About Us

Mission: To promote the value and enhancement of our historic buildings and neighborhoods through education, advocacy, and action.

Vision: For Tompkins County to be a community where historic places are treasured and preserved by all.

Established in 1966 as a community response to threats to downtown Ithaca landmarks, Historic Ithaca is the non-profit voice for preservation in Tompkins County and the Finger Lakes Region. We engage in Advocacy and provide Preservation Services to individuals, businesses, and municipalities thorughout the Finger Lakes Region. We maintain a Library of the Built Environment, sponsor tours and lectures, and conduct hands-on workshops. Since 1991 we have operated Significant Elements, our non-profit architectural salvage store, through which we provide job training to youth and young adults with barriers to employment in our Work Preserve program.

Our headquarters are located at 210 and 212 Center Street in Ithaca’s historic Southside neighborhood.  Significant Elements and Work Preserve are housed in a 120-year old manufacturing building at 212, and our offices and library are next door at 210 inside a former neighborhood grocery. 212 was originally built by Pritchard & Sons for use as a carriage and wagon repository. The Plain Street Mural completed in 2011 depicts the fascinating history of this rare surviving example of a timber-frame industrial building.

212 and 210 Center Street, circa 1917 and 1954 (above) and today (below)

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