Rochester is a city located in western New York state (United States), the county seat of Monroe and a deep port on the Genesee River and Lake Ontario, 535 km northwest of New York City.
The city is sandwiched between two strips of land, on either side of the Genesee River, which joins the central area with Lake Ontario to the north.
It was founded in the 1820s by Nathaniel Rochester, an American military man, who lived there in his last years. Some famous Americans have lived in Rochester, such as the feminist Susan B. Anthony, the freed slave Frederick Douglass, and the anarchist Emma Goldman. A few years ago, Rochester was a very important industrial city with great economic success. Companies like Eastman-Kodak and Xerox, located in Rochester, formed the heart and soul of the city. However, in recent years the city has not been as successful; there are problems with unemployment, crime and poverty. Many buildings are in poor condition. Besides the river Genesee has high levels of contamination. The white settlement of the region began with the acquisition of the land on which the present city sits by Nathaniel Rochester and two associates in 1803. Rochester designed the community in 1811 and gave it its own name; The settlement was permanent from 1812. Its growth soared after the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, to which the community had been attached since 1822. Rochester obtained city status in 1834. Until the industrialization of the west, around 1870, the community was an important center of flour refining ; from the 1850s It became a horticultural community, famous for its large seedbeds and beautiful gardens. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the city was the focus of political movements, especially in favor of abolition and the rights of women.
Rochester is a major manufacturing and processing and distribution center for a large fruit growing region. This city is notable as a home base for the Eastman Kodak photographic equipment industry; Its inventor, George Eastman, built the city’s first dry plate factory in 1880. Rochester is a world leader in the production of photographic equipment, optical parts, copying machinery, hospital supply and scientific instruments. Other of its products are supplies for seedlings, metal containers, heavy machinery, printing material, plastics and clothing.
The city is also a cultural, educational and research center. It is home to a philharmonic orchestra as well as an opera, dance and theater companies. Likewise, the International Museum of Photography in George Eastman’s home, the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum, and the Science Center (where the Strasenburgh Planetarium is located) are located in Rochester.
Among its educational institutions stands the University of Rochester (1850), which belong to the School of Music Eastman, the Institute of Technology Rochester (1829), the Colegio Mayor Nazareth of Rochester (1924), the College Saint John Fisher (1948) and the Colgate Rochester Divinity School / Bexley Hall / Crozer Theological Seminary complex (1817).
Colleges and Universities
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- University of Rochester
- St John Fisher College
- Monroe Community College
- Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage
- Nazareth College of Rochester
- Northeastern Seminary At Roberts Wesleyan College
- University of Rochester Surgical Associates
- Roberts Wesleyan College
Among the landmarks of Rochester include home (now museum) of Susan Brownell Anthony an abolitionist, advocate of moderation and activist rights of women. Frederick Douglas, an abolitionist writer, lived in the city until his house was burned down in 1872.
According to the 1990 national census, blacks are equivalent to 31.5% of the city’s population; the residents of Hispanic origin, 8.7%; Native Americans, 0.5%, and people of Asian origin, 1.8%. The population in (2006) was 208,123 residents.
The city government consists of a mayor and a municipal council composed of four councilors elected by district and five more elected by the entire city.