Rochester Historic Parklands Survey

The municipal park system of Rochester, New York includes over a century of work by master landscape architects; including, among others, generations of the Olmsted practice, Alling DeForest, and Presidential Medal of Arts recipient Lawrence Halprin.  The 2009 Survey of Rochester’s Historic Parklands documents the historic nature and condition of each of the City’s municipally-owned public parks and greenspaces  greater than 50 years old. 

The comprehensive survey was commissioned by the City of Rochester and includes 61 park sites, ranging in size from 800+ acres to less than one-tenth of an acre, from massive Olmsted pleasure grounds to simple street medians. Led by Bayer Landscape Architecture, the project team assessed and studied each site through historic plans, maps, park records, historic photos, and site visits. The project team included The Landmark Society of Western New York and Charles Birnbaum, president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

The Bayer Landscape Architecture team also prepared documentation about the overall history of the park system in Rochester and the important relationships that Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and his successor firm had with many of the sites.  The narrative also includes descriptions of the significant thematic links to Rochester’s early nursery industry, the various park movements as they played out in Rochester, and serves as the foundation for the National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) for the Municipal Park System of Rochester, New York.



Rochester, New York

Historic Research, Cultural Landscape Report / Documentation, Conditions Assessment


2010 Honor Award
Historic Preservation

American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Upstate Chapter