Architectural Walking Tour of Downtown Ithaca

Enjoy a downtown walking tour with information provided by the History Center in Tompkins County!

Architectural Walking Tour of Downtown Ithaca

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Tour Information

Many of the properties identified in this tour are listed on the National Register of Historic Places either individually, or as part of a historic district. For further information, see the City of Ithaca website information on the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission at -

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The Ithaca Commons

Meet on the Commons at the Cayuga Medical Center Tent before starting the History Center Walking Tour.  In 1972, to encourage business activity downtown, then Mayor Edward Conley and the Common Council made plans for the state's first outd... Read more
Gateway Center

The Gateway Center was built in 1925 as a warehouse for Dean of Ithaca, a trucking firm. Don Dickinson bought the building in 1993 and created plans to renovate the building for office use. It was then that the DeWitt Historical Society (cu... Read more
Crescent Theater

217 N. Aurora St. - The Crescent Building stands today as Ithaca's oldest surviving movie palace structure. Built in 1916 as the Crescent Theater, it was designed by the local architectural firm of Gibb & Waltz. The building, which reta... Read more
The William Henry Miller Inn

Stowell-Osborn House/William Henry Miller Inn - 303 N. Aurora St. Famed local architect William H. Miller designed this home for Calvin D. Stowell in 1880, and it was purchased in 1914 by Robert C. Osborn. Successors of the Osborn family ow... Read more
Unitarian Church of Ithaca

306 N. Aurora St. - The Church of Christian Unity was founded by Ezra Cornell and other community members in 1865; they worshipped for two decades inside a wood frame building erected on East Buffalo Street in 1872-3. That building was dest... Read more
St Paul's United Methodist Church

402 N. Aurora St. - The first church on this site was built in 1819, and was replaced by another structure in 1866. Forty years later, the congregation selected plans by Cincinatti architects Brown & Davis for a Romanesque Revival struc... Read more
Temple Beth El

402 N. Tioga St. - A building unlike any other downtown, Temple Beth-El was designed by Cornell-educated Buffalo architect Eli Goldstein and erected in 1928-29. Its basic form is that of a cube, topped by an octagon and finished with a twel... Read more
Tompkins County Old Courthouse

121 E. Court St. - The Old Courthouse was built in 1854 by Union Springs architect John F. Maurice and stands as the oldest public Gothic Revival building in the state. It was built to replace a makeshift wooden courthouse that was hastily ... Read more
First Presbyterian Church

315 N. Cayuga St. - This Romanesque Revival church was designed by New York City architect J. Cleveland Cady and erected in 1900 to replace a smaller Gothic Revival church. The building features stained-glass windows in its western apse and... Read more
First Baptist Church

309 N. Cayuga St. - Local Baptists built their first church on this site in 1831, their second in 1855, and their third and largest structure in 1890, which stands today. A $12,000 grant from John D. Rockefeller was matched by the church, w... Read more
Boardman House

120 E. Buffalo St. - 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 o... Read more
Dewitt Park

Simeon DeWitt, surveyor-general of New York State from 1784-1834, designed the first layout of the village and designed the first layout of the village and designated this park as a green space. In the late 1810s, DeWitt sold half the park ... Read more
Dewitt Park Inn

Also known as the Beebe-Halsey House, this house is one of the oldest standing buildings in Ithaca and a prime example of the Federal style. It was built in 1820 by banker Jeremiah Beebe, who sold it to William Halsey in 1850, who then adde... Read more
Williams House

306 N. Cayuga St. - The house built in 1906 for Roger B. Williams, president of the Ithaca Savings Bank, was designed by Ithaca architect Clinton L. Vivian. For this urbane residence, he employed an American Renaissance style, recalling the... Read more
St John's Episcopal Church

This church is particularly notable for its stark, Gothic design and soaring main tower. It was designed by Robert Cartwright and erected in 1959-60 to replace the original brick church built in 1824. A parish house was added on the south i... Read more
Clinton Block Local Historic District

106-116 N. Cayuga St. - The Clinton Block Local Historic District consists of the 1829 Clinton House, the 1851 Clinton Hall, and the 1847 Hibbard Block. All three were designed in the Greek Revival style and funded by businessmen Jeremiah S... Read more
State Theatre of Ithaca

Designed by Henry N. Hinckley in 1915 as the Bovard Brothers' Security Garage, the building was bought by Cornell Theatres, Inc. and redesigned by Victor A. Rigaumont in 1928 as a theatre. It is the last remaining cinema and vaudeville pala... Read more


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