Thank You to All Who Joined In at the Design Exploration


On behalf of the Washington Square Park Community Association and the WSP Steering Committee, I'd like to THANK all of those involved in making the WSP Design Exploration a successful event on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018. 

With an energetic group of about 50 passionate Rochesterians, the Community Design Center Rochester took us through a 4-hour experience that led to some amazing data, feedback, ideas, and presentations for the re-design of the Washington Square Park in downtown Rochester. For those who stuck around all day and our way of saying thanks, the WSPCA made it fun with great local giveaways from neighborhood donors such as The VesperMonroe's at One, and the soon-to-be opened Native Eatery and Bar. One lucky winner was selected for the Grand Prize of two (2) round-trip tickets on Jetblue Airways. 

We're in the process of analyzing and processing all of the data and ideas collected, so stay tuned on the outcome of the public charrette process and what steps will be taken to move forward with plans to better the Park. If you did not get a chance to participate in the Design Exploration, there will be other ways to give us your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in the near future. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you would like a more personal response. 

Jason Schwingle 

DO NOT MISS: Dachshund Parade on Saturday!

DO NOT MISS: Dachshund Parade on Saturday!


Right here in our Park, the Washington Square Park, we are truly lucky to have one of the quirkiest, exciting, and fun parades throughout the entire city! But don't blink because you may miss it - the 17th Annual Dachshund Parade is happening Saturday, May 12th, from 10a-12noon at the Washington Square Park. 

Click here for more info and make sure to check out their Facebook page! 

Thank You to ALL of our Volunteers!


Thank you to the 50+ volunteers (including the Churchville Chili Modified baseball team) that helped us out at the 2018 Clean Sweep that happened on Saturday, May 5th 2018. We had incredible blue skies and a warm, sunny day - we couldn't ask for better weather!


We were all treated by the City and the Red Wings to a FREE game at Frontier Field afterwards - and, of course, it was a gorgeous day for a ballgame. The Wings made it a special afternoon with an exciting 8-0 shutout over Lehigh Valley IronPigs. 


If you missed Clean Sweep and are looking to get involved, we invite you to the mini-Charrette that will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at 3 City Center from 9a-1p. For more information, check out the blog post above. 

Clean Sweep 2018

Clean sweep.png

For more information, check out the City's website here. Please RSVP or send questions to so we can get an idea of how many volunteers we'll have. 


What the WSP neighborhood needs to know about this week's half-marathon

If you live around the Washington Square Park neighborhood, here's what you need to know about the Rochester Regional Health Flower City Challenge on Sunday. 

Up to 2,500 people will be running through our neighborhood as they compete in the half marathon or 5K road race. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Wondering about road closures? Check out this diagram with the approximate times of road closures. Please note that all times are "approximates."



Congratulations WSPCA, WE DID IT!!!


In case you were wondering, the WSPCA exceeded its goal of fundraising $26,000 in 2017 for its first year's fundraiser. This is such a great accomplishment, as president of the WSPCA, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone in our community who pitched in and made this possible. Large corporations, small businesses, residents, renters alike, you have all expressed your willingness to make our community a better place to live, work, and play. 

The WSPCA raised over $28,000 throughout 2017, a significant amount above the stated goal. A small portion of the funds went to operational costs (start-up fees, legal, various administrative costs), while the majority of the funds will be used for our WSP Phase I: Pre-Development plans this year (2018). 

Geva's 18/19 Season Announcement and Impact in our Community

Here's the 11-production Season Announcement for the 18/19 season. 

We're lucky to have Geva Theatre in our very own neighborhood. They're an economic, social, and entertainment force of the region. But how much impact do they really have? The video above shows us exactly...enjoy!

Student "March for Our Lives" Event: 3/24/18

 Washington Square Park, Rochester, NY

Washington Square Park, Rochester, NY

On Saturday at 3pm, students plan to gather for a rally in Washington Square Park and march in response to recent school shootings. The local “March for Our Lives” event coincides with other student marches in DC and across the U.S. on Saturday. Please plan for delays if you are heading downtown Saturday afternoon.

Event details
March for Our Lives

Washington Square Park + downtown streets.

·        Traffic will be affected downtown from approximately 3-5pm. Streets will reopen as the march ends (approximately 5pm). This could vary depending on the number of attendees.

·        March route: begin at Washington Square Park, west on Court Street, north on Exchange Blvd, east on Broad St, south on Bausch & Lomb Place, end at Washington Square Park.

Closure details
All day Saturday

·        St Mary’s Place- closed all day Saturday until march is over

·        Court Street Bridge- no parking all day Saturday

From march step off (approx. 4pm) to end of march

·        Court Street from South Ave to Clinton

·        Exchange from Fitzhugh to Broad

·        Broad from Exchange to Clinton

·        Bausch and Lomb Place

Show your love for the Central Library of Rochester

 The Rochester Public Library's Rundel Memorial Building in downtown Rochester.

The Rochester Public Library's Rundel Memorial Building in downtown Rochester.

If you live or work around Washington Square Park, you know how nice it is to have a library in the heart of your neighborhood.

Just how much do you love the Central Library of Rochester, or any other library in the Monroe County Library System? Now's the time to show the library in your life a little love ...

The central library and others throughout the state are asking you to help promote just how much you get out of your library. Use this Library Use Value Calculator, take a screen shot of the big total, and use it as a sign in a photo to post to your social media channels. Don't forget to include yourself or your family in the pic! When posting, use the hashtags #NYLALAD18 and #LibrariesAreEducation

You could even go to the New York Library Association website to tell your legislators all that you love about your local library.




$50 Million Investment Coming To Our Area!

Anyone who loves downtown Rochester will be intrigued by the latest news regarding redevelopment of the city's riverway.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in town last week committing $50 million to the development of the Genesee River and nearby downtown attractions. Efforts to transform the riverfront include 30 potential projects. Ideals include boosting river views at Charles Carroll Park Plaza, transforming the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and turning the Broad Street aqueduct into a downtown destination.

A new advisory board will develop the final plans.

Looking for more details? Here are some sites that might help:

Press release from Gov. Cuomo:

Story from WXXI Radio:

News from the City of Rochester:

News from WROC TV Channel 8:

A piece of history returns to the park

An Austrian cannon is back home at Washington Square Park. The newly restored WWI cannon fittingly returned to the park right before Veterans Day. 

The cannon is an important historical relic, and a part of our city's Italian heritage. 

It was the Italian government who bestowed the cannon to the City of Rochester in 1921. The cannon honored local Italian-Americans who supported Italy during World War I by either joining the Italian or American army. The cannon, however, fell into disrepair so it was removed from the park to undergo restoration by a Georgia company.

Many different groups rallied together to help the cannon make its big return to the park. Thank you to all involved, including the City of Rochester, Washington Square Park Community Association, Italian Community of Rochester and the Military History Society of Rochester.

For more, read The Austrian Cannon Has Returned in the Rochesteriat.


Today is the Unveiling!!!


The WSPCA invites YOU to the Official Unveiling of the refurbished Austrian Cannon, today, 2pm, in the Washington Square Park.

Washington Square Park
181 S. Clinton Ave. 
Rochester, NY 14607

Check out our newly revised logos!

Our newly revised WSPCA logo now comes in two forms:


The first logo is our square logo with a water-colored-type image of the top of the Soldiers Monument above the text. This will help us brand together the Washington Square Park with its central monument, thereby allowing the community to see how important and historical our neighborhood is. 

WSPCA-Words Only.png

Our second logo is text only, but has a thicker black border around the edges to create a definite sense of place, importance, and focus. 

Meet the City Council At-Large Candidates


Are you ready for the November 7th General Elections?

On Wednesday, October 18th, the Washington Square Park Community Association is hosting a meet the candidates night. Come meet 13 City Council At-Large Candidates from 8 political parties.

WHEN & WHERE: Drop in between 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 to the Kate Gleason Auditorium at the Rochester Central Library (Bausch & Lomb Building) at 115 South Ave.

PARKING: Free street parking is available starting at 6pm and the Court Street Parking Garage is nearby as well.

WATCH FOR UPDATES: Facebook Event Page

This event is hosted and sponsored by Washington Square Park Community Association (WSPCA).

Concert to End Gun Violence in the WSP Neighborhood

Something big will happen in our neighborhood this weekend.

This Sunday, September 24, more than 180 cities across the United States will hold concerts to end gun violence. Rochester is one of those cities. 

Rochester’s concert will start at 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 24 in the First Universalist Church sanctuary (150 S. Clinton Ave.), right across from Washington Square Park.

The event is hosted by the Rochester Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in partnership with Eastman Community Music School and First Universalist Church.

The kid-friendly concert is free, and donations are welcome.

Donations will benefit Hillside's "Reinvest in Youth," the Eastman Community Music School, and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Julia Figueras will emcee the event. Ms Figueras is the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI-FM. She is also the producer and host for the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.

Parking is available in the following locations:

  • In front of the church on Clinton Avenue, on both sides of the street in any metered spot (meters are free evenings and weekends)
  • On the opposite side of Court Street in the pull-off in front of the Xerox building
  • In the Court Street and Washington Square parking garages
  • Attendees with disabilities are encouraged to park in the small lot adjoining the church (east side of the building) if space is available

Can’t make it on Sunday? Go to and click the button to “Sign up and sing” the same song – lyrics and music provided – that thousands of people around the world will sing between Sept. 21 and 24 to try to break the world record.

Come join us on September 24!

A downtown newbie and her favorite "hidden gems"

Abby is a Buffalo native.  She didn't know what to expect when she started her college internship at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in the Washington Square Park Neighborhood of downtown Rochester.

But she was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a few "hidden gems." There was Washington Square Park, Genesee Riverway Trail and the "secret room" in the Children's Center at the Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building.

Click HERE to read about Abby's hidden gems.


 Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

 Genesee Riverway Trail

Genesee Riverway Trail

 The closed door to the secret room at the library.

The closed door to the secret room at the library.

 The entrance to the secret room at the library.

The entrance to the secret room at the library.

Where to walk

City dwellers and others who work in our corner of downtown can easily find places to run, walk or wander.  

But if you're looking for a challenge, try these paths created by the American Heart Association and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for M&T Bank (our newest neighbor!).

The designated paths will tell you how many steps and miles you're reached as you walk or race around the city blocks. They even estimate how many calories you'll burn while tackling each path.

You can start small and trek about 1/3 of a mile around one downtown block.  Work your way up to a 1-mile loop around our neighborhood and beyond.

Looking for a really big challenge? Lace up your sneakers and hit the path around the Genesee River for a whopping 2.75-mile run or walk!

Washington Square Park Neighborhood Walking Path 1.jpg
Washington Square Park Neighborhood Walking Path 2.jpg

6 Things You'll Want to Take Note of in the WSP Neighborhood

Labor Day weekend puts us unofficially out of the summer, although technically it's still around for another two weeks (autumn equinox 9/22/17). If you haven't had a chance to take a walk outside and explore our city, do it now before the cold air limits us to the inside. 

One place you may want to take note of: the Washington Square Park Neighborhood and its surrounding areas. There are a ton of things currently happening in this small, southern section of Center City, all to revitalize the area and make it more appealing for all. Here are 6 Things You'll Want to Take Note of in the WSP Neighborhood

1. Neighborhood Banners

IMG_0624 (1).jpg

Have you noticed the neighborhood banners that line Clinton Ave (near Geva Theatre), surround the Washington Square Park itself, and even down Capron Street and South Ave extension? The banners were produced by a joint effort between the Washington Square Park Community Association (WSPCA), the City's Neighborhood Service Center and Mayor's Office, and Geva Theatre.

Banners give a locale, a sense of place and an identity - they are really a nice way to welcome people to the area. 

2. Soldiers and Sailors Monument


Have you ever noticed the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Washington Square Park? This is the central piece in this Frederick Law Olmsted Park that was dedicated in 1892 to those who fought in the Civil War. Years of weather have brought discoloration on the statue figures and the medallions on the base were broken and/or lost. 


The City has worked hard this summer to clean up the statues and has even had the medallions replicated and replaced on the statue. Work will continue on into 2018 to clean up and restore the monument to all its full glory. 

3. Park Grounds


The City installed brand new picnic tables earlier this summer, they tore out the old, dingy stage that was sitting in the Park, and maintenance crews kept a watchful eye on the landscaping. But more is to come in the years ahead. 

In August, the WSPCA was awarded a $15,000 historical preservation grant by the Rochester Area Community Foundation for Pre-Development work to commence. What this means is that the Community Association will begin planning a large-scale project with the Community Design Center of Rochester to restore and reinvigorate the Washington Square Park, with community input, so that the Park, once again, becomes a more useful asset to our area. 

Oh, and remember that commissioned, beautiful paint job that Thievin' Stephen did on the traffic box across from Geva Theatre back in 2014? It was wrecked in a car accident this summer and needs a new paint job. Stay tuned, your chance to help is coming. 

4. Austrian Cannon



Yes, the elusive cannon that no one knows the whereabouts. Well, we found it, we fixed it (actually, the City fixed in with the help of a professional restorer), and it will once again be put back out into the Washington Square Park soon enough.

Plans are underway for an unveiling and commemoration, all with the help of Park's Commissioner Norman Jones and the Military History Society's Chuck Baylis. 

5. M&T Rochester Headquarters: 3 City Center


We're lucky in the neighborhood to have a new tenant and neighbor, M&T Bank, move into the former Frontier building. M&T Bank is investing multiple-millions of dollars with the group, Three City Center Partners, to enhance the building, the surrounding footprint, and the neighborhood. The building itself has been aptly renamed to 3 City Center

6. Erie Harbor Promenade

Lastly - have you been to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que lately or seen the construction along the river? The making of the Erie Harbor Promenade is in full scale as we speak, which includes enhancements to a walking path along the river just south of Dinosaur's building and a portion that wraps around said building (on the south side) as seen in the above picture. 

What this work will do is make a previously obstructed, unused portion of the Genesee River completely accessible to the public. It's a start considering many of us think that the River should be utilized in a much more effective manor to attract residents and visitors to downtown. 

This project is the start of a larger project that is said to bring another luxury apartment project to the area by Morgan Management called Court Street Apartments

For more information and to stay tuned of all the developments happening, check out the newly built website of the Washington Square Park Community Association Inc. 

Jason is President of the WSPCA and a resident of the neighborhood.