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Bausch & Lomb's history in Rochester

Rochester, N.Y. This very month 21 years ago, Bausch & Lomb battled rumors that it would move its headquarters out of Rochester.

Instead, the company made a commitment to stay, and to make a significant contribution to Rochesters downtown skyline by investing in a $70 million corporate high rise.

German immigrant John Jacob Bausch started his company to grind and manufacture molocles in 1853. His capitol was a $60 loan from friend Henry Lomb, who later became his business partner.

The company grew to become a major supplier of eyeware, including aviator sunglasses, and got a boost when products were featured in films like Top Gun.

B & L opened its headquarters in Rochester in 1995 in the midst of layoffs, at which time an area outside of the building, called the Wintergarden, was open to the public and used for community events to symbolize a shared bond.

Thats no longer the case. With employees occupying just five floors, Bausch & Lomb put its corporate headquarters up for sale.

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Washington Times