David Fogel logged more than 3,000 hours over the course of eight years creating a detailed scale model of Ithaca’s West End neighborhood as it was in about 1953. Tiny replicas of homes and buildings line the streets as they were before the flood-control project and street realignments transformed the area. Fogel debuted the model in 1986 at what was then the DeWitt Historical Society.
For more than 15 years Fogel’s 8′x8′ model has been on display on the second floor of the Alternatives Federal Credit Union on North Fulton Street. Due to a pending remodel of the space, however, the model needed to be removed. In 2019 Fogel set out to find a new home for his re-creation of the historic neighborhood, and he reached out for help through Historic Ithaca and the local media.
After an article appeared in Tompkins Weekly explaining the need, Ithaca developer Costa Lambrou of Lambrou Real Estate stepped forward. Lambrou offered a temporary home for the model in College Town and its eventual placement in a future West End development. Read Fogel’s Letter to the Editor in Tompkins Weekly describing the model’s origin and odyssey.