Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Located at 305 South Plain Street.
The vision behind the Southside Community Center was founded on the values and ideals of the Frances Harper Women's Club, a group of African American women who were concerned for the unmet needs of their neighborhood community. In its early years, the club operated out of a rented home, located at 221 South Plain Street. They eventually purchased the house that formerly stood at 305 South Plain Street, known as the Southside House. In 1927 the Frances Harper Women's Club reorganized as the Serv-Us League, headed by Mrs. Vera Irvin and Mrs. Jessie Cooper.
The Southside House was destroyed by the flood of 1935. Community members, local business leaders, and the Federal Work Progress Administration collaborated to build the new Southside Community Center in 1938, which was dedicated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The center offered after-school programs, sports and employment services, making Southside “the place to be.” Today, the Center continues to serve Southside residents.
This point of interest is part of the tour: The Southside Loop