Downtown Ithaca - An Architectural Walking Tour

Architectural styles dating from the early 1800s to present

Downtown Ithaca - An Architectural Walking Tour

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: PocketSights

Tour Information

The buildings of downtown Ithaca are significant for serval reasons. They reflect not only a diversity of architectural sytles dating from the early 1800s to the present, but also important local history, and they show how new technologies and evoliving tastes changed the city's appearance. This tour begins at the Clinton House and encompasses a two-block area. It includes some of the outstanding landmarks and features that give downtown Ithaca its unique character.

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

The Clinton House (1829) is downtown Ithaca's most important landmark. Built in partnership by Henry Ackley, Jeremiah Beebe, and Henry Hibbard, The Clinton House was an ambitious project for its time, heralded in 1832 by one regional newspa... Read more
Between 1847 and 1851, the owners of the Clinton House built this block of shops to serve hotel patrons. Of a simpler Greek Revival design than the hotel, it was purposely set back from the street to avoid competing visually with the Clinto... Read more
Early 20th-century design made use of many revival motifs, but the Egyptian Revival style, as seen in the Masonic Temple, is rare in Ithaca. Built in 1926 by local architects Arthur Gibb and Ornan Waltz, it features "battered" (wider at the... Read more
Downtown Ithaca was a fashionable residential area throughout the 19th century. Built by 1888, the house at 109 E. Seneca uses irregular forms, varied surface materials, and elaborate decorations typical of the Queen Anne style. Of note are... Read more
The small Greek Revival house at 111 East Seneca Street was built before 1850. Its front-facing gable and cornice returns are typical Greek Revival features.
Look across the street where the Ithaca Town Hall once stood. It was demolished in 2003. The Town Hall (1881) is a former residence designed by Alvah B. Wood, a classmate of Ithaca's best-known architect, William Henry Miller. It had a comp... Read more
Look across the street where today you see the Hilton Garden Inn and Starbuck. Seneca Street was vastly changed by urban renewal, a massive federal effort in the 1950s and 1960s that resulted in the demolition of old buildings to make ways ... Read more
Located on teh northeast corner, site of the current parking ramp, was the Old City Hall, a distinctive 1842 Greek Revival brick building. In 1965, Ithaca's Urban Revenwal Agency razed the City Hall and an elaborate public drinking fountain... Read more
This may be downton's oldest standing structure, possibly dating to 1815, when the Federal style was popular. Though originally a residence, it was converted to a grocery store in 1870 and has remained a business ever since. The street faca... Read more
East Seneca and North Aurora Strees. Ithaca's first European settlers arrived in 1796 after a 19-day, 35 mile overland trek from Owego. This intersection, at the terminus of that route, was Ithaca's first center of commercial activity. The ... Read more
Nine movie houses operated in Ithaca in 1910. The Wharton brothers, Chicago film producers, operated a studio in what is now Stewart Park until the 1920s. The Wharton Studio brought leading stars such as Lionel Barrymore and Irene Castle to... Read more
Damaged in 2014 ITHACA, N.Y. -- One person was killed and at least seven were injured when a runaway tractor-trailercrashed into a restaurant Friday afternoon in downtown Ithaca. The driver of the truck sustained superficial injuries and wa... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to