Born in Alexander, NY, Morton Rundel was a Eastman Commercial College graduate and Rochester art dealer who died in 1911. Although he wasn't well known in the community during his life, he became famous for bequeathing the city $400,000 for a new public library building. Rundel was a cousin of George Eastman and made a sizeable fortune investing in Kodak stock. His fortune would be the foundation of the library that bears his name.
Although Rundel died in 1911, the Rundel Memorial Library Building would not be started until 1934 following a lengthy court battle over his estate. Rundel had originally specified the construction of a library and art gallery but during the delay the Memorial Art Gallery was constructed and need for an art gallery greatly reduced. Consequently, the building was built primarily as a library with a single room gallery for art.
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