Explore the deep heritage of Ithaca, New York and Tompkins County
through walking, biking, and driving tours.
Ezra Cornell Historic Tour
Ezra Cornell (1807-1874) first came to Ithaca at the age of 21. He worked as a carpenter and then in Jeremiah Beebe's plaster and flour mill. By the time he was 57 he was a millionaire and philanthropist. He founded Cornell University in 1865.
William Henry Miller Downtown Architecture Tour
William Henry Miller (1848-1922) was one of Ithaca's most prolific local architects, dramatically reshaping the skyline of Ithaca and Cornell University.
Ithaca Art Bike Rack Tour
Enjoy the artist-designed bike racks in the City of Ithaca. This artful tour takes you to the 12 winning designs of the 2017 Community Bike Rack Design Competition sponsored by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Tompkins County Tourism Program, the City of Ithaca, and Bike Walk Tompkins.
Wharton Studio Silent Film Tour
Visit the historic Wharton Studio where, from 1915 to 1921, silent movies were directed and produced, starring some of the best known actors of the day.
Bernie Milton was a local musician and, later in life, a local radio personality and DJ. Born in 1942, his mom was an Ithaca College graduate and piano teacher while Bernie was a kid. She propelled him to sing at the Apollo Theater when he was still young, performing the Ray Charles 1954 hit, “I Got a Woman”. Bernie formed a number of local bands, and had a regional hit with “The Waddle” in 1962. Never nationally famous, Bernie and his bands played all over the region, popular at fraternities, sororities and local clubs. In 1983, he premiered a soul and Motown program called “Looking Back” on WICB-FM, and did it every Friday morning until his death in 2002. Always cheerful, when anyone would ask how he was, he would answer “60/40”, his biggest hit with Bernie Milton and the Soul Patrol from 1985.
Ithaca Sign Works co.
Ithaca Sign Works Building. West State Street. Built in 1877 for the Ithaca Organ Company. The Ithaca Organ Company manufactured "the best organ in the world." Ogilvie R. Stanford founded the Ithaca Sign Works in 1879 producing outdoor advertisements for other companies all over the country. Renovated in the 1980's, it is now home to the Ithaca Millwork Company.
-The Architectural Heritage of Tompkins County, Richard Corth et. al.
Tompkins County’s voice for historic preservation, education, and sustainability.
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Use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and help shape the future.