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Various Fascets of Rochester, New York

Rochester, New York

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This article is about the city of Rochester in Monroe County. For the town in Ulster County, see Rochester, Ulster County, New York.
Rochester, New York
A portion of Rochester's skyline, looking north along the Genesee River from the Ford Street Bridge.
A portion of Rochester's skyline, looking north along the Genesee River from the Ford Street Bridge.
Official flag of Rochester, New York
Official seal of Rochester, New York
Flag Seal
Nickname: "The Flour City", "The Flower City", "The World's Image Center"
Motto: "Rochester: Made for Living"
Location of Rochester in New York State
Location of Rochester in New York State
United States
New York
Mayor Robert Duffy
Geographical characteristics
  City 96.1 km
    Land   92.8 km
    Water   3.3 km
  City (2000) 219,773
    Density   2,368.3/km
Time zone
  Summer (DST)

Rochester, also known as both The Flour City and The Flower City, is a city in Monroe County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, Rochester had a population of 219,773. As of 2004, the population given by the U.S. Census Bureau was 212,481, making this the third largest city in New York State. Rochester is also the county seat for Monroe County.

The City of Rochester is at the center of a larger Metropolitan Area which encompasses and extends past Monroe County and includes Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County, and Wayne County. This larger conurbation, or Metropolitan Area, has a population of 1,037,831 people as of the 2000 Census. As of July 1, 2005, this population rose slightly to 1,039,028. [1] Principal suburbs of the city include Brighton, Chili, East Rochester, Fairport, Gates, Greece, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Penfield, Pittsford and Webster.

The current Mayor of Rochester is Robert Duffy.



Founding and early history

On November 8, 1803, a one-hundred acre (ca. 40 ha) tract of land in Western New York along the Genesee River was purchased by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, Major Charles Carroll, and Colonel William Fitzhugh, all of Hagerstown, Maryland. The site was chosen because of three cataracts on the Genesee, offering great potential for water power. Beginning in 1811, and with a population of fifteen, the three founders surveyed the land and laid out streets and tracts. In 1817, the Brown brothers (of Brown's Race) and other landowners joined their lands with the Hundred Acre Tract to form the Village of Rochesterville.

By 1821, Rochesterville was named as the seat of Monroe County. By 1823, Rochesterville consisted of 1012 acres and 2,500 residents, and the Village of Rochesterville became known as Rochester. Also in 1823, the Erie Canal aqueduct over the Genesee River was completed, and the Erie Canal east to the Hudson River was opened. By 1830, Rochester's population was 9,200, and in 1834, it was re-chartered as a city.

Rochester became known first as "The Young Lion of the West", and then as the "Flour City". By 1838, Rochester was the largest flour-producing city in the world, and by 1840, it was the 19th largest city in America, with a population of 20,191. With the population having doubled in only ten years, Rochester became known as America's first "boomtown."

The population reached 62,386 in 1870, 162,608 in 1900, and 295,750 in 1920.

Geography and climate

Barges on the Genesee River
Barges on the Genesee River

Rochester is located at 439′56″N, 7736′41″W (43.165496, -77.611504)GR1. Rochester is east of Buffalo and west of Syracuse.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 96.1 km (37.1 mi). 92.8 km (35.8 mi) of it is land and 3.3 km (1.3 mi) of it (3.42%) is water.

Rochester's geography comes from the glaciers during the Cenozoic era. The retreating glaciers created the Genesee Valley and left rolling hills (drumlin fields) around it, including (from west to east) Mt. Hope, the rolling hills of Highland Park, Pinnacle Hill and Cobb's Hill. These glaciers also left behind Lake Ontario (one of the five fresh-water Great Lakes), the Genesee River with its waterfalls and gorges, Irondequoit, Sodus and Braddock's Bays, numerous local streams and ponds, the Ridge, and the nearby Finger Lakes.

Lake Ontario is sufficiently deep off-shore of Rochester that Rochester could have year-round access to a reservoir of cold water, which could be used for deep lake water cooling.

According to the City of Rochester, the city presently has 537 miles (864 km) of public streets, 585 miles (941 km) of water mains, 44 vehicular and 8 pedestrian bridges, 11 public libraries, 2 police stations (1 for the east side, 1 west (formerly 7)), and 16 fire stations. The principal source of the city's water is Hemlock Lake, which, with its watershed, is wholly owned by the city. Other water sources are Canadice Lake and Lake Ontario. The 30 year annual average snowfall is 95.0 inches (2.4 m). The mean July temperature is 71.3 F (21.8 C), and the mean February temperature is 23.6 F (−4.7 C).

Rochester has 4 distinct seasons, although its often cold and snowy winters may garner the most attention. Autumn features brilliant foliage colors, and summer sees high humidity but temperatures that rarely exceed 90 degrees

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