City of Rochester | Durand Eastman Beach House and Master Plan

Context of the project

Durand Eastman Park is located about 8 km northeast of downtown Rochester, on the shore of Lake Ontario. The land was sold to the City by Dr. Henry Durand and George Eastman. The park was officially opened on May 22, 1909. Construction of a public beach house at the eastern edge of the park was completed in 1919.

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The beach house and public swimming beach served the citizens of Rochester until 1949, when rising waters from Lake Ontario forced the closure of these facilities. The construction of the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam in 1958 provided more stable water levels, which allowed the public beach to reopen in 1959. However, the beach would close again in 1966 after pollution problems caused by the city ​​combined sewer system.

In 2006, the city worked with the Monroe County Health Department to obtain a conditional permit to operate a swimming beach at Durand Eastman. The beach will continue to operate under this conditional permit until permanent beach facilities are provided.

A draft master plan was completed in 2007 which identified major improvements to the site including: parking areas, a beach house, trails, green spaces, site amenities and quality improvements to the site. ‘water.

Download the 2007 master plan here. From 2012 to 2016, the City of Rochester constructed several water quality and utility improvement projects at Durand Eastman Park that were identified in the 2007 Master Plan.

The City of Rochester is currently working with a team of consultants to design a permanent beach house and develop an updated master plan.

the project’s objectives

Beach House – design a beach house in accordance with the 2007 master plan and allowing permanent access to the public swimming pool for residents of the city. The City intends to provide permanent access to Lake Ontario, ending the operation of the conditional permit. Lifeguard and beach facilities are currently serviced by a temporary storage container.

Master plan – updating the 2007 master plan to integrate with the ongoing Beach House project and extend the full length of the beach. The 2007 master plan only covered the western half of the beach. The updated master plan will cover the entire length of the beach and will address parking facilities, drainage improvements, erosion control measures, locations for picnic shelters and grills, improvements to crosswalks and crosswalks and site programming options.

Audience input

Public engagement and feedback to understand community needs and visions for the project will be implemented through stakeholder meetings, town hall meetings, in-person and online surveys, and project updates on the City’s website.

Project Schedule – Beach House

  • Spring/Summer 2022: Preliminary design of Beach House
  • Summer/Fall 2022: Public Awareness – Beach House and Master Plan
  • Spring/Summer 2023: Beach House Final Design
  • Fall 2023: Public submission
  • Spring 2024: Begin construction phase

The schedule is subject to adjustments

Project Schedule – Master Plan

  • Spring 2022: Purchase of Design Consultants
  • Summer/Fall 2022: Public Awareness – Beach House and Master Plan
  • Summer 2023: finalize the master plan
  • Summer 2023: Identify Phase 1 site improvements
  • Summer/Fall 2023: Design of Phase 1 site improvements
  • Winter 2024: Bid publicly
  • Summer 2024: Begin construction phase

The schedule is subject to adjustments

Project Funding and Allocations

Design and construction documents for the Beach House are being prepared with funds provided by the City of Rochester and the New York State Department of State. A portion of this project is being funded by a Title 11 Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

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Funding for Master Plan Design Services is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

Project documents

Key files from the stakeholder and public briefing meetings will be uploaded to the project website shortly after they are held.


If you have any questions or comments about the Durand Eastman Beach House and Master Plan, please contact Tyler Burke of the City’s Office of Architecture and Engineering at 428-7571, or by E-mail.

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