Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Miller designed this house for the Reverend A.E. Goodnough, who was the minister for the First Unitarian Church in Ithaca during the late 1800s. Built in 1886, this Swiss Chalet style house is probably the only one of its kind in Ithaca.
The style was introduced into the United States by Andrew Jackson Downing, whose pattern book, THE ARCHITECTURE OF COUNTRY HOUSES (1850), described several Swiss models as “suitable for bold and mountainous sites.” Characteristic elements include a broad, low gable, decorative wooden brackets, and flat boards suggesting half-timbering.
Miller was considerably involved with the Unitarian Church in Ithaca. He designed the original church building at the corner of East Buffalo Street and Terrace Place. When the building burned in 1893 he designed a second building, which the church still occupies, at the corner of East Buffalo and North Aurora streets.
Miller donated his services in designing these buildings, and church historians believe he also donated the plans for Reverend Goodnough’s home.
Reverend Goodnough, incidentally, left Ithaca after many years to lead a Unitarian church in Brooklyn. He died there on the pulpit at the end of his first sermon.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Lower East Hill Historic District