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RIT Downtown Campus records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0485

Scope and Contents

The collection on RIT’s downtown campus includes a variety of clippings and records. The clippings are related to the campus buildings located in the Third Ward neighborhood of Rochester, N.Y. The records include renovation plans and agreements, maintenance reports, memos, correspondence,campus maps and other historical information.


  • Creation: 1915-2001

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The origin of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s downtown campus can be traced back to 1829, when the Rochester Athenaeum was established as an organization which encouraged life-long learning. The Athenaeum became the Mechanics Institute in 1885, officially becoming an institute of post-secondary education. The institute adopted the name Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1944. Influenced by a variety of factors, RIT made the decision to uproot itself from downtown Rochester in 1961. Significant factors included the lack of space for the growth of the Institute, safety concerns due to the deterioration of the Third Ward neighborhood and the development of the inner loop directly through the campus buildings. At first, RIT considered taking part in an urban renewal plan to purchase and renovate estate in hopes of “reviving” the historically once prosperous area. It was ultimately decided that the urban renewal plan was unsuitable towards the immediate and long-term best interests of the Institute.


1 Box(es) (17 folders)




Collection contains historical information on the downtown campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The campus was located within the heart of downtown Rochester from the time of the establishment of Mechanics Institute in 1885 until the move to the Henrietta campus in 1968. This collection includes clippings and various records, such as renovation plans, maps, and correspondence.


This collection is arranged subject and chronologically.

Related Materials

RIT Housing records, RITArc.0408
RIT Student Union building plaque, RITArc.0350
Nathaniel Rochester House records, RITArc.0508
Veterans Memorial Court plaque, RITArc.0543

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Allison Thompson in December 2013. Additional work done by Jess Andrews in March 2018.

The RIT Downtown Campus records
RIT Archives
Allison Thompson/Jess Andrews
10 January 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA