RIT dedication bricks

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Historical Information for the Henrietta campus
Scope and Content
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication bricks
Inclusive Date(s)
Miniature and souvenir bricks created for the RIT Henrietta campus dedication. RIT moved from downtown Rochester to Henrietta in 1968. Additional bricks mark dedications for post-1968 buildings, and one from the original Rochester campus.
1.5 Linear feet (2 Clamshell boxes)
C.S. South, East wall, Shelf E75
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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Historical Information for the Henrietta campus (Collapse)

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 revitalizing 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, 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.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

RIT miniature bricks were created as a souvenir of the Henrietta campus dedication on October 19, 1968. The bricks are a miniature of each of the 7,500,000 bricks used in the construction of the new campus. Similarly, additional small bricks were created in celebration of the 175th Institute Anniversary celebrations. One of those bricks is in this collection, and marked with a small gold plaque. Last, there are two bricks marked with a metal plate for the dedication of the Hale-Andrews Student Life Center in 1992, one brick from Eastman building on the downtown Rochester campus (now demolished), and bricks for Annual Brick Day (1979 and 1980).

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Arrangement (Collapse)

There is no arrangement to the collection.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. Eastman Building.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology -- Buildings.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology -- History.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Henrietta (N.Y. : Town)


  • Building -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Campus police -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • College buildings -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • College campuses -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Dedication services -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • University sites -- New York (State) -- Rochester


  • Brick (clay product)

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

RIT Henrietta Campus Dedication bricks, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Source of Acquisition

RIT miniature bricks were gifted to the Archives by Thomas Raders.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in November 2011.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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