The Greater Rochester International Airport may be renamed after famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass
ROCHESTER — With a vote anticipated next week, the Greater Rochester International Airport will take on the name of famed abolitionist and one-time Rochesterian Frederick Douglass.
That matter — rebranding as the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport — will come before the Monroe County Legislature on Aug. 11, assuming it moves through committee on Wednesday night.
Then it's up to County Executive Adam Bello to sign off — he supports the idea— and officials to notify the Federal Aviation Administration of the change for the county-owned airport.
The ROC airport code will not change, officials said.
Once all the paperwork is done, there will be new signage, the addition of historical information and, likely, a bronze statue, to be privately financed, officials said.
Renaming the airport in Douglass' honor has been discussed before. The latest push picked up steam this month, with a change.org petition that has garnered more than 4,400 signatures. That petition was to go to Bello, who two weeks ago endorsed the idea, saying Douglass "holds an unparalleled place of prominence in the history of Rochester and Monroe County."
Douglass lived in Rochester from 1847 to 1872, and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Douglass also spoke numerous times in Ontario County.
Monroe County Legislature Democratic Minority Leader Vince Felder, in announcing the name change Wednesday, called Douglass "a jewel." Douglass' descendants are excited about the honor, said Felder, who spoke with them recently.
"This is going to be a great thing," he said, but the official ceremony remains sometime off. "This will set it in motion."
Legislation proposing the name change is jointly signed by Felder, representing a portion of northeast Rochester, and Legislator Karla Boyce, R-Mendon.