Leo Dodd, past president of the Historic Brighton, bought us tickets to their group’s tour of Monroe Community Hospital in West Brighton. We had helped the group out with their website and this was a thank you. We took Peggi’s mom along. They provided a box lunch and a slide show/lecture on the many homes in the area that helped with the Underground Railroad effort in the early 1800s. And then we toured the hospital.
Originally built in 1826 as the Monroe County Almshouse, they had 75 residents and a staff of two. The beautiful new building, constructed in 1930, has 566 residents and a staff of 700! The residents used to grow their own food and provide for the upkeep of the facility. There must be other reasons for the narrowing resident-to-staff ratio but I can only guess. Thomas Boyd, Rochester’s first black architect, designed the place and it is so beautiful that critics started calling it “the million dollar poor house”.