Rochester: A City of Quality NYS

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Rochester”A City Of Quality” Made in 1963, this film (Actually one big advertisement) is full of over blown superlatives about the city. It is almost gaudy, and very repetitive in spots(Plenty of ample parking)
Scenic wise, Rochester didn’t seem to match up to many other areas in New York State. Presently, Rochester is a far cry from what was dreamt for the future when this film was made.

I am a native Rochesterian, born just 2 years before this film was made. For me, this film was a nostalgic look at the earliest memories of my childhood. I see it as an important historical record of our city.

Many of the businesses featured in the film are no longer in existence, such as Daw Drugs, B. Forman Co., Edwards, Sibley’s and McCurdy’s. It was fascinating to see the planning stages of structures that are now fixtures of the city, including the Xerox building and the Ginna nuclear power plant (note the strong influence of the film’s sponsor–Rochester Gas and Electric). The skyline has changed dramatically since then.

Midtown Plaza, featured in the film, was brand-spanking new in 1963. I remember going downtown to see the “clocks of all nations” as a young child. Unfortunately, Midtown Plaza has deteriorated quite a bit. Suburban shopping malls have now taken over in a big way.

Since 1963, the expressways have been expanded significantly, as well as the Thruway entrances. There is now an EZ-Pass system that can be used for automated toll-collecting. However, we still have “lots of parking”!

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