Professor Stephen Jacobs

Professor Stephen Jacobs was a professor of architectural history at Cornell University and an important figure in and outside of Historic Ithaca. He was a leader in the opposition to Ithaca’s urban renewal agenda in the 1960s, which threatened the survival of many historic structures. He supported the formation of Historic Ithaca and served as president for five years. Through his efforts, in partnership with Professor Ernest Roberts of Cornell’s School of Law, Ithaca’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance was passed, thus creating the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission, on which he also served as a member. At Cornell University, he taught preservation courses even before the formal establishment of the Historic Preservation Planning master’s program. Professor Jabobs passed away in 1978 and, among his many roles, is remembered as one of the first and most prominent preservation advocates in the Ithaca.

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