People gather around the aviary in Seneca Park, Rochester, NY.

Circa 1905.

Located off St. Paul Boulevard, Seneca Park was one of the city's first parks developed in 1893. Known then as "North Park," Frederick Law Olmsted designed the remote park to offer visitors trail views of the nearby Genesee River gorge, a zoo (added in 1894), and features Trout Lake (Pond), a man-made pond that was originally stocked with California Brown Trout. The pond also hosted mini-yacht races and--up until 1922-- offered visitors access on the water via pedal-driven Swan boats (3¢ for children, 10¢ for adults). On the eastern shoreline was the aviary, added in 1902, that once housed Mongolian Pheasants.

The park was renamed "Seneca" (meaning "stone") in 1910, in honor of the region's Native American heritage. That same year a bandstand was erected hosting evening summer concerts to large crowds (upwards of 50,000) beside the pond ringed with Japanese lanterns. A maypole was posted next to the bandstand for the annual May Day Festival.  At one point, the park even had a bobsled run and a swimming pool.

 The bandstand and pole were removed in the late 1960's.

Present-Day View would be from the park trail, click here.


Aviary, Seneca Park, Rochester, N.Y. (COLOR)

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