A Guide to Syracuse Neighborhoods
Becoming familiar with the different neighborhoods in Syracuse will help to determine which neighborhood will be the best fit for you, along with knowing how far your commute to the Syracuse University campus will be.
To help make your search for off-campus housing in Syracuse easier, we have put together a list of neighborhoods that are near the Syracuse University campus. While these aren’t all of the neighborhoods in Syracuse, they are the most popular amongst students. Each of these neighborhoods is within walking distance to campus, or just a short bike, car, or bus ride away.
Historically, Downtown Syracuse grew due to its location on the Erie Canal and the city’s hand in the salt industry. Today, Downtown Syracuse is the city’s economic center with many businesses lining the streets. In recent years, like much of the city, Salina Street (which was once the busiest in the city) has gone through revitalization. The Syracuse Trust building was converted into luxury condos and the Downtown Committee of Syracuse has worked on restoring the sidewalks and streetlights while also adding maps throughout the streets.
Clinton Square, the historic town center, has monuments, a reflecting pool, and ice rink. A popular location for outdoor events, the city utilizes Clinton Square to throw festivals like Oktoberfest and Festa Italiana throughout the year.
Hanover Square, or the Hanover Square Historic District, is a triangular shaped area at the intersections of Warren, Water, and East Genesee Street. This area was Syracuses first commercial district and has seventeen historic buildings that are often visited for their different architectural styles. Today, the park is often used for cultural and ceremonial gatherings. The fountain plaza is a favored lunchtime spot when the weather is warm and often times there will be live entertainment. Several modern day businesses call Hanover Square home, as well as, stores, cafes, salons, and loft-style apartments.
Armory Square, a small neighborhood on the west side of Downtown Syracuse, has transformed into being the city’s art, shopping, and nightlife district. Popular amongst Syracuse students, Armory Square has the city’s most popular restaurants and cafes, a radio station, several small unique shops where you can find clothing or music, tattoo parlors, and a number of bars and nightclubs, like Trexx. Here, you’ll also find many high-end apartments and office spaces.
Located east and southeast of Downtown Syracuse is the University Hill neighborhood. Home to Syracuse University, University Hill is the city’s major medical and education district. The neighborhood has three of the top ten employers in the region and is the heart of the city. Seven institutions make-up over 16,000 jobs and over 20,000 students. Students account for just around eighty percent of the residents in The Hill. Nearly 10,000 of these students live in student housing while many others live off-campus in the neighborhood in rental houses and apartments. Parking is limited, but walking or biking is a preferred and is an easy, fast option. Marshall Street and East Genesee Street are the two business districts in University Hill. Marshall street is larger and is filled with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants. On East Genesee Street you’ll find more shops, restaurants, three upscale hotels, and the Syracuse Stage which is the Syracuse University drama department’s performance center.
To the east of University Hill is Westcott. Due to its close proximity to Syracuse University, many professors, faculty, students, as well as a diverse group of residents of different income levels have made Westcott their home. Many of the homes in Westcott are older and spacious with charm and character. The neighborhood is said to have a small community feel and here you’ll find a community garden, co-op, small grocers, and locally owned restaurants and stores. The main retail area of the neighborhood can be found on Westcott Street. There are many shops, restaurants, and the Westcott Theater which is a performing arts center. Each year, the Westcott Street Cultural Fair is held here to celebrate the diverse neighborhood with performances, activities, art, and food. Thornden Park, one of the biggest in Syracuse, can also be found in Westcott bordering the University Neighborhood as well. Thornden Park is popular for the Mills Rose Garden but also has a swimming pool, amphitheater, sports field, tennis courts, basketball courts, and trails.
University Neighborhood, which borders Westcott to the north, Meadowbrook to the east, Skytop (where Syracuse’s South Campus is located) to the south, and University Hill to the west. Like most of the neighborhoods throughout the city, University Neighborhood was formed as Syracuse University began to expand. University Neighborhood is comprised of a mixture of students and families. The University Neighborhood is mainly a residential area and you’ll only find a few convenience stores scattered throughout the neighborhood. However, retail and dining areas Westcott Street, to the north, and Nottingham Plaza, southeast, are closeby. Nottingham Plaza is located in the Meadowbrook neighborhood, one of the wealthiest areas of Syracuse, and is described as “the suburb of the city.” Nottingham Plaza has a grocery store, liquor store, drug store, and barber shop.
To recap, here are some helpful tips/reminders:
All housing in the Syracuse area neighborhoods mentioned are accessible to the Syracuse University campus through the transit system and are under two miles away.
Most students living off-campus in Syracuse live in the neighborhoods talked about but there are several other East Lansing neighborhoods not mentioned, these are just the most popular and student-dominated areas
Make sure your new place is easily accessible to shopping and grocery stores for running errands
Use Google Maps to determine the distance of a property you are considering to the Syracuse University campus
Syracuse Crime Statistics:
The State of New Yorks theft crime rate has remained consistent well below the City of Syracuse. The City of Syracuse saw a slight increase in theft crimes from 2011 to 2013 and a decrease following in 2014. The theft crime rate is reported by a combination of various types of property damage and burglaries.
The violent crime rate has remained fairly constant above the consistent rate of the State of New York.