Although there are over 11,000 people who live in the University Hill Neighborhood, only a handful are in one, two or three-family homes. The rest of the residents are University students living in various types of University housing, or apartments catered to student living. The University Hill neighborhood is characterized by the buildings and plazas of Syracuse University, as well as the State University of New York's College of Environment Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), three hospitals and the Hutchings State Psychiatric Center.
Oakwood Cemetery, a National Register Landmark and Local Protected Site, sits on the southern edge of this neighborhood. This vast 82-acre site was a private initiative of the efforts of two prominent community leaders who hired a nationally known architect to design its features and pathways. A marvelous rural cemetery, Oakwood was filled with trees to complement the native vegetation of oak grove, pine, maple, and hickory, rolling lawns, and winding pathways. Views and sequences of pedestrian experiences were carefully planned throughout the Cemetery. In addition to its landscaping, Oakwood Cemetery also possesses magnificent structural elements such as grand mausoleums, arched bridges, a mortuary chapel, and marble monuments. Many students and residents in the neighborhood also use the Oakwood Cemetery pathways for walking, bicycling, and jogging.
The Walnut Park National Register Historic District outlines Walnut Park, located between Harrison Street and Waverly Avenue. Most of these magnificent, once single-family large-scale homes are now Fraternity and Sorority houses for Syracuse University students.
The Syracuse University Comstock Tract National Register District includes many elegant buildings (some built by Archimedes Russell) such as Crouse College, the Hall of Languages, Hendricks Memorial Chapel, and the Maxwell School of Citizenship.
The University Hill Neighborhood is occupied by Syracuse University, State University of New York (SUNY) Environmental Science and Forestry College and student housing. The medical center complex consisting of Upstate Medical Center, the Veteran's Administration, Crouse Irving Memorial Hospitals, and Hutchings State Psychiatric Center are also located in this neighborhood. Retail, service and professional businesses are located within this institutional neighborhood. The neighborhood boasts Syracuse Stage and an active East Genesee merchants association, made up of the owners of the many businesses along the northern border of this neighborhood.
The Marshall Street business area provides restaurants, clothing, bookstores, and amenities for the student population and visitors to the area during campus tours and Carrier Dome Sporting events. The Crouse-Marshall Street business area is working to improve the look of the area by burying the utility lines, reconfiguring the parking and bricking the sidewalks. The plan also call for the establishment of a Business Improvement District along the corridor.
The Westcott neighborhood is closely linked with the University Hill area to its immediate west. The neighborhood is host to a large number of Syracuse University students living off campus. In recent years, the number of Syracuse University students seeking housing in this neighborhood has declined due to the college's decrease enrollment. As a result, many LeMoyne College students have increased residence within the area. Westcott neighborhood is a desired neighborhood because of its proximity to the University, and area hospitals. Many University graduates, faculty and staff have chosen the Westcott neighborhood as their home. It is affectionately known as the Westcott Nation.
The Westcott neighborhood hosts an annual fall street fair along its neighboring business district and has a small, but active community center with programs for seniors, teens, children and families, as well as cultural and musical activities. The Westcott neighborhood is home to numerous civic and neighborhood associations, including the Sherman Park Bulldogs, Westcott East Neighborhood Association (WENA), East Thornden Neighborhood Association, and Westcott Community Development Corporation (WCDC).
Several years ago, an historic site, the former Jewish War Veterans Home was saved from a private developer with intentions to demolish and resurrect a retail operation. The Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board advocated for retention of the property by the City. The City then helped a local area not-for-profit obtain the building that has made plans to utilize it as a Cultural Arts Center after rehabilitation.
Thornden Park, a National Register and Local Protected Site, is located in this neighborhood. Particularly noted for its pleasure grounds landscape, the park was originally 76 acres of farmland purchased by John P. Haskins in 1850, who started to design the grounds. Major Alexander Davis who gave it the name "Thornden", essentially made improvements to its landscape later purchased it in 1875. It wasn't until 1921 that the City of Syracuse acquired it for use as a public park. Many of its contributing assets, including buildings, sights, and objects, were created during the Reform Era. The park sports an exercise course, an Olympic-sized pool and bathhouse, tennis courts, a WPA stone work amphitheater complete with an electrically equipped outdoor stage, a Pinetum, an historic herb garden and lily pond, and the only all-volunteer rose garden of its kind in the country. Thornden Park's pride is the E.M. Mills Rose Garden. With its exquisite blooms and pavilion, it is the site for many wedding pictures and leisurely walks.
The parks assortment of pathways, walls, and amphitheater, add to the drama of the exciting views of the City. Efforts have been underway to rehabilitate the Greenhouse and the Fieldhouse available through an Environmental Protection Fund Grant awarded to the City of Syracuse through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The Thornden Park Association, the City of Syracuse, and private consultants have been working hard to complete the projects.
The primary business area in the Westcott Neighborhood is the commercial strip along Westcott Street. The Westcott Community Development Corporation has been working with area businesses and property owners to help in the revitalization of the business district. The district houses a large state-run day habilitation center, a thriving second-hand and new clothing store, a holistic health center, a bookstore, florist, three pizza shops, two convenient stores, several other restaurants and bars, and a frame shop and gallery for local crafts.
The University Neighborhood, which lies directly east of Syracuse University, is predominantly a residential neighborhood made up of single-, two- and three-family homes. Off-campus student housing and University faculty and staff populate the University neighborhood. This mix of students and families creates tension as families strive to maintain property values and livability alongside a transient student population. Over the last few years, Syracuse University has required all underclassmen to reside on campus, allowing once rented homes to become owner-occupied. The University and the University Neighborhood Preservation Association (UNPA) has lead strides in the effort to convert once rental housing to owner-occupancy by offering assistance for homeownership. Southeast University Neighborhood Association (SEUNA) is one of the oldest neighborhood associations operating in the City. It advocates for homeowners in the University Neighborhood and has successfully held the line on maintenance, zoning, and code violations of the landlord-driven student housing.
This neighborhood can be generally categorized as having mid-scale early 20th century housing. North of Euclid Avenue, there are larger scale 19th century dwellings that are good candidates for historic identification. Berkeley Park, a noted early planned residential subdivision, was designed in the early 1900's, and owned by the Berkeley Park Land Company. In 1915, brochures advertising this new subdivision presented large lot sizes encouraging wide lawns. In addition, vegetation and landscaping were priorities as nearly 200 trees were transported from East Syracuse and deliberately planted throughout the development. Currently a grant has been awarded to the Preservation Association of Central New York (PACNY) from University Neighborhood Service Action Agreement Committee (UNSAAC) to nominate several properties within this subdivision to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There is very little business activity in the University Neighborhood, with few exceptions being small neighborhood convenience stores that cater to off-campus student housing. The neighborhood also houses the City's only cooperative grocery store, Syracuse Real Food Cooperative.
Ed Smith Elementary school is within the neighborhood.
The University Neighborhood houses Barry Park which contains a playground, tennis and basketball courts, a baseball field, soccer field, and a large open space for many other actives. The park's soccer fields are utilized by the East Side Soccer youth organization. During the summer months, many residents use the park for walking, skating and biking.
Sherman Park, located at Westmoreland and Tecumseh Avenues are also used by youth for softball and soccer. Moringside Reservoir is situated a top of a drumlin and the area surrounding the reservoir is used by the residents for jogging, walking, and hiking.
The Outer Comstock neighborhood contains a mix of residential and commercial areas located in the southeast part of the City, just south of Syracuse University. It is tucked into the steep hills at the south end of the City. Although this neighborhood mostly has single-family homes, built mid-century, it also supports large apartment complexes heavily occupied by university students. This area boasts an old, yet active, neighborhood association, the Outer Comstock Neighborhood Association. The Association addresses land use issues, advocates for prevention of further University encroachment, and also works to pursue maintenance of the land and homes within the area.
The Outer Comstock Neighborhood has several business strips within its boundaries. Ainsley Drive houses Laubach's offices and warehouse, Danzer's Restaurant, many other warehouse and small business outlets, and equipment storage facilities for Syracuse University. The Brighton Avenue businesses include gas stations, restaurants, convenience stores, a bakery, and other businesses conducive to residential life.
Percy Hughes Magnet is the only school in this neighborhood.
Comfort Tyler Park is the only City park within the area. It has a children's play area and greenfields which have recently been fenced. The Outer Comstock Neighborhood Association maintains the park.
Skytop (South Campus)
South Campus, also known as Skytop, is the site of apartments for Syracuse University upperclassmen, and graduate students and their families. In addition to these small apartments, the area boasts the Goldstein Student Center, a modern facility with cafeteria, meeting and study areas, game rooms, and laundry facilities for Syracuse University students.
Skytop has tennis courts, baseball fields and a newly constructed ice rink available for student, faculty, staff and dependents usage. The rest of the area is vacant land and an administrative office for Syracuse University. This section of town is predominately owned by Syracuse University.
Skytop has large fields and forested areas. One hill, which is used for large gatherings by the University and parking during Carrier Dome events, affords a magnificent view of the City and Onondaga Lake. These areas though not City parks are used by mountain bikers, dog walkers, and hikers.
Meadowbrook, on the far eastern limits of the City, is primarily a residential neighborhood, named for the cement embanked brook that runs through the center of the neighborhood. The brook allows for run-off from the Barry Park water shed area. The area boosts a great deal of variance in terms of housing architecture available. The area contains many smaller homes built post-World War II as well as larger and earlier homes. This area on the Eastside of the City of Syracuse contains several Ward Wellington Ward designs, if not historic, are eligible for listing.
Complimenting the residential nature of this neighborhood, Meadowbrook hosts several small businesses located primarily along East Genesee Street between Brookford and Kimber Roads. These include the typical neighborhood drugstore, gas station, pizza shop, auto repair shop, dry cleaner, and consignment clothing store. There are also professional business offices, including physicians, a funeral home, and The Center, a large non-profit office for numerous faith-based organizations whose headquarters are jointly shared. This professional strip also houses Onondaga County Child Care Center, the county-wide child care resource center, and the Regional Learning Services, also a county-wide resource center for people seeking work.
Nottingham High School, H.W. Smith School, and Solace Elementary School all are located in this neighborhood.
Although there are no dedicated parks within the neighborhood's boundaries, residents consider Barry Park, located in the University Neighborhood just west of the Meadowbrook boundary, to be their neighborhood park. Meadowbrook is a frequently used street for runners, skaters, and bikers. Residents also use the tennis courts at Homer Wheaton Park.
Salt Springs is primarily a residential neighborhood, made up of one and two-family homes, built in the 1920s and 30s. It has become a "feeder" neighborhood for first-time homebuyers because of its affordable homes and abundance of children. It is a very diverse neighborhood in terms of ethnicity, socio-economics, and homeowners/renters. Salt Springs has an intact neighborhood character. Although this neighborhood has never been formally surveyed, its characteristics include stable, well kept homes of the late 19th and early 20th century of moderate historic significance.
Although in the Meadowbrook neighborhood, Solace Elementary and H.W. Smith Elementary are adjacent to Salt Springs and concerned their neighborhood schools. LeMoyne College is also in this neighborhood.
There is a small retail plaza at the Springfield/Salt Springs intersection that has a mini-market, laundry mat and pizza parlor. LeMoyne College students mostly use these businesses. A mix of retail, commercial, professional, service and light manufacturing prevail on Erie Boulevard East. Continued development efforts on Erie Boulevard will provide a basis for additional jobs to the area.
Homer Wheaton and Westmoreland Parks are located in Salt Springs. Residents use Thornden Park and Barry Park in nearby neighborhoods. The City also has land behind the Brick School Terrace for leagues, which is adjoined by a steep wooded area.
Eastwood's residential area is dominated by one and two-family homes and comprised of many early to mid 20th Century bungalow style houses. There are two senior citizen living complexes, and the Eastwood Senior Center offers programs and services to support the neighborhood's elderly residents. Blessed Sacrament Church and the Eastwood Baptist Church are active in both the religious and social service needs of the community. An Eastwood icon, the Palace movie theatre, is also located in this neighborhood.
There is a major neighborhood retail plaza on Grant Boulevard, and a vital business district on James Street. In the 1980s, the James Street business district experienced increased interest and public/private investment to renovate the facades of many buildings and attract new businesses. Recently, residents of the Area TNT group worked with businesses and the City to pass an Overlay Zoning Ordinance along James Street. The purpose of the overlay is to maintain the main street character of the street and provide a pedestrian friendly atmosphere for businesses, customers, and residents. The Area TNT group is worked with SUNY-ESF's Landscape Architecture Department to develop design guidelines for Eastwood and the James Street Business District in order to institute the overlay district. The Eastwood Review Board oversees the permit applications for the Overlay District. Another business corridor in the area is Burnet Avenue. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a corporate neighbor to Eastwood, and Eastwood boasts its own active and growing Chamber of Commerce.
Huntington Elementary School, Henninger High School, and Blessed Sacrament Elementary School are the major schools in Eastwood.
Sunnycrest is a medium-sized park providing space for many types of active recreation, including a 400 meter track, softball fields, a 9-hole golf course, and tennis and basketball courts along with a children's play area. All different leagues heavily use Norwood Park, but often limiting the use of the park for casual users and children who are not in a league. Cummings Field, Eastwood Heights, and the fields behind Huntington School provide parks and greenspace for the neighborhood.
Washington Square encompasses what used to be the old Village of Salina which has a concentration of two, three, and four- family structures, and larger apartments surrounded by single-family homes. The neighborhood contains mixed-use buildings along the North Salina Street corridor. Washington Square has the most historic rooming/boarding houses out of all the City's neighborhoods. Historic multiple residences ranked second highest, and apartment buildings ranked seventh. Almost 50 percent of Washington Square's mixed-use buildings have historic significance.
The North Salina Street National Register District runs from the 500 Block (where Prospect Street meets N. Salina Street), to the end of the 900 block at Union Place. The City of Syracuse hired a consultant to initiate a streetscape enhancement plan, which includes improved sidewalks, new street furniture, improved parking, new landscaping, interpretive historic markers, and a pedestrian friendly atmosphere. This is intended to be a catalyst for store owners to rehabilitate or improve their own storefronts in order to attract more businesses to locate on this once magnificent 19th Century commercial strip.
The Washington Square neighborhood consists of a mix of residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Businesses are concentrated along North Salina, North State Street, East Hiawatha Boulevard, and Wolf Street. Retail, professional, service, wholesale, and industrial type businesses populate the area. Franklin Elementary is the school located in the neighborhood.
Schiller Park serves the needs for this area. Woodlawn Cemetery, though not a park, is often used for dog walking and strolling by the neighbors. Washington Square Park lies in the far western corner, along North Salina Street.
The Northside neighborhood consists of a residential area bordered on the northwest and southwest by commercial corridors. The residential area is predominately single and two-family homes. Much of the area's larger housing stock has been converted into apartment units.
Court Street, Grant Boulevard, and Butternut Street contain the primary commercial uses in this neighborhood. Most businesses cater to the needs of residents, and include restaurants, drug stores, and small professional offices.
LeMoyne Elementary School, Webster Elementary School, and Grant Middle School are the schools in the neighborhood. Schiller Park is the primary park in this area with amenities such as a large pool with a water slide, basketball and tennis courts, and baseball and softball field.
The Near Northeast neighborhood is located just northeast of Downtown. It contains several business and light industrial areas, dense residential areas, and the Hawley-Green National Register Historic District.
The Hawley-Green National Register District extends from Hawley Avenue (at McBride), turns slightly at the intersection of Catherine Street, and then continues up Green Street until Lodi. Historically, modest row houses in addition to palatial mansions on Green Street reflected a diverse income neighborhood. Greenway Place, perhaps the most interesting structure in the District, was originally built in the Second Empire Style and later covered with its present Tudor façade. It was built on the site of the Greenway Brewery and was comprised of only 14 units. Today, several unique, attached apartments have a hidden courtyard and small back porches, which face inward toward its parking lot and small greenspace. Parking and greenspace is accommodated while maintaining street front character, approachable sidewalks, and a safe haven for one's need for private space. During the last 50 years many homes have been broken up into multi-residential units within this District. Some have been adapted for small retail or office uses. Active landlords on Green Street have rehabilitated and maintained several Victorian properties, which still retain their original flavor and vogue.
Rose Hill Cemetery, a Local Protected Site, adds to the neighborhood's character and history. Although not the first cemetery in the City, Rose Hill was once Syracuse's largest municipal burial ground. The cemetery was laid out in sections, containing an orphan asylum, a "potter's field", and distinct areas divided by ethnicity. Syracuse's first Mayor, Mayor Baldwin, is buried here among other notables in Syracuse's history. The last known burial was recorded in 1935. In recent years, the cemetery has been used as a park. Several festivals take place here during the summer months, and Northside residents enjoy a game of bocce ball or soccer every now and then. Efforts by a group advocating research on Rose Hill Cemetery have lead to investigations by ground penetrating radar, which has identified several missing or sunk gravestones. Efforts to uncover these stones are being worked on by the Rose Hill group to repair the markers. Eventually, this greenspace should be utilized to its fullest potential for growing neighborhood activities, while respecting its history and reverence.
The Near Northeast's main business districts consist of lower North Salina, James and Butternut Streets, Burnet, Lodi, State and Townsend Streets. Many businesses, big and small, populate the area. A wide variety of businesses such as retail, professional, service, and wholesale exist in this neighborhood. Peter's Grocery Store has remained a stable business for the neighborhood.
Dr. Weeks Elementary School is located in the neighborhood. Attached to the school is a community center that provides a full range of activities from the elderly to the youth.
There are small "pocket parks," some with children's play equipment, some with monuments, and some for picnicking, dotted throughout the area. An effort to establish community gardens in this neighborhood is a continuing activity.
The Sedgwick neighborhood is a predominantly stable, single-family residential area. Some of Syracuse's most grand homes are located here. Many of Syracuse's prominent professionals and business people have chosen to reside in this neighborhood.
Located within the Sedgwick neighborhood is Syracuse's only residential Local Historic District. It is comprised of mainly large scale, unique early 20th Century homes united by winding roads and garden type street-scaping. Sedgwick's properties were designated not only for their unique architectural character and display of fascinating details, but for the neighborhood's patterned streets, landscaping and "garden community" atmosphere as a whole. Originally known as "Sedgwick Farm", a tract of working farmland for more than 40 years, this picturesque land was owned by Charles B. Sedgwick. Not until many years after his death did it become one of the City's planned residential subdivisions following in the tradition of the earlier Berkeley Park subdivision in the University Neighborhood. Curvilinear streets were incorporated to make better use of the pattern of the topography that overlooked the City. Lot sizes were larger than the average residential lots in the City, and a large median with planted trees served as the parkway into the development.
Local architects Ward Wellington Ward and Paul Heuber designed eclectic and arts and crafts style homes. The Sedgwick Farm Tennis Club was built to provide residents amusement and recreation. This is a good example of a planned community and was designated for all of the reasons mentioned above. Local review and guidance for exterior rehabilitation or alteration has made a significant impact on the quality of life and maintenance of this safe, stable neighborhood
The Sedgwick neighborhood has some small corner stores and restaurants. Nearby commercial districts such as the James Street Business District in Eastwood provide basic services for residents of the Sedgwick Neighborhood.
Lincoln Middle School, and Salem Hyde Elementary School are in the Sedgwick neighborhood.
In close proximity to the Sedgwick neighborhood are Schiller Park, and Lincoln Park. A greenspace used by Sedgwick residents is the athletic field in front of Lincoln Middle School. Since Lincoln Park and Schiller Park are somewhat distant, area residents use this area informally as well as for organized activities such as youth soccer.
This is one of the smallest geographic neighborhoods in the City, with predominantly single-family residential housing. Part of the Sedgwick/Highland/James Local Preservation District extends into the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Recently, several residents have come together to address issues of the neighborhood and park. They are working with the City and non-profit housing agencies to make improvements to the park and housing.
There is a limited amount of scattered businesses throughout the neighborhood. Several non-profit agencies are located along Oak and James Streets. There are also commercial and light industrial businesses along the main streets that serve as the border for this neighborhood.
The greenspace of Lincoln Park dominates the majority of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The Lakefront area consists of a small residential neighborhood consisting of single-family homes along and around Pulaski Street. This is the Maciejowa neighborhood. Another residential area is Franklin Square. Franklin Square is a former factory and commercial district which has been transformed into condominiums and elderly housing units. The majority of the Lakefront neighborhood is dominated by the Inner Harbor, Carousel Mall, Regional Farmer's Market, a baseball stadium and other industrial sies
The Syracuse Inner Harbor is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as a contributing component of the nationally significant New York State Canal System. The Barge Canal Freight House and Canal Terminal maintenance building are of particular significance to the Syracuse Inner Harbor. The Barge Canal Terminal served as a hub for transport of local manufactured products on the waterway, and also served as the boat repair and maintenance facilities for the entire canal system. The Barge Canal Freight House has recently been relocated to a nearby site on the harbor, in anticipation of its restoration and reuse by the public.
Franklin Square, historically an industrial area bustling with manufacturing and mass production at the turn of the 20th century, provides good examples of rectangular multi-storied forms, which became the basic physical configuration for early factory buildings. Large interior spaces were necessary to house heavy machinery. The "modern day" Plum Court, Mission Landing, the Hurbson Building, and Bridgewater Place are examples of adaptive re-use in the Franklin Square area. In addition, plans to redevelop the vacant O.M. Edwards Building by a local developer are underway.
The major business enterprise in the Lakefront is the Carousel Mall which houses five major department stores, numerous clothing and house wares, upscale boutiques and bookstores, toy stores, restaurants (including a large food court), a health club, and multiple movie theaters. The mall is planning to expand operations across Hiawatha Boulevard, on the site of the former Oil City, an area with numerous oil storage facilities. The last of the tanks were removed last year, and after soil remediation, it is anticipated that expansion will begin. In addition, plans for the development of the Inner Harbor include a multiplicity of businesses, residences, and entertainment facilities such as a marina, an amphitheater, and the expansion of the Creekwalk.
Franklin Square is headquarters to Eric Mower & Associates, Unity Life Insurance, and other professional offices. A small restaurant, a travel agency, and a large graphic company are also featured in Franklin Square. Rehabilitated factory and industrial buildings house luxury and high-income condominiums, as well as a senior citizen complex. Industrial, farm, and construction supply businesses as well as the Metropolitan Treatment Plant are situated along Hiawatha Boulevard. The Little Gem Diner, a Syracuse icon, is located in the Lakefront, including several neighborhood restaurants and bars.
There is limited greenspace in the Lakefront. A public pavilion/amphitheater will be constructed on the western shore of the harbor during the summer. The Creekwalk currently extends two miles from Franklin Square to the Inner Harbor. Design plans have begun on the project to expand the Creekwalk south to Armory Square, in the Downtown neighborhood, and north to connect with the Onondaga Lake Loop Trail. A large open space at the head of the harbor is used for summer festivities.