn’t our downtown and historical areas be kept up while still retaining there integrity? I do recognize that while right now were are financially destitute and this might not be the best time to bring about a project of this cost magnitude, but consider this…If thousands and billions to waste on other things, then why can’t we spend some money to create new jobs to improve a fundamental and cultural and historical aspect of our city?

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