Ithaca, N.Y. — The Ithaca planning board approved Tuesday to strongly encourage the reconstruction of the building that housed Simeon’s.

The structure was damaged on June 20 when a tractor-trailer barreled into the restaurant, killing a young mother.

(Read a story published today about the owners’ intent to rebuild the structure.)

This is the text of the resolution passed unanimously by the planning board Tuesday:

Whereas, Simeon’s on the Commons (historically, the “Griffin Block,” built in 1872) is one of Ithaca’s most architecturally significant and recognizable buildings and is an excellent example of Italianate architecture, and

Whereas, it anchors one of the most visible corners within the National Register Ithaca Downtown Historic District, and

Whereas, prior to June 20, 2014, the front of this building had retained its original cast-iron store-front, elaborate brickwork and cornice, and 1904 copper bay window, and

Whereas, additionally, the first floor interior contained detailed plaster relief work, a marble block floor, and plaster angels that adorned its walls, and  

Whereas, on June 20, 2014, the building was partially destroyed by a tractor trailer that hit the building, killing one person and injuring several others, and

Whereas, the remaining portion of the building is currently stabilized, appears to be structurally sound, and is being secured to protect the integrity of the building and for the safety of pedestrians and vehicles passing by, and

Whereas, significant portions of the original interior decoration survived the crash in repairable condition, and

Whereas, this building stands on one of the most prominent corners in the City of Ithaca and is integral to the history and character of the Commons, now therefore be it

Resolved, that the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board, in recognition of the importance of the Simeon’s building to the community, strongly encourages the rebuilding of the missing front portion of the existing structure, as near as possible according to its original design, including use of (or replication of) the cast-iron store-front, copper bay window, cast-iron window hoods, brickwork and cornice.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.