|North - Buffalo Road and West Avenue|
|South - Genesee Street and Elmwood Avenue|
|East - Genesee Street|
|West - Erie Canal|
|Southwest Area Neighborhood Association|
|19th Ward Community Association|
|19th Ward Neighbors Facebook group|
Table of Contents
With around 22,000 residents, the 19th Ward in the Southwest quadrant is the largest neighborhood of the city. The Southwest Quadrant is also known as Sector 4, and contains 4 other neighborhoods in addition to the 19th Ward. Many people not familiar with the Southwest area of the city confuse the two. This page covers only the 19th Ward proper, for more information on the general area, see the page for Sector 4.
The 19th Ward is bordered, clockwise from its northern edge, by West Avenue, Genesee Street, Scottsville Road and the Erie Canal.
The 19th Ward is an area of many tree-lined streets filled with one and two family homes and a scattering of small apartment complexes. The neighborhood prides itself on its racial, ethnic and economic diversity; university professors, students, city officials, and some of the cities poorest families all live in the 19th Ward. You will even find a religious compound and a retirement home in close proximity, both on Thurston Road.
As with the other major living areas in Rochester, the 19th Ward/Corn Hill area is well serviced by the city bus system and comprises three exits on Interstate 390 (17, 18B and 19). It is close to RIT, the University of Rochester, University of Rochester Medical Center, St. Mary's Hospital and the Greater Rochester International Airport. It is also bordered, at least in part, by Genesee Valley Park, the Erie Canal and Genesee River.
Real Estate Situation
The 19th Ward area has many rooms, houses and 2 bedroom apartments to offer. By far the most common housing you'll find in this area is large 2 bedroom apartments taking up half of a two family home. These apartments range from $495 to $650 a month typically with heat and hot water included. Rooms to rent in shared apartments are mostly between $250 and $350 a month with all utilities included. Unique to this area are the many small 1-3 bedroom homes to rent ranging from $500 to $1100 a month some with all utilities included! Studio apartments are hard to come by in this area, but you can find them and they will range in price from $400 to $500 a month with some utilities included. 1 bedroom apartments are also not as plentiful in this area, but they are out there and they range in price from $400 to $550 with some utilities included.
Most of the homes were built 1880 - 1940 and were originally intended for the working professionals of Rochester, the doctors, lawyers, dentists and the like. As such, most homes have maintained at least some semblance of architectural heritage. Oak floors and Gumwood trim are very common, although previous owners may have painted or carpeted over them and new homeowners may have to replace a lot of outdated carpeting, tile and/or paint. There is relatively little turnover in real estate in the neighborhood so prices tend not to fluctuate very much one way or the other. Most properties in good condition range from $45,000 to $90,000 and offer 1,200 to 1,800 square feet of living space; mortgages are typically less than $600 a month - and that's after taxes and insurance. These make excellent starter homes; after the mortgage payment, there is still plenty of money to save for the future or to get your hands dirty and improve the house. Corn Hill offers a mix of older and newer homes which tend to be larger and slightly more expensive, but they typically require no work beyond routine maintenance.
For UR Students
Anywhere you live in the 19th Ward/Corn Hill area will allow you a short walk to a bus running directly to campus. In a car the commute to campus would be between 5 and 15 minutes depending on which area you are coming from. The key to walking or riding a bike to campus from the 19th Ward/Corn Hill area lies in the pedestrian bridge across the Genesee located at the end of Brooks Landing at the corner of Brooks Avenue and Genesee Street. This bridge runs directly into campus and makes many places in the 19th Ward/Corn Hill area within a few minutes walk to campus. On a bicycle nearly every location in this area is within a 30 minute ride to campus by means of either Elmwood Avenue, the pedestrian bridge, or in the Corn Hill area, the Ford Street bridge over the Genesee River which leads you onto the bike path running between the river and Mount Hope Avenue into campus.
While looking for a place to live in the 19th Ward/Corn Hill area, keep in mind the location of the pedestrian bridge as well as the Elmwood and Ford Street crossings over the Genesee, as these will be the keys to your commute to campus.
UR students looking for shared housing with their fellow students might want to check out Roc Rooms & Rentals, provides rooms setup for students primarily in the 19th ward.
A Bad Reputation
The neighborhood has a bad reputation through much of Rochester and particularly on the River Campus of the University of Rochester. Much of this stems from gangs that claimed territory on Thurston Road, Genesee Street, Chili Avenue and Arnett Boulevard in the 1980's and 90's. However, the Rochester Police Department cracked down on them and all of the major gang violence ended in 1997 with a series of high profile arrests.
Since then, the community association has helped organize a neighborhood watch and a group of citizens monitor the city's criminal courts to ensure that verdicts are fair, but also benefit the safety and security of the neighborhood. The NET office on Genesee Street is also available to all residents, including renters, to ensure that city housing codes are maintained. And the city government has partially funded a number of improvement projects to improve the storefronts of businesses.
The last major hotspot for violent crime was the corner of Brooks Avenue and Genesee Street, by the pedestrian footbridge, where UR students were occasionally mugged. As a result of increased police patrols and development of the Brooks Landing Project, this problem has mostly evaporated.
Investment by Rite Aid, Unity Health and particularly the University of Rochester and the City have also driven a small increase in the value of real estate since 2000, spurring additional improvements, particularly on Brooks Avenue, Genesee Street and Plymouth Avenue, especially during the latter half of the decade. Long deferred improvements to the roads and buildings along Plymouth Avenue, Genesee Street and the eastern terminus of Brooks Avenue have resulted in a marked improvement in the appearance of the neighborhood and the up to 18% increase in real estate values has remained stable through the 2007/2008 collapse of the national real estate market.1
You wont find commercial hot spots such as Park Avenue or South Wedge, in the area. In the words of one resident, "We can live without boutique stores!" The motto of the neighborhood association is "Urban by Choice!" However, Thurston Road, Chili Avenue and Genesee Street each have commercial centers with restaurants, bars, mechanics and some shopping. Some additional small businesses can be found along Brooks Avenue and Arnett Boulevard.
Bars and Restaurants
Grocery and Convenience
Gil Tegg's Mobile - Brooks Ave.
Items of Note
Ant Hill Cooperative is in the nearby Plymouth-Exchange Neighborhood
Public library on Arnett Boulevard.
Aberdeen Square Park is the site of Square Fair each Spring.
Rochester City Living description