534 Thurston Avenue

Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour

534 Thurston Avenue

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Ithaca Heritage

Point of Interest Details

Fraternity and sorority houses now abound in Cornell Heights in spite of the fact that developer Edward Wyckoff was intent on maintaining the area as a "placid, family-oriented residential suburb without the encroachment of commercial interests or students."

Wyckoff hoped that putting deed restrictions on properties would preclude such encroachment, but his partners were less interested in enforcing deeds than in selling property. Furthermore, the rapid growth of the university around the turn of the century meant a swelling population of faculty and students and a pressing need for housing.

In 1906, one property owner in the Heights sold his home to a fraternity. Wyckoff was furious, but as pressure to accommodate student housing increased, he succumbed to the point of selling his own house, a Colonial Revival mansion on Thurston Avenue, to Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in 1915. (The house was destroyed in the 1960s.)

This Tudor Revival residence was built in 1930 for Theta Xi fraternity.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour


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