St. Paul Quarter

About St. Paul Quarter

Blocks of 19th century loft-style buildings and apartments overlooking the river define the character of the eclectic St. Paul Quarter. The ground floors house fine dining, cafes and nightlife while the upper floors are the location of choice for many start-up tech entrepreneurs. You’ll find loft apartments interspersed with rooms full of monitors in this truly mixed residential and business and entertainment area. The Quarter is also a great place to catch live music with a variety of clubs & venues.


The loft-style buildings we now associate with high design urban living and high tech start-up companies had their origins in much different circumstances. Built during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s, they often served as workspaces with tall ceilings and massive beams designed to accommodate heavy machinery. The St. Paul Quarter includes one of the last intact city blocks of such buildings.

Housing garment manufacturers, tool and die shops, and a variety of other businesses, these buildings survived virtually unchanged into the 1980s. The factories they once housed were replaced by small businesses and studios for artists and commercial photographers. However, the basic character of the buildings was unchanged – high ceilings, steam heat, large multi-paned windows, and brick walls.

When the City of Rochester changed its zoning ordinance to allow mixed residential and commercial use in the late 1980s, the St. Paul Quarter began to come into its own. Development along the Genesee River entailed the conversion of a series of buildings into apartments, with offices and restaurants on the lower floors. The area now contains hundreds of residential units ranging from modern apartments to classic lofts.

As the area became increasingly residential, demand for services led to the opening of many restaurants and nightclubs, turning this vibrant area into one of downtown Rochester’s first truly 24/7 neighborhoods.


Residential development in the neighborhood shows no signs of slowing. Both built and planned residential building conversions see high interest from those looking for modern loft living. New restaurants continue to spring up as the St. Paul Quarter’s population continues to grow.