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Located from The Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge


The Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge located in Rochester, New York, that spans the Genesee River. The bridge was named in honor of two prominent abolitionists and suffragists, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, who lived in Rochester and played important roles in the history of the city and the United States.

The bridge was constructed between 2001 and 2007 to replace an older bridge that was deemed structurally deficient. The design of the new bridge was chosen through a competition that drew entries from around the world. The winning design was a cable-stayed bridge with a unique diamond-shaped tower that stands 200 feet tall.

The bridge was officially named the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge in 2018, after a campaign led by local activists who sought to honor the legacies of Douglass and Anthony. The campaign drew support from community leaders, elected officials, and organizations such as the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House.

The bridge serves as an important transportation link for the city of Rochester and has become a prominent landmark and symbol of the city's history and values. Its unique design and name have also attracted attention from visitors and admirers of Douglass and Anthony from around the world.

Historical Facts

  • Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818 and escaped to freedom in 1838. He settled in Rochester in 1847 and became a leading abolitionist, writer, and orator. He published his autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave," in 1845 and went on to serve as a diplomat and government official under several U.S. presidents.
  • Susan B. Anthony was born in Massachusetts in 1820 and moved to Rochester in 1845. She became involved in the abolitionist movement and later turned her attention to women's rights. She was a key organizer and strategist in the fight for women's suffrage and played a pivotal role in the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
  • The old bridge that the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge replaced was built in 1927 and was known as the "High Falls Bridge" because it crossed the Genesee River just upstream from the High Falls, a popular scenic attraction in Rochester.
  • The competition to design the new bridge drew 47 entries from around the world. The winning design was submitted by the firm of HNTB Corporation, which worked with a team of local architects and engineers to bring the design to fruition.
  • The Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge is the first major bridge in the United States to be named after two women. It is also one of the few major landmarks in the country to honor the legacies of African American and women's rights activists.

Rochester is situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario and is the third-largest city in New York, after New York City and Buffalo.

The bridge spans the Genesee River, which flows through Rochester from south to north and empties into Lake Ontario. The Genesee River is an important natural feature of the region and has played a key role in the city's history and development.

The bridge is part of the Inner Loop Expressway, which encircles downtown Rochester and connects to several major highways. It provides a critical transportation link for commuters, tourists, and businesses in the area.

The surrounding area of the bridge is also significant historically and culturally. Downtown Rochester features several museums, parks, and landmarks, including the Strong National Museum of Play, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and the George Eastman Museum, which celebrates the life and legacy of the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.

In addition, the bridge is located near several neighborhoods that have played important roles in the city's African American and women's rights movements. The nearby Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, for example, was home to several prominent suffragists and activists, including Anthony herself. The neighborhood is also home to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Anthony's legacy.

Genesee River

The Genesee River has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The river and its surrounding valley were formed by glaciers that covered the region during the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago. The Seneca people, one of the five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, were the original inhabitants of the area and had a strong connection to the river and the surrounding land.

When European explorers and settlers arrived in the region in the 17th century, they recognized the potential of the Genesee River for transportation, trade, and industry. In the early 19th century, the construction of the Erie Canal, which connected the Hudson River to Lake Erie via the Genesee River, further increased the river's importance as a commercial artery.

The Genesee River was also a source of hydroelectric power, which fueled the growth of Rochester's manufacturing industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The High Falls of the Genesee River, located just upstream from the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, were an important source of power for the city's flour mills, textile factories, and other industries.

Despite its commercial and industrial importance, the Genesee River also played a significant role in the city's cultural and recreational life. The river and its surrounding parks and trails provide opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The river and its gorge are also home to several notable waterfalls, including the High Falls and Lower Falls, which are popular tourist attractions and symbols of the city's natural beauty.

Today, the Genesee River is recognized as an important ecological and recreational resource, and efforts are underway to protect and preserve its natural habitats and wildlife. The river and its surrounding valley continue to be an integral part of the region's history and identity.