Colonel Rochester was a founder of the city of Rochester, and the Rochester Athenaeum. In 1803, he and his two partners purchased the One Hundred Acre Tract, which was to become the nucleus of the future city. He was a community builder, active in banking, civic affairs, and religious and cultural institutions.
The Rochester Athenaeum, one of the forerunner's of RIT, was founded on June 12, 1829. Colonel Rochester became its first President. It was located downtown in the original Reynolds Arcade building, which was considered the commercial and cultural center of the city. His original home was located at the site where RIT's Bevier Building was built on the corner of Spring St. and S. Washington St. in Rochester.
The Bevier Building still stands in that location today and houses apartments and office space.