If you are a fan of history and architecture, you will enjoy these self-guided Landmark Society tours of center city Rochester.
Hundred Acre Tract Tour
On this walking tour, you’ll discover the 100-Acre Tract, Rochester’s oldest “neighborhood,” and see the Court House Square, now the home of the Monroe County Office Building.
Southern Gateways Tour
This tour route traverses downtown’s interesting crossroads full of history, commerce and outstanding architecture – if you know where to look.
The tour features both modern and historic architecture, as well as beautiful parks and bridges.
Nine historic buildings constructed between 1858 and 1933 are featured, all of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Liberty Pole East City Loop Tour
Many iconic Rochester buildings, churches, and parks are part of this tour in the heart of downtown. During most of the 20th century, the center of Rochester’s downtown was its department stores, and while the stores are gone, some of the buildings survive.
You will also visit one of Rochester’s most fabulous banks, a Romanesque Revival church, and a former church that is now a tranquil and unusual downtown park.
Brown’s Race High Falls Tour
Welcome to Kodak’s neighborhood! Rochester’s tradition of repurposing older buildings for new uses is most evident in this area, both a National Register Historic District and a city Preservation District.
The tour of High Falls and Brown’s Race features a panoramic view of the Genesee River’s 96-foot falls and spectacular gorge plus a visit to an urban cultural park that celebrates Rochester’s earliest industrial area.
East End & Cultural District Tour
This tour begins at Rochester’s famed Eastman Theatre and Eastman School of Music that anchor the city’s cultural district.
It continues through historic residential neighborhoods and urban-style restaurants, bakeries, nightclubs, and coffee shops – all contributors to the ambiance of the city’s vibrant East End.
At the end of the tour, you will have the option to continue on East Avenue and view the beautiful mansions that line the street, including the former home of George Eastman.
Center City Tour
This route mixes historic buildings with contemporary office and hotel buildings. There are 24 sites along the tour; including 2 districts, 3 bridges and 13 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Rochester city streets on a whole are pedestrian, wheelchair and stroller friendly. In particular, for those taking this tour it is possible to stay exclusively on city sidewalks, with only a few driveways and alleys to cross.
There are great cafes, bars and restaurants to refresh along each route.
Try Abilene Bar and Lounge, Tapas 177, 1872 Cafe, Max of Eastman Place, Pane Vino On The River, Dinosaur BBQ, Stromboli’s Restaurant, Java’s Cafe, Red Front,The Genesee Brewery, La Luna Restaurant, Fina’s Cafe, Stock Exchange Restaurant, Hot Rosita’s Grill, He’s Chinese and Japanese Restaurant, Craft Cafe, Aunt Rosie’s, Fuego Coffee Roasters, Founders Cafe...
I’ve been gathering Rochester’s fun facts for several years and am so excited to gather them all together here! Just some of what makes Rochester special!
Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.
Which are your favorite Landmark Society self-guided tours?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!