Village of Ovid

Downtown Main Street Re-visioning

The Downtown Main Street Re-visioning project was a collaborative envisioning exercise between Seneca Towns Engaging in Solutions (STEPS), the people of the village of Ovid, and students from Cornell University working on a Design Connect Team. The purpose of the project was to get Ovid residents thinking about how to create a healthier village that would improve long term liveability. A walkable, people-friendly built environment is one very sustainable way to do this.

The Village of Ovid is located between Seneca and Cayuga lakes at the heart of Seneca County, immediately at the intersection of highways 96A and 414. The traditional main street is home to several local businesses, a national historic site made up of the “Three Bears” former courthouse buildings, and boasts a wonderful small town feel. The “Three Bears” are a notable landmark in what is officially known as the Seneca County Courthouse Complex which consists of three neoclassical brick structures. Papa Bear is the original 1845 Seneca County Courthouse; Mama Bear is the Old Clerks House built in 1845; and Baby Bear is the New Clerks Office built in 1860.

After a March 2014 destroyed two of the Village’s buildings along the main street, STEPS invited Design Connect to assist the people of Ovid in re-imagining the future of their community and improve both the feeling of a neighborhood and health outcomes in general. The final report presents findings from community outreach activities moderated by the Cornell team as well as possible recommendations to help Ovid move forward in becoming the community it aspires to be.



Project Manager:

Taru Ruchi

Project Leader:

Daniel Mckenna-Foster


Brian Byrd

Andrew Canfield

Kai Huang

Natalie Hymer

Adna Karabegovic

Zoe Siegel

Yuchen Xiang

Lei Yang