I was the son of Burton Stratton, who was head of all evening programs in the 1940’s and 1950’s. My first real memory is that of going into the Eastman Annex and going into the office of a lady who showed us the construction underway of the Clark Building. This new building was to house the mechanical, printing and photography departments. It was a lot of fun to watch the construction equipment finishing the foundation and starting the walls for the upper structures. For a 7 year old boy, this was real construction and set my mind on engineering.
When I was a student working at RIT, I helped move the bookstore to what had been the “lounge” in the basement of the Clark building.
About the age of 7, I was downtown with my Aunt. We were to meet my father in his office in the RIT Eastman Building. Aunt Stella did not know her way, so she asked others how to get to RIT. Nobody knew, until a man asked if she really wanted Mechanics Institute. Yes, she did and he showed us the way. It must have been soon after 1944, when Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute was changed to Rochester Institute of Technology. Yes, we found my father.
When I was a third year student in Electrical Engineering, we had to take 3 Chemistry courses. The first two were in the building which housed the Kodak research facility in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It was given, with some provisions, to RIT by the federal government, and we called it 50 West Main St. It was nicely done, but it was hard to find your way to specific rooms. The building had 7 floors, plus a mezzanine and a basement. Most of the students did not know what a mezzanine was. The elevators did not stop at the mezzanine at that time, so we had to walk up.
My father was Dean of the College of Continuing Education when he retired in 1962. CCE operated that building for many years after others moved the Henrietta.
In the 1990’s, I was the Associate Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology. The Dean assigned me to move the programs to the Henrietta campus and to dispose of the furniture in the building. We took some furniture to campus, gave some away and disposed of all else. How interesting that I was the one charged with disposing of much of what had been in the building!
In 1968, RIT moved into the first buildings on the Henrietta campus. Alumni were invited to the dedication of the new campus. I knew most the administrators and many faculty, so I was happy to take my wife to the dedication. It had rained most of the previous week, so the grounds had a lot of mud, and not much grass or many trees yet mature. We drove up to the door of the Rittter Ice Arena, and they had people to park our cars and escort us up the muddy cardboard ramp to the building. It was a wonderful reception, but with many of us having mud on our clothes. Much of the fun was to greet other alumni and RIT friends.