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City Renames Highland Library in Honor of Frederick Douglass

By Staff


Frederick Douglass libraryMayor Lovely Warren, City Council President Loretta Scott, Councilmembers Carolee Conklin and Michael Patterson, and members of the Rochester Public Library Board held a ceremony March 21, to honor the renaming of the Highland Branch Library, and the South Avenue Recreation Center, in honor of Frederick Douglass.

The Highland Branch Library and the South Avenue Recreation Center are located on the site that used to house Douglass’ home and family farm. Douglass often hid fugitive slaves at his home on the property, as they made their way towards freedom in Canada, which made the property an informal part of the Underground Railroad.

“Frederick Douglass is one of the greatest historical figures in our city’s history,” Mayor Warren stated. “His contributions to the abolitionist movement are renowned throughout the world. So it’s only appropriate that we honor the hallowed grounds where he lived, raised his family, and helped runaway slaves escape to freedom. By renaming both the library, and the recreation center after Frederick Douglass, we are giving the property the recognition that its historical significance deserves. We believe that this will bring added visibility to the area, and will further our goals of bringing safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and better educational opportunities to our citizens.”

The Rochester Public Library Board voted unanimously to rename the library in honor of Douglass, and officials said the Highland Branch Library will now be known as the Frederick Douglass Community Library.

“It’s very fitting that we honor Frederick Douglass in this way,” City Council President Loretta Scott stated. “The work that he did has meant so much to so many in this country. The fact that he actually lived on this property is very powerful, and now our city is giving this site the honor, and recognition, that it deserves.”

According to the city, parking at the library is currently limited due to the renovation of James P.B. Duffy School No. 12, which is adjacent to the library.

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