50 for 50: The Old Courthouse of Tompkins County

The Old Courthouse of Tompkins County, built in 1854, is located in the DeWitt Park Historic District and is the oldest public building in Tompkins County. It is also distinct in its architecture as not only the oldest Gothic Revival courthouse in New York State, but also an unusual example, built in the Tudor style. While some of its most distinct original features – red brick walls, hammer-beam trusses in the courtroom – were covered by later renovations, the building retains its historic character. The building faced demolition for the construction of a new, joint City-County facility, but the resolution to approve this action was lost in 1968. In 1971, it was designated state historic landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Courthouse was one of the earliest preservation victories in Ithaca.


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