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.

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James L. Gibbs

James L. Gibbs, was a trailblazer. He was a man who took community service seriously, and spent his whole life working tirelessly for the betterment of the African American community in Ithaca.  Born in South Carolina and raised in Richmond, Virginia, James Gibbs first came to Ithaca in 1935. He was a social worker who trained at Syracuse University, and he became the first Director of the new Southside Community Center in 1937, while it was still under construction.




Dennis-Newton House, 421 N. Albany Street, Ithaca, NY

Listed on the Preservation League of NYS's "Seven to Save" list in 2016, the Dennis-Newton House at 421 N. Albany Street was preserved with support from Historic Ithaca. The house was listed on both the New York State and National Register of Historic Places in 2016. Built for the Dennis family circa 1869-1870, the home was a welcoming gathering place for African American students from Cornell University in the early 1900s. In 1906, several students who had held meetings at the Dennis home founded Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation's first black fraternity. The group considers the Dennis-Newton House its birthplace.



Tompkins County’s voice for historic preservation, education, and sustainability.


Explore a complete guide to Ithaca events,
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Use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and help shape the future.