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.
Carl E. Sagan (1934-1996)
Carl Sagan was the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. The following is from Cornell Chronicle obituary.
"Astronomer, educator and author, Sagan was perhaps the world's greatest popularizer of science, reaching millions of people through newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts. He is well-known for his work on the PBS series Cosmos, the Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning show that became the most watched series in public-television history. It was seen by more than 500 million people in 60 countries. The accompanying book, Cosmos (1980), was on The New York Times bestseller list for 70 weeks and was the best-selling science book ever published in English."
He was also renowned for his work on NASA's Voyager missions, and as an author of many books on science for general readers.
His gravesite is at Lake View Cemetery in Ithaca, NY.
Old South Hill School, 110 Columbia Street, Ithaca, NY
In 1907 the cornerstone was laid for a red brick schoolhouse on Ithaca's South Hill. Built to serve 149 children, this Colonial Revival-style school was designed by Ithaca architect Clinton Vivian. Each room is well lit by multiple windows. The entrance is distinguished by paired Tuscan columns, and the hip roof has an octagonal cupola. In 1916 new classrooms were added on the northeast side by Vivian. Until 1955 it had six classrooms (two of which were large halls) and six teachers. Spurred by the growing population, the new South Hill School on Hudson Street started construction in 1955 and opened in 1956. In 1978 and 1979 the old school building was converted into apartments now called Acropolis Cooperative. It stands today as a good example of adaptive reuse with six co-op units. The former schoolhouse has been designated an individual local landmark, and it is a featured site on Historic Ithaca's That Old House Tour on June 16, 2018.
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