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FFRPL is the 501(c)(3) charity that raises funds, presents programssupports special projectshelps create specialized spaces, and purchases supplemental materials & equipment for the Rochester Public Library.

Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project

Read the City of Rochester’s project update

Read the City Newspaper article ‘ROC the Riverway Projects Advancing’ (Feb. 19, 2020) here

Groundbreaking March 2020! (left); architect’s planning rendition (right)


see the City of Rochester’s Groundbreaking photos here

Mayor Lovely A. Warren was joined by Library, state and community partners to break ground on the new Rundel Library Terrace Thursday, March 5, 2020.
“The Rundel Library North Terrace is an important cornerstone of the ROC the Riverway Initiative, which is fulfilling the community-building and job-creating potential of the river that runs through the heart of our city,” Mayor Warren said. “It will be an exciting addition to the Rundel Memorial Building, a beautiful and unique community resource which stands at the juncture of the Genesee River, the old Erie Canal bed and the Johnson & Seymour Millrace.”

Spring, Summer 2020 progress!

Fall 2020 progress

In September, the contractors poured the forms for the new overlook, which will provide a great view of the river.

In early November, the new overlook deck steel was placed on the Terrace.

Our artist, Chevo Studios, is working on their four distinct art installations for the Rundel Terrace.

The limestone column base is shown in process (photo below, left) and completed (center); they have also completed the River Current seats (right).

Winter 2021 progress

Chevo Studios sent these pictures on their progress as of January 2021. Canal boat carving (below, left); canal boat carving end detail (center); limestone column texture (right).

Although installation onsite will not begin until late summer 2021, it is exciting to see Chevo’s progress at their own studios, while construction here in Rochester is paused for the Winter.

About the Project

The Downtown Central Library’s Rundel Terrace Revitalization Project will transform a long-closed area into a new park-like public riverfront terrace, designed with spaces, pathways and seating for engagement, education and reflection.

Imagine a band playing downtown on a stage jutting out over the Genesee River … a group of high-schoolers preparing a National History Day presentation on how slaves used the river to escape to freedom … children seeing the power of water as energy for grinding wheat into flour … or tourists relaxing in an attractive public space downtown, while listening to unique oral histories beamed to their smartphones from the Central Library steps away.

As one of the first sites developed for ROC the Riverway, the city and state have committed nearly $7-million for repairs and maintenance underneath the terrace, and to commission a large scale site-specific public artwork for the corner of Broad Street and South Avenue.

See the Rundel Terrace Site History Timeline here

‘The River Revealed’ Art Installation

FFRPL raised $125,000 for a complementary art installation, ‘The River Revealed’, with additional design and sculptural elements serving as an outdoor educational area directly connected to the Library’s Local History website RochesterVoices.org. The new interactive visitor engagement area & outdoor classroom on the Library’s terrace will be a unique destination for visitors to learn about Rochester’s past and present in a space that gives people a sense of place.

In addition to grants secured for the project, your donations helped us raise $8,200 through an online fundraising campaign, which was matched with a $4,000 grant from USA TODAY NETWORK’s A Community Thrives initiative! (A Community Thrives, which is part of the Gannett Foundation, supports non-profit organizations like ours with projects focused on community building).

The RPL released a Call for Artists/Request for Qualifications in summer 2018. A public art selection committee comprised of Library, City and community arts volunteers managed the process and ultimately recommended Chevo Studios from Commerce City, Colorado. Chevo Studios was selected in part due to their desire to narrate Rochester’s story through their work.

Based on public and stakeholder input gathered from fall 2018 through spring 2019, emerging themes to guide Chevo Studios work included the impact of water (river, canal) at the site, Rochester’s rich history of social and political progressiveness, and industrial innovation’s transformative impact on the region.

Construction will begin in spring 2020 and be complete by fall 2021, with the work by Chevo Studios to be completed in summer/fall 2021.
The Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library is proud to be a part of this historical project.