By: Robert Moses

UR is set to purchase 147 acres of Mount Hope Cemetery with the aim of turning it into the world’s largest surface parking lot in a monumental $75 million project.

“This is a pivotal moment for UR to expand and truly become a world class institution, and to put the city of Rochester back on the map,” President Sarah Mangesldorph said in a statement Saturday.

The extension of the intercampus lot into Mount Hope Cemetery will create the largest continuous parking lot in the world, with a capacity of over 22,000 vehicles. This expansion will place a total of 34,000 parking spaces within the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation and Logistics. 

“We are going to completely flatten Mount Hope to maximize the number of parking spaces. It’s going to be HUGE!” Billy Fuccillo, head of Planning and Project Management, told the Catholic Times. 

Currently, the world’s largest parking lot is located at the West Edmonton Mall, which can accommodate an estimated 20,000 vehicles. The plan will complete former University of Rochester President Dennis O’Brien’s quest for UR to build one of the world’s largest parking lots. 

The intercampus lot used to serve as railroad tracks for both the Erie and Lehigh Valley Railroads throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. UR purchased the land for the intercampus lot in 1987 from Amtrak and removed the rails to accommodate parking spaces. 

“[The land] will become the world’s longest linear parking lot,” O’Brien said upon the purchase of the property.

49 acres of the cemetery are slated to remain with the city of Rochester. The bodies of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are set to be exhumed and moved into the Highland Park Reservoir, and the plots of their former graves will be turned into named Zone 1 parking in their honor.

Parking officials say they are pleased with the administration’s decision. Alternative plans would have seen the construction of a 98-floor parking deck on the library lot. With the purchase underway, officials are now researching a high-speed monorail system to connect the lot with River Campus and URMC.

“We have contacted Disney World,” Fuccillo said. 

Moses is laughing from hell.

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