Memorial Art Gallery's Centennial Sculpture Park

Bringing Art to the Community

Mindful of its 2013 Centennial, and eager to shed its reputation as a cloistered institution within the neighborhood, the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester (MAG) embarked on a master planning process for its grounds in 2008. The gallery hired Bayer Landscape Architecture to lead the master planning effort and detailed design of the Centennial Sculpture Park. 

The historic 14-acre campus was largely perceived as uninviting by the community and was bounded on all sides by an historic but wholly unsympathetic wrought iron fence. This fence was a physical and psychological barrier to the MAG’s grounds and the institution’s principal mission: Connecting People with Art.  The MAG wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to serve as a “creative commons” and a community meeting ground – thus the concept of establishing a Sculpture Park was envisioned for the gallery’s Centennial in 2013. The park would remove barriers to the street, open itself to the neighborhood, and literally bring the art gallery outdoors to the community. 

The success of the project is obvious by the transformative impact it has had on the way the public interacts with the park. Previously the campus was only briefly visited by those attending events or visiting the gallery. Today, neighbors stroll the grounds and bring their children to play in the plazas, interact with the sculptures, or use it as a meeting grounds.



University of Rochester
Rochester, New York

Master Planning, Design, Construction Documentation, Construction Administration


2013 Robert Macon Award for Urban Innovation
Reshaping Rochester Awards, Rochester Regional Community Design Center


2013 Honor Award
Built Design

American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Upstate Chapter