Opportunities to Preserve History

Jenna Huizinga '23 stands in a home with Thomas W. Boyde Jr.'s signature rounded walls.

Jenna Huizinga '23 (SUNY Geneseo/Matt Burkhartt)

Some of Rochester’s best-known buildings were designed by Thomas W. Boyde Jr., who made history himself as the city’s first African American architect. He helped plan Rundel Library beside the Genesee River, the ornate facades of Monroe Community Hospital, and dozens of homes that feature his signature rounded walls.

Jenna Huizinga ’23 was able to help archive a comprehensive collection of his work for some of the 700 buildings and homes he designed that helped shape mid-century Rochester, through an internship last spring.

She is among 21 Geneseo students who have worked with historians and museums to gain professional skills while preserving history of villages and towns in the area, through a $173,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“They are handling rare books and documents and artifacts that are bits of ordinary people’s lives that tell the story of the past,” says Geneseo Distinguished Professor of History Michael Oberg. “That can be a magical experience for students. In turn, when they expose members of the community to the history, it’s a powerful thing.”

Read the entire story and meet three of the interns on the Geneseo Scene alumni magazine website.


Kris Dreessen
Manager of Editorial Services
(585) 245-5516