120 N Cayuga St, Ithaca, NY 14850
‘Equaled by few and surpassed by none in the state’ – when Clinton House opened for business in 1830.
The Clinton House has always been one of the city’s most cherished landmark buildings. Named after Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the original building was five stories high including attic and basement and was designed by Ira Tillotson, a local architect, builder and surveyor. The building contained over 150 rooms including offices, bathing rooms and spacious halls. It was home to the New Jerusalem Church Library, the Tompkins County Medical Society, The Ithaca Board of Health, the Village Council and political parties around 1832. Prominent Ithaca architect William Henry Miller made renovations to the building in 1872, altering the appearance of the upper floors. In 1901, the upper two stories were completely gutted in a fire, and $32,000 worth of repairs were made before it re-opened in 1902.
In 1972 Historic Ithaca purchased the Clinton House and carried out extensive restoration work between 1973 and 1975. HI leaders Connie Saltonstall and Vicky Romanoff spearheaded the project, together with Carol U Sisler, who joined HI as the first paid part-time secretary in the 1970s and went on to serve as the Director until 1993. This project was funded by various sources, including the Eva Gebhard-Gourgoud Foundation, the Phillips Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the form of grants and Preservation Fund loans. Since then, intermittent restorative work and repairs have been carried out. The Clinton House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
In 1994 Historic Ithaca carried out major retrofitting in the building, including new fire detection systems, new fire-rated sheetrock layers on the ceiling and a new heating system. Historic Ithaca sold the building in 2009. Today the Clinton House is operated as a successful rental property, housing offices and other uses.
To know more about the history of Clinton House, visit us at 212 Center St, Ithaca, NY 14850.