Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
This Queen Anne-inspired house was built in 1904 for Louis Agassiz Fuertes, renowned artist, naturalist, and bird illustrator.
Considered by many to be the foremost American illustrator of birds--surpassing even John James Audobon--Fuertes was born in Ithaca in 1874 and named after the great nineteenth-century naturalist, Louis Agassiz. He graduated from the College of Architecture at Cornell, but rather than pursue an engineering career as his father had hoped, he went on to study art with Elliot Coues and New England portrait painter Abbot Thayer.
Fuertes returned to Ithaca after marrying and commissioned this house, which the family occupied through the 1940s. His studio was originally on the top floor. After his painting materials caused two fires, he built a separate studio next door (at No. 201½).
Fuertes illustrated numerous books, pamphlets, and magazines including National Geographic and painted murals for displays of habitat groups for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He is best known for his series of illustrated plates, The Birds of New York.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour