Salvaging a façade for Ironworks Ithaca

Waste(d) Imagination Tour

Salvaging a façade for Ironworks Ithaca

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Just Places Lab


430 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

Ironworks Ithaca is a recently developed five-story mixed-use development that is an example of salvaging architectural elements of a demolished building and incorporating them into new developments at the same site. While this does not result in saving substantial amounts of embodied carbon, it does preserve some of the charm and history of the past in place. Ironworks Ithaca was developed by Arnot Realty, which is based out of nearby Horseheads, New York.

Historically, the site was notable for the Williams Bros. Ironworks and Foundry, constructed in 1880. These industrial establishments occupied a significant portion of the block's western half and are the namesake of the current development. Next to the foundry, there were single- and two-family homes, none of which remain. By the early 1900s, the site had shifted away from industrial uses to mixed-use commercial, including a grocer, watch repair, barber, and real estate office. Throughout the 20th century, many of the original foundry buildings were replaced with one-story commercial buildings. These buildings were built abutting each other and neighboring properties, creating a solid mass occupying the center of the parcel. Both the north and south sides of the parcel were paved to provide surface parking for the associated commercial businesses. The most recent set of businesses occupying the property was Mama Goose (a consignment store for children’s goods), Mimi’s Attic (a furniture and clothing consignment store), and Bishop’s Carpet One (which presumably sold and installed carpeting). All of these businesses have relocated to new locations in Ithaca, though they are now further from the city's residential core. The upper floors of the foundry building also housed office space and possibly two apartments according to county records. Prior to the most recent demolition efforts, the only significant remnant of the original foundry was the three-story brick building on the corner of W State Street and N Corn Street.

With increasing pressure to develop new housing in Ithaca and zoning changes encouraging taller mixed-use buildings in the city’s core, most of the development on this site was leveled in 2021. At that time, the entire site was demolished except for the brick façade of the three-story foundry building on the corner of W State Street and N Corn Street. The remains of the façade were supported on both sides for incorporation into the new building.

Read more about Ironworks Ithaca on their website.

Research by Adam Bailey

This point of interest is part of the tour: Waste(d) Imagination Tour


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