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Historic Ithaca engages with the community in speaking out about preservation and built environment issues, from promoting the cultural, economic, and sustainability benefits of historic preservation to opposing projects and actions that threaten historic buildings. While our primary focus is on Ithaca and Tompkins County, we also support and work with our preservation colleagues outside this area by advocating for preservation issues within New York state and across the nation. Check here often for updates on various local, state, and federal advocacy alerts and issues.

408 N. Tioga "The Red House"


Tompkins County has authorized the sale of 408 North Tioga Street and is in the process of selecting a realtor to manage the sale. This is great news for the "Red House" and we applaud the County for this decision and thank all of the people who advocated for this result. We hope that a sympathetic new owner will purchase and rehabilitate it soon and look forward to seeing the revival of this historic building. Feel free to reach out to us with questions.

ABOUT THIS CASE AND WHY IT IS SIGNIFICANT: 408 N. Tioga was built c.1870-71 in the popular Italianate style and many of its historic details are still intact. The building is located in the Dewitt Park Historic District and bridges the gap between residential Fall Creek and commercial Downtown. The demolition of this building would further segregate the residential from the commercial, create a large parking lot as an eyesore for the neighborhood, and encourage driving in a city that has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2030. "The greenest building is the one that built" and demolition is a wasteful and unsustainable practice. There is no lack of parking in Downtown Ithaca. There is already parking available nearby and county employees could be given a free parking pass to one of our several downtown parking garages. In an area that desperately needs housing, it is counterintuitive to destroy space that is a part of the historic built environment and could provide housing to a single family or multiple apartments.


If a Resolution and a new State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) document are approved by the Facilities and Infrastructure Committee, they then presented to the entire County Legislature for approval. They will need 8 votes to pass this Resolution. The earliest meeting for the entire legislature, after they pass out of the Facilities and Infrastructure Committee, could be Tuesday, February 21st at 5:30 PM. 


For any updates, please stay tuned to our website, our Facebook page or call/email us or 607-273-6633.


The City of Ithaca has a preservation ordinance. To find notices of upcoming Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission meetings, maps of local historic districts and properties, forms (such as Certificate of Appropriateness applications) and guidelines for properties owners in the local historic districts and owners of individually listed properties, please see the City of Ithaca website.


To stay updated on preservation policy and advocacy alerts within the state of New York, please see the advocacy page of the Preservation League of New York State.

You can also check the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) website for resources and updates.


• To learn more about the advocacy activities of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, please visit their Action Center for information and resources.


• To learn more about Historic Preservation activities within the National Park Service, please visit their website.


• To learn more about the agency advising the President and Congress on national policy, please visit the website of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

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