Quantcast RochesterSubway.com : SUNY Rochester?
Rochester Subway
Subscribe for Email UpdatesBecome a Facebook FanFollow Us on TwitterRSS Feed Rochester History + New Ideas. Fresh from the Rochester Subway.


Rochester Subway Gift Shop

¤ Visit the Gift Shop

Modern Rochester Subway Map

Modern Rochester Subway Map

¤ View Details
¤ Buy at MetroPosters.com

City of Rochester, New York

City of Rochester, New York

¤ View Details
¤ Buy at MetroPosters.com

Rochester Neighborhoods Map

Rochester Neighborhoods Map

¤ View Details
¤ Buy at MetroPosters.com

Rochester Subway DVD

The End of the Line - Rochester’s Subway (DVD)

¤ View Details
¤ Buy at MetroPosters.com

Rochester Landmarks Poster

Rochester Landmarks Poster

¤ View Details



Work in Rochester

Work in Rochester

¤ View Details
¤ Buy from Amazon

Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

Original Streetart by SPACEMAN

¤ View All Spaceman Art

Old Rochester Photos<br>and Historical Views

Old Rochester Photos
and Historical Views

(Framed Reprints Available)

¤ View All Rochester Photos

Rochester Subway Cap

Embroidered Subway Cap

¤ View Details

Rochester Subway T-Shirt

Rochester Subway T-Shirt

¤ View Details

Rochester Subway Token T-Shirt

RTC Token T-Shirt

¤ View Details

Rochester RTC Token

RTC Token (1948)

¤ View Details



Roch. & Brighton Token

Roch. & Brighton Token

¤ View Details


Add To Cart

Rochester Railway Co. Token

Rochester Railway Co. Token (1900-09)

¤ View Details



Rochester School Fare Token

School Fare Token (1948)

¤ View Details


Add To Cart

Rochester NYS Railways Token

NYS Railways Token (1909-38)

¤ View Details


Add To Cart

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1941),
Rochester Rail Equipment

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1938),
Subway & Broad Street

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (1942),
Rochester City Hall & Subway

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1912),
Rochester’s Four Corners

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1905),
Erie Canal Aqueduct

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway Vintage Postcard

Vintage Postcard (c.1928),
South Entrance to Subway

¤ View Details


Order Reprint

¤ See All Vintage Postcards

Rochester Subway + Trolley Transit Passes

Original Subway, Trolley,
and Bus Weekly Transit Passes

¤ View All Transit Passes

27 Responses to “SUNY Rochester?”

  1. bigwig says:

    First off, let me just say I love this idea. Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks a downtown university could solve a lot of problems in Rochester. The idea of creating/reusing housing downtown is particularly nice because eliminates the battle over housing for local and seasonal resident that’s already occurring in Rochester neighborhoods.

    Would love to see what the actual architects/city planners/urban designers think about it.

  2. Erik Stoneham says:

    Awesome read.
    I agree completely with what you wrote. My wife and I both live downtown and are both passionate about learning and higher education. She is a recent grad from St. John Fisher and I am attending MCC-Brighton. She is always looking for more classes to take to advance herself and I am finishing some unfinished degrees from my past.
    Last summer I took a class at Damon and it was GREAT to be able to walk to class. No parking issues, no traffic and I made it home for lunch, or stopped out on my way home. Perfect. I wish I could do the same for the Brighton campus but it is a bit too far to walk too.
    My wife did time in Pittsburgh for a residency and I believe there were 5 schools in the downtown area of Pittsburgh. There were people everywhere, outside, walking, studying, and simply just being there and here were also hundreds of businesses that were very much alive and equally full of people. It was great. My favourite question when I visited my wife was where to eat. Each time I was there we had a new place to check out. Imagine Park Ave and the South Wedge on a huge dose of steroids. It was great because not every place was a cookie cutter big box store. A lot of thriving small business, again which is great.
    A SUNY Rochester school in downtown Rochester would be a perfect addition and bring a lot of people to our city and give it the boost it needs to get back on it’s feet.

    Thank you

  3. Carl Binger says:

    Good write up Donald. I am always amazed at how dedicated Rochester citizens are to it’s success.

  4. Damian K says:

    Rochester definitely needs something to fill the gap between MCC and RIT/UofR. St. Johns and Naz offer only nursing, art, and education, nothing for the hard sciences and business students. RIT and UofR are just too expensive for everyone too.

  5. Martin Edic says:

    There are multiple factual issues here and this piece needs some serious editing for repetition. MCC does indeed have a downtown campus (not impressive) that is moving to a large location next to Kodak offices. Wegmans is not a driver- downtown retail is driven by residential demographics. To get national retail chains and a grocery store (more like a Trader Joes than Wegmans which requires a minimum of 70,000 sq ft and large surface parking to be profitable) we need at least 3500 market value residents inside the Loop. With the Midtown, Sibley’s and Morgan River developments we’re adding ~600 high end units within two blocks of the Midtown site which gets us to viability for retail there. The changes to South/St Paul and Clinton (becoming two way streets next year) and the Inner Loop fill also contribute to a larger downtown population with the Wedge and the Alexander St area becoming a part of that demographic.
    Realistically there is zero chance of a SUNY downtown but it is very likely that MCC could become greatly expanded. They are moving to a model with more students living on campus and are one of the highest ranked schools in the SUNY system.
    The Hive project in the St. Paul area is targeting UofR and Med Center students and employees because it is a straight shot bus ride (ten minutes, $1) to the Med Center eliminating the costly and time-consuming parking issues ($5-10, 35 minutes each way) at the UofR. This is a planned attempt to create a ‘college town’ in the st. Paul area, underway now.
    If you are going to run these long opinion pieces I would like to see at least some understanding of the actual dynamic going on now downtown rather than a theoretical concept based on an idea. All the things I’ve written about are funded and underway now.

  6. Rachel says:

    Educational Administrator and Student Affairs practitioner here. I just want to commend you for writing such an extensive article and strategic plan for this campus. I think SUNY Rochester has some benefits and some great possibilities.

    However, a school is much more than those items you have outlined. While I don’t have time to iterate each element of a university, I can tell you that this isn’t a great idea considering MCC, and the two SUNY campuses present in the region.

    You also have to consider the financial state of the SUNY system as it is now, and starting a college or university is not in your interest as a NYS taxpayer, or in the City of Rochester’s interest.

    The school would also have to fill a need, and I think the other area colleges are doing that very well, as are the proprietary schools that are serving the low SES residents of the City, providing degree opportunities for middle skills positions.

    Sir, I think you have great ideas and are passionate about the city, but this idea would take ten years to come to fruition, even on paper.

  7. @Martin, this is an opinion piece, yes… so I don’t want to speak for Mr. Sullivan… but he does acknowledge that MCC, Brockport, and now RIT have downtown locations.

    I think what he’s saying is that these are, and will remain, commuter locations – not really campuses. If MCC is planning on building residential space for its students downtown, that is something I missed. The Hive will be a good thing if and when UofR students move in, but that is a relatively small residual impact from the bulk of UofR’s operation which remain at the river campus.

    I believe what Sullivan is saying is for downtown to fully benefit from a university, all or most of the school’s operations need to be based downtown (administrative, classrooms, residences, campus life, etc.).

  8. DJ says:

    As the author, I Agree with RochesterSubway comment #7. Thank You for your comment, Martin. I Appreciate the critique.

  9. Martin Edic says:

    About five years ago St. John Fisher floated the idea of opening a new law school downtown because we don’t have one in our university eco-system. Unfortunately it proved to not be viable from an economic POV (guess we don’t need more lawyers!). They also found that repurposing older buildings into modern classrooms and lecture halls costs more than building new ones.
    The Hive encompasses over 100 existing units and 54 new ones so it’s no smaller than any of the new developments. Not sure about that name though!
    I appreciate any thoughtful discussion of downtown DJ. I think I may have to write one about the economics of it. I had a discussion with Alex White, the Green candidate for mayor, and his understanding was completely out of touch with reality.

  10. Brian says:

    I understand why UofR is investing in the areas directly adjacent to the university river campus.

    What I don’t understand is why they haven’t explored expanding the downtown presence for the school. There are numerous examples around the US of universities building tech transfer offices, research labs, and other extension activities. A large tower of labs and student housing associated with UofR could essentially become a second campus (especially if it is located nearby the music school properties on Gibbs).

  11. gary b says:

    While Rochester suffers from lots of plans, it’s amazingly short on vision. This is one of the most visionary ideas I’ve come across in many years. In places where innovative things really happen, such as Atlanta, where I once lived, everything starts with vision. Once the people who make things happen believe in that vision, the reality begins filling in the surrounding voids.

    Here we do it the other way around, looking at our current reality and telling ourselves that our hands are tied, so why even bother wanting more. All real progress begins with ideas like this. Allowing ourselves to get bogged down in reasons why not, at this point, is death to the vision of a better future. That’s why we have been spinning our wheels here for so many decades.

    About 5,000 people now living downtown means approaching critical mass for commercial development. Long ago, when I arrived here as an RIT student, downtown was my campus. It was about the most exciting place I have ever lived, even New York couldn’t do much better. There was a vast organism thriving downtown, with thousands of human components day and night going to department stores, grocers, restaurants, car dealers, even a strip club, junk stores and sleazy bars. All the elements of a real city, highbrow and lowbrow. It was alive. It was real.

    Now it’s mostly dead, just going through the motions like some sort of concrete zombie. My first professional job after returning north wasn’t here but rather was in Syracuse. There I saw life downtown in a way Rochester couldn’t match, because Syracuse still had a downtown university. Rochester once had two. But the worst decision this city ever made, or allowed, was letting them leave. I think that was worse even than building the Inner Loop, because it drained the vibrancy out of downtown. Nothing makes a city vital like a university, a real one with a full residential community. We had that and we let it escape, to our great detriment. Virtually all the really great cities, whether NYC or Berlin or Austin or Seoul or Prague are university towns.

    We lost that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make it happen again. I’m fed up with a deferential attitude here that says nothing new will work because we tried it in 1957 and it didn’t work then. This isn’t 1957 any more, the rules have changed many times since then. Consider how George Eastman or Susan B Anthony might have reacted to an idea such as this. I honestly doubt that either of them, or Hiram Sibley or Emma Goldman or Frederick Douglass or Kate Gleason or any of the others who made this city great would have fallen all over themselves trying to find reasons why it wouldn’t work. This was once a proud and capable city, one that didn’t take defeat lightly. Is that only musty history now?

    We’re better than that. This is a grand idea. Rochester once lived grand ideas and we prospered because of it. Such a plan could make a massive difference in our city, a “rising tide that raises all boats”. What do we have to lose by thinking big? And by “big”, I don’t mean the politically-motivated white elephants that we have come to expect, but something that the builders of this city could be proud of. We still have that in our blood, all of us do. But we have become comfortable settling for less than we deserve. Will that go on forever? Wouldn’t NOW be a good time to take a visionary idea such as this and run with it for a change?

  12. Jeff says:

    I don’t think building a complete, new, separate University downtown is viable in the next 10 years or so. However, I think it could be extremely beneficial.

    What about a plan to move more of MCC downtown, a partnership with one of Brockport, Geneseo, or Buffalo to add four year programs at the downtown campus, and a rebranding to become SUNY Rochester? I believer there is a precedent within the SUNY system to do this with what happened to ACC/SUNY Adirondack partnering with plattsburgh to start offering 4 year programs on campus. Check out http://www.plattsburgh.edu/branchcampus/ for some information.

    Eventually, if the downtown campus does well, the whole of MCC/SUNY Rochester could be moved downtown, and offer a complete set of 4 year programs.

  13. John Smith says:

    It’s not necessarily an unrealistic or bad idea. In fact it’s happening in NYC right now (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/nyregion/bloombergs-big-push-for-an-applied-sciences-school.html). It’s called Cornell NYC Tech. NYC ended up attracting a private university instead of a public university.

    A smart use of public investment in this community is on projects like these that expand the local talent pool and foster entrepreneurship especially when it comes to applied science & technology careers, something this community has a long history in.

    In the short term I hope this article raises the need to bring students in our center city whether it’s working with the local colleges to provide consistent transportation to and from co-op/internships in the city. Or providing an off campus student housing option in the center city. (Who wants to really live in RIT Inn & Conference Center for a semester anyways, when you can live somewhere better.)

    Thank you for writing such a detailed article.

  14. DJ says:

    @Gary B, Thank you for your passion. It was a similar passion that led me to this idea, and to write about it. I concur with everything you wrote. Roch folks have a habit of settling for what we have and focusing on the reasons why new things won’t work. Even a sense that we don’t deserve better. I want ROC people to realize they do deserve better and it is within reach. Doesn’t have to be one huge project, doesn’t even have to be a University, but improvement is possible. As you said, it wasn’t too long ago that Rochester had a thriving downtown.

  15. DJ says:

    @ Jeff, thank you for the comment.

    I think to fully understand it’s important to recognize we’re first and foremost going for increased downtown population, and a University is a means to that end.

    One of the core principles behind the idea is to get permanent population downtown. Population that bars ,markets, shopping, restaurants,& other services would build around. I just happen to think that a University is the best way to accomplish that.

    To your ideas re: MCC & other schools… If MCC wants to build a walkable campus downtown and have 5,000 students living permanently downtown, then that accomplishes the same goal as SUNY Rochester. The name isn’t important, it’s the physical size, shape, & design which matter.

    Thank You for your thoughtful comment.

  16. Jeff says:


    Thanks for following up with me. To be clear, because I think my first post was lacking in this, I absolutely think the biggest problems facing downtown Rochester would mostly solve themselves if there was a large infusion of people living there. I think your idea to build a new University with over 5000 students living there would absolutely accomplish that.

    The point of my comment was more to offer a viable path towards that. I think with the right leadership, a collaboration between the city, MCC, and either Brockport or Geneseo could lead to a stronger MCC, with 4 year bachelor’s programs offered onsite in the new MCC site (old Kodak building), and acquiring other property nearby (expanding into downtown and the High Falls neighborhoods slightly) to build residential housing.

    Doing great things in Rochester is certainly possible, but I think they’re much more likely to happen if there’s a plan that can effectively get results with smaller pieces of investment.

  17. DJ says:

    @Jeff, Great points. Adding onto an existing school would be a path of less resistance. I had a bit of that kind of thinking with the re-use of existing buildings, but you’re taking it to another level. ‘If you want a tree, why plow over one that’s already growing just to plant your own acorn?’ (MCC vs. starting new)

    Random thought: I’m seeing is that implementation strategies people suggest inevitably involve scaling back or compromising. For this reason I’m glad I started with high expectations.

    Regardless, I love that the article has inspired people to start thinking about what the next step would be and I am excited to keep hearing ideas.

  18. jeffrey rhodes says:

    SUNY Empire is saying they are taking over the VA building on Westfal Rd. Moving from winton rd. Maybe they should be steared downtown instead of tearing down and building there?

  19. Jason Haremza says:

    Re: Gary B. Could not agree more. Your writing is eloquent:

    “We’re better than that. This is a grand idea. Rochester once lived grand ideas and we prospered because of it…We still have that in our blood, all of us do. But we have become comfortable settling for less than we deserve. Will that go on forever? Wouldn’t NOW be a good time to take a visionary idea such as this and run with it for a change?”

    The only thing I will add (clarify?) is that, by my observations, too many Rochesterians are waiting for government to make the “grand idea” happen. Conversely, government sometimes clutches to power a bit too much to allow grand ideas (or even small ideas) to germinate.

  20. Joe says:

    It’s sad so many of the ideas to improve Rochester aren’t about doing something new, but replacing what was lost.

  21. Javier says:

    I was wondering what the HIVE project on st. paul is about? I tried to look it up but couldn’t find anything. I apologize if this takes away from the attention you wanted for this piece.

  22. DJ says:

    @Javier. Not at all, it’s meant to stir up other ideas as well as present my own Idea. I have no idea what the Hive is, maybe someone can do some research and write a little something about what it is. Thank You!

  23. DJ says:

    @ Joe. I don’t see this idea as ‘replacing something that was lost’. Don’t even mention that U of R and RIT were once downtown. It’s all about NOW, 2013 and forward. Saying that a college is a recycled idea just bc there was one downtown 70 years ago and moved away isn’t a strong argument against establishing a new downtown university in 2013.

    I agree that in general trying to hold onto the past is a bad path. I just don’t think my idea fits into that category whatsoever. Thank you for your comment.

  24. gary b says:

    There’s no denying that we’ve lost a lot, but I agree that isn’t alone a valid criterion for present action.

    However nineteenth and early twentieth-century infrastructure was often intended as long-term investment in the community. Without trying to recreate a lost era just for its own sake, it’s good stewardship to use functional, sustainable ideas from the past for new development when they fit. Like good public transit, the residential downtown university isn’t just an idea from the past but also a valuable institution for the future.

  25. Thomas says:

    As an engineer, having been born and raised in Rochester, but not much of a sentimental/urban planning kind of person, I look at this and see a massive undertaking that has potential to restore a dying city to what it once was, but providing a culture for the youth of the upstate New York region.

    With all of the nearby colleges, being Nazareth, St. John Fisher, RIT, U of R, and MCC, just to name a few, there’s so much potential for growth, and with such a proximity, there becomes crossing between schools and people who make them what they are.

    On top of that, many college-town atmospheres create thriving communities, whether it be related to sports, or academics, or even art and music and expression.

    With all of the culture that used to be in Rochester, it’s disheartening to walk through the once-busy streets, and go through the old Kodak plots, and look up at the headquarters and see that it’s a vacant building. That being said, I think it’s important to breathe life back into the city, and show the world what it once was.

    High Falls used to be one of the most exciting places, when it held arcades, light shows, and showed some of the natural beauty that Rochester brought to the table, with a bridge spanning all the way Genessee Brewing Co.

    It’s not good to live in the past, but it’s certainly good to learn from it.

  26. Lucy says:

    I came across this website accidentally and I felt compelled to comment after reading this post.

    First off, I think your idea is brilliant. Yes, it’s also crazy in a way considering the sheer resources that a project like this would require…but definitely a fantastic idea.

    I’m from Buffalo and have lived here almost my entire life minus some brief adventures in the outlying rural areas closer to Rochester. I think Rochester has a lot in common with areas like downtown Buffalo, and even Syracuse to a degree and I personally think its a shame to see the way many areas of these cities sit idle falling into horrible disrepair until they fade away or are demolished. I think that the proposal of a SUNY Rochester campus is a very smart idea that could have an incredibly positive impact. Personally, I think the most important part of your idea is that of it being a SUNY college. When I lived closer to Rochester and was exploring options for transferring from the community college I was attending, I chose to move back to Buffalo because there are TWO SUNY schools there. Unfortunately, the private institutions in the Rochester area were/are beyond my means. This is the case for so many people, and going to schools like Brockport or Geneseo might not be a realistic option for some because of the inconvenience of their locations. This more or less, leaves MCC for those who can’t either commute to a SUNY or afford the costs of private schools. Community colleges are limited in what they offer, which doesn’t help matters.

    I think a SUNY college that sets up shop in downtown Rochester is a sound idea. If done right, the costs can certainly be justified. A SUNY college creates an ecosystem in which people work, shop, live and money flows. Perhaps if the proposed school not only offered programs that are perhaps not offered nearby, but also programs that the private institutions offer, but instead at the SUNY price. I think a lot of students would be willing to take the gamble, considering that often one year at a private institution can cost what it takes to complete an entire bachelors degree worth of courses!

    Also, I know people mentioned satellite campuses that exist for existing schools but these clearly don’t solve the problem and generally, satellite campuses don’t offer every degree that the main campus does, which limits the population that it can attract.

    Lastly, to add to this pipe dream… It sure would pair nicely with the new tax free incentives associated with setting up shop near a SUNY campus! 😉

  27. DJ says:

    @Lucy, Thank You for your thoughtful comments. You definitely captured the essence of my idea. Something to build around.

    Re: Satellite campuses, the main issue is they serve commuters and thus add to the daytime crowd that leaves downtown abandoned at night. To improve downtown you need permanent residents (On-campus students/teachers).

    Thanks again for your support and comments!

Post a Comment...

  Most Popular...
  1. Inside Rochester’s Terrence Tower
    (views: 57.9k)
  2. Pot Holds Bowie in Rochester
    (views: 37.5k)
  3. University of Rochester’s Lost Swimming Pool
    (views: 32.8k)
  4. Inside Abandoned Medley Centre (a.k.a Irondequoit Mall)
    (views: 31.4k)
  5. The Old Barber House
    (views: 29.4k)
  6. Inside Rochester’s Abandoned Walters Psychiatric Building
    (views: 28.1k)
  7. History of Seabreeze Amusement Park
    (views: 24.1k)
  8. Deep Inside Rochester’s Big Old Sibley Building
    (views: 23.4k)
  9. Abandoned Glass House
    (views: 20.9k)
  10. Durand Eastman Park and the Lady In White
    (views: 18.2k)
  11. Abandoned Girl Scout Camp Beech-Wood
    (views: 17.1k)
  12. Rochester Mafia, the Banana King, and the Infamous “Barrel Murder”
    (views: 15.7k)
  13. Exploring the Caves of Rochester, NY
    (views: 15.6k)
  14. The Best Holiday Light Displays in Rochester v1.0
    (views: 14.1k)
  15. Inside the Abandoned Camp Haccamo, Penfield
    (views: 13.1k)
  16. Inside the Abandoned Vacuum Oil Refinery
    (views: 13.1k)
  17. Abandoned Theme Park: Frontier Town
    (views: 11.8k)
  18. Martha Matilda Harper – Innovator in Beauty and Business
    (views: 10.4k)
  19. Inside RG&E Beebee Power Plant – Just Before (and during) Demolition
    (views: 9.5k)
  20. Inside the Abandoned Sykes Datatronics Building
    (views: 9.5k)


  • Architecture (64)
  • Art + Culture (123)
  • Events (107)
  • Freebies (9)
  • Interviews (32)
  • Opinion (109)
  • Other (9)
  • Reader Submitted Stories (126)
  • Rochester Apartments (5)
  • Rochester Destinations (102)
  • Rochester Gifts (18)
  • Rochester History (203)
  • Rochester Homes for Sale (8)
  • Rochester Images (208)
  • Rochester News (369)
  • Rochester Subway (51)
  • Rochester Subway Stories (17)
  • Subways Around the Globe (11)
  • Train/Railroad Stuff (47)
  • Transit + Infrastructure (204)
  • Uncategorized (17)
  • Urban Development (261)
  • Urban Exploration (61)

  • Rochester Subway Information

    Get Email Updates...
    Stay up-to-date on Rochester-related stories, artifacts, and ideas that you won't find in the mainstream news. Totally free, never spammy, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

    ¤ See Past Issues
    ¤ Our Privacy Policy


    Get Involved...

    ¤ Reconnect Rochester

    Related Blogs...

    ¤ A Town Square
    ¤ Moderate Urban Champ
    ¤ Our Tiny Earth
    ¤ The Rochesterian
    ¤ RocVille
    ¤ Rust Wire


    ¤ RochesterDowntown.com
    ¤ Rochester's Public Library
    ¤ ROCwiki

    Want to Advertise
    on RocSubway?
    Drop us a line.

    Other ways to follow RochesterSubway.com...

    Subscribe for Email Updates


    Become a Facebook Fan


    Follow Us on Twitter


    RSS Feed


    Questions + Comments

    For questions about the Rochester Subway Poster or about your order, please email [email protected].

    Want to SAVE Shipping Costs?
    Buy the Subway Posters at these local shops...

    About the Rochester Subway Poster...

    ¤ Parkleigh [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Poster Art [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Rochester Public Library Store [ ...map it ]

    ¤ Rochester Subway Poster Press Release
    ¤ Article by Otto M. Vondrak
    ¤ Design by Mike Governale

    More About The Rochester Subway

    Help Support...

    ¤ Rochester Subway (Wikipedia)
    ¤ The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway, DVD
    ¤ Abandoned Subway Photos (Opacity.us)
    ¤ Walking the Rails (YouTube Video)

    ¤ Friends of RochesterSubway.com