Rochester was my home town for almost 35 years. We actually lived in the city, although not right downtown. Sara, Ben and I are staying at a downtown hotel, where I get a birds-eye view of some of the changes. There’s lots of road construction happening. A major indoor shopping mall, Midtown, has been torn down. Otherwise, things look pretty much the same.
Our hotel is attached by a walkway to the convention center, which is hosting a religious conference for the Church of God Militant Pillar and Ground of the Truth. Many of the conference-goers are staying at the hotel, so the place is lively and full.
Here’s a partial view of downtown. The tall white building is the former Xerox headquarters building — no idea what’s in there now. Rochester has been struggling for many years with the loss of major corporate centers, not only Xerox but Gannett, Bausch & Lomb, Champion Products French’s Mustard. Kodak is still here but a shadow of its former economic dominance. Many of the film production buildings in the once massive Kodak Park have been torn down.
The largest employer is now the University of Rochester/UR Medicine, which includes the School of Nursing where I will be honored on Friday night.
Just to orient my friends who used to live in Rochester and no longer do, that’s the old Sibley building in the bottom pic, taller structure on the left side of Main St.