Featured 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.

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Religious Buildings in Downtown Ithaca

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.

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.

Featured Site


Temple Beth-El

The cornerstone was laid in 1928 for the present brick building, designed by Eli W. Goldstein of Buffalo. The Ithaca contracting firm of Ward-Kurz completed the building in 1929, at that time the only synagogue in Ithaca. Temple Beth-El is listed on the State and National Historic Registers of Historic Places and is located within the locally designated DeWitt Park Historic District. The overall effect of the building and its interior is one of functional simplicity consistent with the design philosophy of the early twentieth century.





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.