Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
512 East State Street (112 Sage Place), built in 1876-79
When lumber magnate Henry William Sage moved to Ithaca from Brooklyn in 1875, he hired William Henry Miller to design a family compound that would reflect his prosperity. This was one of Miller’s most important early commissions and included this 20-room, English Revival house.
The red sandstone house, where Sage and his wife lived, has a commanding view of the city. From the front lawn you can see the wide stick porch, a large decorative wooden truss at the top of the center gable, and a bay window beneath it. Other distinctive features include the beautiful stonework on the massive chimneys and –at the entrance- the hammered and tooled radial blocks of the arch, the carved door panels, and the “Victorian” hardware.
The hooded third story windows are decorated with stained glass birds and flowers and are best viewed from inside the house. A large entrance hall provided access to all the main parlors and the dining room. The interior woodwork is cherry and oak.
Sage became president of the Cornell Board of Trustees in 1874, when Ezra Cornel died. He made many financial and material contributions to the university including his house, which he willed to Cornell for use as a student infirmary. Sage’s wife died in 1885; he died twelve years later.
The Mission style addition on the northwest corner of the house/infirmary was built in 1925. The Cornell Press moved its offices to the building in 1993.
This point of interest is part of the tour: William Henry Miller Lower Collegetown Architecture Walking Tour