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Ellwanger and Barry Park – Dedicated!

September 20, 2009

Design of Ellwanger & Barry Park Dedication Pin during Taste of the Neighborhood

The dedication of  “Ellwanger and Barry Park” as the new name of the playground-park at Meigs and Linden  streets took place at the Third Annual Taste of the Neighborhood on September 20, 2009. The re-naming had previously been made official by unanimous vote of City Council on September 8th, 2009.   The dedication ceremony was presided over by Neighborhood Association Co-Chairs Roger Ramsay and Ruth Danis , “Taste of the Neighborhood 2009 Chair” Matt Carnevale and resident Marcia J. Zach who had spearheaded the renaming effort.  The official dedication was performed by the Mayor of Rochester, Robert J. Duffy and  City Council member Elaine Spaull.  Also in attendance were State Senator Joseph E. Robach, City of Rochester’s Director of Housing and Project Development, Brett Garwood and SEAC Executive Director Helen Hogan  among hundreds of other residents and guests at the picnic.

!935 Map of Rochester Showing Playground

1935 Map of Rochester Showing Playground

This process began in February 2009 at the first Neighborhood meeting of the year.  You can read Marcia’s cover letter to the Planning Commission requesting the name change right here.    She included quite a bit of documentation about the history of Ellwanger and Barry and their connection to this neighborhood and this park (such as the first map to show the playground from the City Library’s archives –  at left.)

I think this one quote from her letter explains it all:

The children of our city were important to Ellwanger and Barry. Not only did they donate land for schools, but they built a Memorial Pavilion in Highland Park and dedicated it to the children of Rochester. The dedication held such importance to the people that the pavilion became known as “The Children’s Pavilion”. Since that no longer stands in Highland Park, it seems especially appropriate to honor George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry by renaming this park, a place where children still enjoy land that Ellwanger and Barry gave to the city and where the Highland Park Neighborhood Association holds events such as our annual event, The Taste of the Neighborhood, to bring together all our residents, to “Ellwanger and Barry Park”.

Before the application was completed  Marcia and I had a chance to meet the Mayor at one of our Neighborhood events and she described the project to him.  He immediately endorsed the idea and asked that we copy him and keep him up to date as we proceeded.  With his help and also Councilmember Spaull,  the City Planning Commission and eventually City Council, the process completed in time for the celebration.   We will have a little more detail when we  add the “Visual History of the Playground” portion of  “The Arboretum that Became a Neighborhood” exhibit to this website in the coming months.  Stay tuned…that conversion project is underway….but in the meantime here are two videos of the event on September 20, 2009.

The first is one we created as an entry for the 175th anniversary video contest run by the City of Rochester and The Rochester International High Falls Film Festival

The second was made just for you and anyone else who attended or wanted to attend the Taste of the Neighborhood event.  It includes an abbreviated version of the dedication ceremony.

If that isn’t  enough, come back soon and look for a third longer video in this space…once we finish editing all the digital files.  It will have more interviews, music and even some salsa dancing…did you have as much fun as we did that day?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2009 4:34 pm

    This neighborhood is so rich in talent and resources these secret treasures are as valuable as it being a safe walkable beautiful place to live and work and play. I love you guy for all that makes this neighborhood the best and healthiest neighborhood I know. Who can imagine living any where else.

  2. Marissa permalink
    April 19, 2014 11:19 pm

    I was wondering how to donate outside toys to the park?

    • May 15, 2014 8:40 am

      Marissa, Sorry…I was away for most of the month. The toys in the park are donated just by leaving them there. If they get worn out, neighbors and park goers collect them and dispose as needed


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