55 Ridgewood Road

Cornell Heights Historic District Driving Tour

55 Ridgewood Road

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County

Point of Interest Details

This large Tudor-influenced home was designed for Frank L. Morse by Walter Burleigh Griffin, a prominent Chicago architect and former assistant to Frank Lloyd Wright. Built in 1913, the year Morse assumed presidency of the Morse Chain Company, it was Morse's second home in Ithaca and was known as Greentrees. (His first home was on Edgewood Place, east of the Cascadilla Gorge.)

The house was constructed of local stone and roofed with thick, square-cut slates. The garage/servant quarters' wing is connected to the main block by an arched tunnel, which opens on the backyard. Griffen landscaped the grounds, which extended to Highland Avenue and included a lovely, wooded glen.

Soon after the house was completed, it was used as a setting for a locally produced silent film, The Ruby Kiss of Death. It was depicted as a den of thieves.

After Morse died in 1935, the house was sold to the Cerberes Fraternity for $60,000, and Morse's widow moved into a new house built for her at 110 Highland Avenue. The former Greentrees is now owned by Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.

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


 

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