Rochester | United States

Rochester (/ˈrɒtʃɪstər, ˈrɒtʃɛstər/) is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,880 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people.

Rochester was one of America's first boomtowns, initially due to its flour mills along the Genesee River, and then as a manufacturing hub. Several of the region's universities (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) have renowned research programs. Rochester is the site of many important inventions and innovations in consumer products. The Rochester area has been the birthplace to Kodak, Western Union, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason and Xerox, which conduct extensive research and manufacturing of industrial and consumer products. Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second-largest regional economy in New York State, after the New York City metropolitan area. Rochester's GMP has since ranked just below that of Buffalo, New York, while still exceeding it in per-capita income.

The 25th edition of the Places Rated Almanac rated Rochester as the "most livable city" in 2007, among 379 U.S. metropolitan areas. In 2010 Forbes rated Rochester as the third-best place to raise a family in the United States. In 2012 Kiplinger rated Rochester as the fifth-best city in the United States for families, citing low cost of living, top public schools, and a low jobless rate.

Rochester lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfb) and has four distinct seasons, with cold and snowy winters; temperatures drop to 0 °F (−18 °C) on 4.2 nights annually. Autumn features brilliant foliage colors, and summer sees generally comfortable temperatures that usually stay in the range of 80 to 85 °F (27 to 29 °C) accompanied by moderate to high humidity; there are only 6.9 days annually of highs more than 90 °F (32 °C). Precipitation is plentiful year round.

One food product that Rochester calls its own is the "white hot", a variant of the hot dog or smoked bratwurst made by the local Zweigle's company and other companies. Another local specialty is the "Garbage Plate", a trademark of Nick Tahou Hots that traditionally includes macaroni salad, home fries, and two hot dogs or cheeseburgers topped with mustard, onions, and their famous meat hot sauce. Many area restaurants feature copies or variations with the word "plate" commonly used as a general term. Rochester was home to French's Mustard, whose address was 1 Mustard Street.

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce used to be produced in Rochester. Some of the original facility still exists and produces products for other labels (including Newman's Own) as Private Label Foods.

Other local franchises include: Bill Gray's (a hamburger/hot dog joint that lays claim to having "The World's Greatest Cheeseburger"), DiBella's, Tom Wahl's, American Specialty Manufacturing producers of Boss Sauce, Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria, Mark's Pizzeria, Pontillo's Pizzeria, Perri's Pizzeria, Jeremiah's Tavern, and Abbott's Frozen Custard. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which originated in Syracuse, also operates its second franchise downtown in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad station on the Genesee River.

Enforcement of property code violations in Rochester had been handled by the Neighborhood Empowerment Team, or NET. Rather than utilizing a centralized code-enforcement office, ten sectors in Rochester were assigned a total of six NET offices by the city government. However, there had been complaints about the lack of consistency in the manner and severity of enforcement between NET offices. On July 16, 2008, the city announced that two of the NET offices would be closed and another relocated, due to what it had found to be the high cost and low value of operating the decentralized network. Following the restructuring, the remaining offices were renamed Neighborhood Service Centers, or NSCs. There is now one office per city quadrant which resolve quality of life issues, work with neighborhood groups, and pave the way for appropriate housing and economic development. The majority of code enforcement processes were consolidated into the Bureau of Inspection and Compliance within the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development located centrally in City Hall.

The 19th Ward is a southwest neighborhood bordered by Genesee Street, West Avenue, the Erie Canal, and is across the river from the University of Rochester. Now known by its slogan "Urban by Choice", in the early 19th century the area was known as Castle Town, after Castle Inn, a tavern run by Colonel Isaac Castle. By the early 1820s, however, the area became overshadowed by developments in the north that would later become downtown Rochester. Due to a tumultuous bend in the Genesee river, the area was home to skilled boatsmen that assisted boats traveling north to Rochester and the area was consequently known during this time as "The Rapids". In the 1890s, as Rochester expanded, the area became a prosperous residential area that thrived as the city grew. By 1930 it was a booming residential area for doctors, lawyers, and skilled workers; it includes the still prestigious Sibley Tract development. Homes in the originally upper-class neighborhood typically have gumwood trim, leaded glass, fireplaces, hardwood floors, and open porches. In the 1960s, property values declined as the population of Rochester did, the area experienced white flight accelerated by school busing, blockbusting, and race riots downtown, and crime increased, with violence, drug use, and neglected property further diminishing property values.

To respond to these issues, the 19th Ward has had an active community association since 1965, and is now known for its ethnic, class, and cultural diversity. The current "Brooks Landing" development along the Genesee River at the former "rapids" is successfully bringing new economic development to the community including an 88-room hotel, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) office building, 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) of new retail, two restaurants, and Boulder Coffee shop. Residential development is also increasing with completion of a 170-bed University of Rochester student housing tower at Brooks Landing in 2014, and 29 new market-rate homes nearby.

Located in the 19th Ward are the Arvine Heights Historic District, Chili–West Historic District, Inglewood and Thurston Historic District, and Sibley–Elmdorf Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are four institutions that began operations in the city, but subsequently moved to Rochester's inner-ring suburbs:

The Empire State College Rochester Learning Center moved from its Prince Street address to Irondequoit in 1999.
Monroe Community College moved from Alexander Street to Brighton in 1968.
Rochester Institute of Technology moved from South Washington Street to Henrietta also in 1968.
St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry moved from space leased in Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School to Pittsford in 2003.

Rochester was host of the Barleywood Female University, a short-lived women's college from 1852 to 1853. The Lutheran seminary that became Wagner College was established in the city in 1883 and remained for some 35 years before moving to Staten Island.


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