Religious Buildings in Downtown Ithaca

This tour focuses on religious buildings located in the DeWitt Park, Southside, and Northside neighborhoods.

Religious Buildings in Downtown Ithaca

Ithaca, New York 14850, United States

Created By: Ithaca Heritage

Tour Information

Historic Ithaca offered a walking tour in 2009 to heighten awareness about historically important and/or architecturally significant religious buildings that have served as community institutions in the DeWitt Park, Southside, and Northside neighborhoods.

These religious buildings reflect a wide range of architectural styles and sacred traditions. Anglicans, Quakers, Roman Catholics, Jews, numerous Protestant denominations are represented. The particular ecumenical practices of each group, as well as Colonial Revival architectural styles, changing tastes, local climate, and the availability of particular materials all influenced the design of these houses of worship.

Please be respectful of each house of worship and appreciate that this walking tour does not presuppose being able to enter the buildings. It is possible that some of the churches may be open to the public, but you should check in with the offices to see if and when you might be able to go inside the buildings.


Intended as a walking or cycling tour.

Total distance travelled: 1.69 miles

Elevation: Mostly flat

Listen to the tour on SoundCloud:


This tour is based on research coordinated by Historic Ithaca Board member Thresa Gibian, working with a cadre of dedicated volunteers in 1995 to highlight historic houses of worship in downtown Ithaca.

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

Architect: Unknown Date: 1836 116 Cleveland Avenue, Ithaca, NY The Zion Church traces its roots to 1796, when James Varick and seven fellow members withdrew from New York City’s John Street Methodist Church in protest over discriminatory ... Read more
Architect: Unknown Date: 1898  113 North Geneva Street, Ithaca, NY The parish has been in existence since 1848, when Mass was celebrated in the former City Hall by the first pastor, Rev. M. Guilbride, although Catholicism first came to Ith... Read more
Architect: William Henry Miller Date: 1884  120 West Seneca Street, Ithaca, NY This church on the northeast corner of Seneca and Geneva streets was originally built in 1884 for the First Congregational Society of Ithaca, which formed in 18... Read more
Architect: Robert Cartwright Date: 1859  210 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY The second county courthouse and St John’s Episcopal Church are two of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Tompkins County. Located diagonally... Read more
Architect/Builder: Unknown Date: 1917 507 North Albany Street, Ithaca, NY Ithaca’s first known group of African American worshippers met informally in 1825. In 1833, a separate contingent formed the African Methodist Church, which met in ... Read more
Architect: J. Cleveland Cady Date: 1901 315 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY Accounts of early nineteenth century Ithaca describe a rough pioneer settlement prone to lawlessness and opposed to organized religion. Nonetheless, in 1804, under ... Read more
Architect: William Henry Miller Date: 1890  309 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY In 1826, under the guidance of the Reverend O.C. Comstock of Trumansburg, a small group of Tompkins County residents adopted the name of the First Baptist Chur... Read more
Architect: Eli W. Goldstein Date: 1929 402 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY In 1925, a congregation consisting of 50 families purchased a city lot from Daniel Rothschild at the corner of Tioga and Mill Street (later renamed Court Street) and ... Read more
Architect: Brown & Davis Date: 1909 402 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY The stately stone structure at the corner of Court and Aurora streets is the third Methodist church to be built on this site. The first, a wooden Greek Revival-styl... Read more
Architect: William Henry Miller Date: 1894  306 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY Encouraged by Ezra Cornell to establish a liberal church in the community, the Church of Christian Unity was formed in 1865. Ezra Cornell and Andrew D. White w... Read more
Architect: John M. Wilgus Date: 1911  101 University Avenue, Ithaca, NY The first building to occupy the site at the base of Cascadilla Falls was a grist mill built by Jacob Yaple sometime between 1789 and 1791. Timothy C. Williams built a... 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