Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Nature book publisher John Henry Comstock had this Craftsman-style house built in 1914, not as a residence, but as the headquearters of his lucrative business, Comstock Publishers. He and his wife, naturalist Anna Botsford Comstock, lived across the road at 123 Roberts Place. Number 124 Roberts Place is the only structure in the district that was built for commercial use.
Despite its intended use, the building was designed to conform to the neighborhood’s residential character in accordance with deed restrictions enforced by the Cornell Heights Land Company. Many of the Craftsman buildings in the district are clad in stucco, like this one, or a combination of stucco and clapboard, with Tudor-inspired false half-timbering. This building also features a Swiss balustrade at the second story and multi-paned lead glass windows with shutters.
Comstock bequeathed his publishing company and his home to Cornell University upon his death in 1931. The company was eventually absorbed into Cornell University Press, which used the building for a number of years.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour