50 for 50: Old City Hall

Ithaca’s first City Hall, erected in 1844, once stood on the site of the Seneca Street parking garage. It was built of brick in the Greek Revival style and originally served as a Village Hall before the incorporation of Ithaca in 1888. In 1966, it was demolished in the first major action of the “Center Ithaca Renewal Project.” The move was only one piece of the urban renewal agenda; as of 1964, many of the surrounding buildings had been deemed obsolete or in too poor condition to warrant rehabilitation. The loss of the Old City Hall, and the threat of demolitions to come, inspired the formation of Historic Ithaca, Inc, in 1966. Below are two photographs of the building from two different eras (left: 1950s and right c.1890s) showing its appearance. Old City Hall stood at North Tioga and East Seneca Streets.

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