Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Designed by Ithaca architect A.B. Dale, this house was built for George McChain in 1866 and is known for its second owner, Judge Douglass Boardman, the first dean of the Cornell University Law School. After the deaths of Boardman in 1891 and his wife in 1910, the Ithaca Conservatory of Music purchased the house, which served as the heart of what became the downtown campus of the conservatory and its succesor, Ithaca College. The college moved to South Hill in the 1960s but retained the Boardman House until it was bought by Tompkins County in 1972. Three years later, the Board of Representatives voted to demolish it, but community protests, led by Historic Ithaca, were able to save the building. The house displays the broad eaves and cupola characteristic of the Italianate style, with elaborate cast-iron window caps and an elegant entry porch. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information about the Boardman House, visit its page on the Historic Ithaca website and on Ithaca Builds. You can also hear more about the Boardman House from Christine O'Malley by clicking "Play Audio" above.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Downtown Ithaca Architectural Tour