e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

City Gets a Blueprint for Improving West Genesee Street


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - People who live in the residential pockets that hug West Genesee Street on the city's near west side and the businesses- particularly automobile dealerships-that make the area a busy commercial district can work with city officials to preserve their neighborhood's history and protect its future.

A plan for accomplishing that goal will be outlined this week by landscape architecture students from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) who spent three months studying the area. Residents, merchants and city officials interested in learning about the plan can do so at a meeting 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Frazer School, 741 Park Ave.

Thirteen students who are finishing ESF's five-year professional program in landscape architecture undertook the study as a studio project in urban design. They worked in cooperation with the Syracuse Department of Economic and Community Development.

The students examined the area bounded by Interstate 690 on the north, Erie Boulevard on the south, West Street on the east and the Conrail tracks to the west.

Visiting Professor Christine Capella Peters, who teaches the studio course with Professor George W. Curry, said the students focused on several areas:

  • creating an image for the neighborhood that would celebrate its rich history, particularly regarding the ever-increasing role of the automobile;
  • sustaining both the commercial and residential uses of the neighborhood;
  • enhancing open spaces, such as Leavenworth and Frazer parks, and developing a pathway for pedestrian and bicycle traffic;
  • developing street furnishings, such as signs, paving patterns, and benches that would blend with the neighborhood's image;
  • and instituting a tree-planting program that would help re-establish a leafy canopy in the city.

Among the students' suggestions are developing signs featuring lettering that would reflect the styles of the early 1900s, uncapping harbor Brook to enhance Frazer Park, and connecting the proposed pathway to paths along Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake.