Rochester's Historic Little Italy Neighborhood Celebrating National Recognition

Nov 15, 2021 5786

BY: Silvano D. Orsi, LL.M

Rochester's Historic Little Italy Neighborhood, located in the Lyell Avenue and Jay Street corridors of the city's NW and SW quadrants, has gained national recognition, from the Italian Enclaves Historical Society ("IEHS"). The IEHS was founded in 1979 and is a national organization responsible for recognizing historically Italian neighborhoods and historic Italian enclaves across the United States.

Rochester's Little Italy has been officially included on the list of over 140 historically Italian neighborhoods in America, and is now forever recognized nationally among Little Italy's in Manhattan, the Bronx, Boston, Rhode Island, San Diego and San Francisco. More information on Rochester's Little Italy neighborhood may be found at or on the city of Rochester's official website at  .

Rochester's Little Italy neighborhood district was officially designated by Rochester City Council on June 2nd, 2019, and the district commemorates over 150 years of Italian American history, culture and contributions in the city of Rochester.

The neighborhood has previously been awarded grants by Empire State Development for its revitalization planning initiatives.

Rochester's Little Italy Association is active in the community distributing fresh food boxes to families in need , raising funds for many local charities and giving away thousands in free PPE to Lyell area residents during the pandemic.

A very popular Little Italy Festival is usually held each year in the neighborhood, with top-notch entertainment and thousands of attendees.

A large festival is planned for next summer to celebrate the neighborhood and its new national recognition by the IEHS.

Silvano Orsi (Founding Father of Rochester's Little Italy); "We are very honored to be recognized by the Italian Enclaves Historical Society among other great Little Italy's in United States, and we look forward to working with Malik Evans, NY State, and Adam Bello to continue to revitalize the neighborhood. Most Italian immigrant families in Rochester started out in our inclusive neighborhood and that should never be forgotten, as a valued part of Rochester's history, an American city founded by immigrant cultures."

SOURCE: Little Italy Historic District of Rochester, NY

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