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South Wedge - Rochester, NY


Located in the southeast quadrant of the city, the South Wedge neighborhood formerly was part of the town of Brighton before Rochester annexed it in 1834. The well-known Ellwanger and Barry nursery was founded in the 1840s on what is now South Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares. Frederick Douglass, the noted abolitionist, moved to the area in the 1860s, and the area was home to the city’s first street railway. The neighborhood was in decline during the 1970s until longtime residents formed a neighborhood group that has helped South Wedge become one of the most flourishing and safest neighborhoods in Rochester.

Who Lives Here

South Wedge includes a younger crowd of renters and first-time home buyers, along with families who have been here longer.


South Wedge is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, with numerous eateries and drinking establishments, small businesses, coffee shops, bakeries and three small parks. Highland Hospital is just up the road on South Avenue.

Recreation & Entertainment

The club scene is tremendous, and the restaurant choices are outstanding. Boulder Coffee, at 100 Alexander St., offers alcohol as well as coffee and has an outdoor courtyard. Highland Park, with its magnificent Lilac Festival, is nearby. There’s a farmer’s market from May to November, and a festival in the fall.

Transportation & Traffic

The South Wedge is a short bike ride to the University of Rochester’s River Campus. UR offers its own shuttle buses, free for students, faculty and staff, to many areas in the South Wedge. Interstate 490 offers east-west access. South Avenue is the main hub in the district.

Pros & Cons

There’s not much to dislike about the South Wedge, although the area can get busy with traffic during the Lilac Festival. Downtown is a short drive away.

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