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RIT President's records on Henrietta Campus construction

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0147

Scope and Contents

The RIT President's records on Henrietta Campus construction consist of planning documents such as diagrams, correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, clippings, and other related materials. For instance, there is correspondence from several Long Range Planning consultants as well as from the Design, Planning, and Construction Committees. Additionally, the collection includes meeting minutes from various committees such as the Steering Committee and the Student Services Board Committee. The financial records pertain to the New Campus Fund, which had a stated goal of $18.8 million. There are also materials related to the dedication ceremony planned for the new campus.

Lastly, a photograph album given to RIT President Paul Miller on December 23, 1970 from architect Hugh Stubbins of Hugh Stubbins and Associates containing mounted, color 8 x 10 inch photographs of the newly completed Booth and Gannett buildings on the Henrietta campus. There are both exterior and interior images which include the Webb Auditorium, the Bevier Gallery, art and photography studios and the printing press. Photographs by Jonathan Green.


  • Creation: 1959-1970


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: Henrietta Campus construction

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was originally located in the city of Rochester, NY. In 1961, the university's Board of Trustees voted to relocate the campus to Henrietta, a suburb south of the city. The decision was several years in the making. Following World War II, the Institute had seen a rapid growth in enrollment figures and new programs were being added. The school had gone from a unique institute of higher learning to one that granted associate, bachelor, and master degrees, as well as seeking accreditation. It was becoming increasingly clear that the school would need to expand, the question was whether it would rebuild its current campus or relocate to a different part of the metropolitan area.

In 1951, RIT committed $30 million toward building up the campus as part of a neighborhood renewal project. For years, the City of Rochester had been trying to revitalize the city's Third Ward and RIT was a key component of this project. Then, in 1959 the New York State Department of Public Works announced that the Rochester Inner Loop expressway would be built through the heart of RIT's campus. The Eastman Building, which was constructed with funds donated by George Eastman in 1901, was to be destroyed in the process. The anticipated result was that the college would be split in half by the new thoroughfare.

After considering several options, the board voted on November 20, 1961 to relocate the campus to a new area. The vote passed with 32 in favor, 2 against, and 1 abstention. The City of Rochester was unhappy with the decision given that RIT was seen as important to the Third Ward's eventual revitalization. However, given the state of the neighborhood and restrictions present in a city environment, it seemed to the administrators that staying in the city would not be in the Institute's best interest. Additionally, a Rochester resident, Grace Watson, had unexpectedly left over $3 million to the Institute. The largest gift in the university's history, it helped address the financial burden of relocating the entire school.

Emil Muller, an RIT graduate, helped the university obtain 1300 acres of farmland in the suburb of Henrietta. Henrietta - named for the daughter of Sir William Johnstone Pulteney, a prominent New York landowner - was established in 1817. Although most of the area was farmland, Mark Ellingson shared in a letter that the university's administrators believed that Henrietta would be the "center of the Rochester Metropolitan area within the next few years." Ground was broken on November 2, 1964 and by September 1968 the first classes were held. The total cost of the project was around $60 million and included residence halls, administrative offices, academic offices, lecture halls, a library, a student union, and a gymnasium. Most importantly, the new campus included space. RIT's city campus had consisted of 13 acres. The new 1300 acre campus was meant to sustain the college 100 years into the future.


2 Linear Feet (4 document boxes and one photo album in magazine box (RITArt.0093))




Materials related to the planning and construction of the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) campus in Henrietta, NY. RIT relocated its campus from the city of Rochester to the suburbs of Henrietta in 1968. The collection includes diagrams, correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, and clippings.


Materials are arranged into four groups: Long Range Planning and pre-Construction Records; Housing and Building Committee Records; Financial Records; and New Campus Dedication Records.

Stubbins photo album to Miller

Album location- 3660 19 12 also listed in RITArt.0093

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

RIT President's records on Henrietta Campus construction

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 1999:003

The collection was given to the RIT Archive Collections by the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Office of the President in 1999. It is believed that the materials were compiled by former RIT President Mark Ellingson.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in April 2011.

RIT President's records on Henrietta Campus construction
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
07 April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA