History & Art in Downtown Ithaca

A walking tour that explores the history of Tompkins County through public art.

History & Art in Downtown Ithaca

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Ithaca Heritage

Tour Information

A walking tour of murals in downtown Ithaca that explore local history, and historic figures with ties to Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Explore historic snippets of Tompkins County through this public art walking tour of downtown Ithaca. Murals were created by different artists over more than two decades. Not all murals featuring local history are listed, and we encourage everyone to explore and enjoy all the public art downtown.

Learn more at ithacamurals.com


Intended to be a walking or biking trail.

Total distance travelled: 3.05 miles

Elevation: Mostly Flat

Listen to the tour on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/tompkinshistory/sets/history-art-in-downtown-ithaca


Resesarch compiled by The History Center in Tompkins County in the fall of 2020. Images taken in the fall of 2020 by Zoë Van Nostrand.

This project was made possible in part through grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the History at Home learning materials, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The Two Row 400 Year Anniversary Mural was designed and painted by Brandon Lazore (Onondaga Nation, Snipe Clan) in 2013 as part of the City of Ithaca’s resolution (June 5th 2013) in support of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign. The mura... Read more
The Hello Old Friend Tile Project consists of nearly 500 tiles that were hand-painted by attendants of the 1997 Ithaca Festival. The tile wall can be found around the corner from the Moosewood Restaurant. Tiles were painted by people ages 2... Read more
**Please note, the Karen Mural Project was removed from the site in 2021 due to renovations by the property owners** The Karen Mural Project was completed over the course of a month in 2019 by Karen and Burman teen members of the 4-H Urban ... Read more
The Firehouse 5 Mural at 136 W. State St. was completed in 2017 by four artists, including members of the newly-formed Dripped on the Road traveling artist residency program. Each figure in the mural was designed and completed by a differen... Read more
Look above the Tompkins Center for History & Culture (TCHC) for this mural, completed in 2019 in just under two weeks by local artist Mary Beth Ihnken. The design was born from the logo and brand design developed by Todd Edmonds of Iro... Read more
The Prehistoric Ithaca electrical box mural was painted by Kurt Piller, a local artist who has been painting billboards for commercial businesses for most of his career. He came into prominence as the billboard designer for Secret Caverns, ... Read more
“Big Little Ithaca: A Kid’s Eye View” was completed in 2017. The mural was painted on an electrical box at the corner of E. Court St. and N. Aurora St as part of the second round of the Electrical Boxes Mural Project facilitated by t... Read more
This mural was designed and painted in 2015 by Khalil Bey, a local author, actor, social activist, and a formerly incarcerated community member, with assistance from Caleb Thomas, Iago Lopez, Tru Milton, Rashid Brown, N. Cox, David, and J.... Read more
The West End Mural was designed and painted by local artist Mary Beth Ihnken in 2004 with assistance from Bill Benson. The mural was a request of the Alternatives Federal Credit Union to brighten up their drive thru lanes, and was partially... Read more
The Union Mural completed in 2013 can be seen on Union Building, corner of State St. and Fulton St. One side of the mural can be seen from the sidewalk, but you can also walk around the building to the parking lot to see two more faces and ... Read more
This mural of celebrated author Toni Morrison was painted by local artist Maryam Adib (Artist handle @thrifted_underwear and @smarf.art) and completed in November of 2019. This mural is on a personal residence, so please be respectful of th... Read more
Historic Ithaca’s Plain Street Mural was painted in 2011 by local artist Mary Beth Ihnken to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Significant Elements Architectural Salvage Warehouse, which is located inside the building. In addition to... Read more
The Ezra Cornell mural on the south-facing wall of the Tompkins County Public Library was painted by Poughkeepsie artist Nestor Madalengoitia in 2016. The mural features the founder of Cornell University, Ezra Cornell, and text exemplifyin... Read more
**This mural was demolished in 2021 due to the renovation of the Green St. Parking Garage** The Women’s Nomination Belt Mural, located on the Green Street Parking Garage, was painted by Brandon Lazore of the Onondaga Nation in 2014. In t... Read more
**These panels were moved in 2021 due to the renovation of the Green St. Parking Garage** The ‘Going to Market’ 3-panel mural by Brooktondale resident Mary Beth Ihnken depicts the journey local food items make on their way to the Ithaca... Read more
**This mural is being repainted in 2021** The mural titled “Underground Railroad Mural” was designed and painted in 2010 by Jonathan Matas and has also been called 'On the Masters Horse'. Iit is located on Green Street beneath the Auro... Read more


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