Rochester's original Labor Lyceum, inaugurated in 1897 by local unions
and socialists, met Sundays in the Common Council of the old City Hall. The Lyceum
presented speakers, papers and debates on topics ranging from the principles
of trade unionism to child labor, from issues of academic freedom to current
socialist literature. In 1911 the mayor, upset with such programs, expelled
the Lyceum from City Hall.
The program was continued at the Progressive Working People's
Lyceum, built on St. Paul Street in 1912. The Lyceum housed radical unions
such as the Amalgamated Optical Workers and the Brewers, provided space
to socialist organizations, and continued to host weekly lectures and
discussions on labor topics through the 1950's.
The Labor Council revived the Lyceum Program in 1998, initially
hosting monthly programs at Rundel Public Library before relocating
the program to the NYSUT hall at 30 North Union Street.
are now held periodically on Saturdays in the fall and spring. (See the
These programs are free, though donations are accepted
to cover the cost of refreshments. On-site parking is free.