Staff


Alphonse F. Pieper, Executive Director

Alphonse was Historic Ithaca’s Preservation Director in the late 1990s before moving on to start his own architectural salvage business in Homer, New York. He rejoined Historic Ithaca in mid-2008. Alphonse has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.

As executive director Alphonse has realigned the organization to focus on its core mission of historic preservation and promoting its value in Tompkins County; initiated the Work Preserve Program, which provides training in traditional trade and retail skills to youth and adults with barriers to employment; reorganized Significant Elements so that it generates steadily increasing sales; established the organization’s role in Ithaca’s Southside neighborhood which has gained Historic Ithaca  recognition as a community-based development agency; and reduced organizational debt while increasing sources of funding to improve  financial stability.

Sara Johnson, Significant Elements and Work Preserve Job Training Manager

Sara joined Historic Ithaca in 2007 for an internship that continued through September 2008. In 2010 she rejoined the organization as a Preservation Associate and transitioned to the role of Work Preserve Program Manager in May 2011. Sara received a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and in 2009 she completed her Master of Arts Historic Preservation Planning coursework at Cornell.

Christine O’Malley, Preservation Services Coordinator

Christine in action

Christine leads Historic Ithaca’s efforts in education, advocacy and community engagement and consults with home and property owners, businesses, city and county government officials, and educators. She holds a Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of Virginia and served as a volunteer member of the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission. Previously she served as assistant director of the Carol Tatkon Center at Cornell University and held visiting faculty appointments in art and art history at several colleges and universities. She is a five-year resident of Ithaca.

Peter Walz, Work Preserve Traditional Building & Crafts

walz photo editedPeter is devoted to the cause of fine craftsmanship and high-quality woodworking as well as to passing on the traditions of classic workmanship for the modern era.  He is a graduate of the prestigious Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, and owner of P.T. Walz & Co., a high-end furniture workshop in Ithaca, New York. His work covers a wide range of styles from medieval coffers to modern boardroom conference tables. He has worked both in restoration and conservation workshops as well as in modern cabinetmaking shops. Peter lives in Candor, New York, with his wife, Ivy, and his son, Thomas.

Karen Coleman, Work Preserve Education & Outreach

Karen brings to Historic Ithaca three decades of experience in working with children and youth. As a program management specialist  at Tompkins County Youth Services, she focused on youth employment and saw a need to offer hands-on training opportunities to young people who have not succeeded in school or work environments. She joined Historic Ithaca in January 2011 after learning about its unique Work Preserve program.

Board of Directors


  • Dennis Stein, President
  • Charles Pomada, Treasurer
  • Randi Kepecs, Secretary
  • Leslie Chatterton
  • Lisken Cordes
  • Tom Hoard
  • Rod Howe
  • Julee Johnson
  • Tracy Vosburgh

Newsletter Signup

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 9-5
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Library Hours

Effective 08.01.14
Wed, Thurs, Fri 9:30 am - 12:00 noon

Historic Ithaca is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.