Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
A comparison of this house with its neighbor across the street (121 Kelvin Place) reveals the limitations of using conventional style labels in attempting to describe the appearance of a particular structure.
This house, built in 1907, can be considered a Craftsman-style house on the basis of its low-pitched roof, widely overhanging eaves, and exposed rafters. And yet it seems to have less in common with the house at 319 Wait Avenue, which also bears the Craftsman label, than it does with its Colonial Revival-style neighbor across the street.
Simply stated, both of these houses are two-story, side-gabled boxes with symmetrically balanced facades and an accentuated front door. One notices these similarities of shape and symmetry right away.
One needs to look again and study the details, however, to discern how the buildings differ. Consider for example how the windows are clustered and the number of panes in the windows: Colonial Revival-style windows are typically multi-paned, double-hung sashes and are sometimes grouped in adjacent pairs. The windows of this house are single paned and grouped in two and threes.
The home was built for Abram T. Kerr, professor of anatomy and former secretary of the Cornell Medical College. For many years, Cornell had a two-year medical program in Ithaca in addition to its principal medical school in New York City.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour