This column was written by Jason Henderson, who runs the blog “Ithaca Builds.”

Ithaca, N.Y. — I thought it worthwhile to post some of the revised images and presentation materials for Rampart Real’s 20-unit 323 Taughannock Boulevard Project, which has generated substantial interest.

Designed by Stream Collaborative, with MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) and structural engineering by Taitem Engineering, and civil engineering and surveying by TG Miller. (If you’re interested in green building design, I can’t recommend a better book than Green Building Illustrated, co-authored by Taitem’s Ian Shapiro, previous article here).

We’re also going to discuss some of the history of the proposed development site.


History

Old photo of the Cayuga Inlet.

The Cayuga Inlet got its major start with the 1819 launch of the Cayuga Steamboat Company’s first ship (The Enterprise), then the 1825 completion of the Erie Canal, which connected to Cayuga Lake by another canal.

This gave Ithaca waterway access to Chicago and the Atlantic. The Ithaca-Owego Railroad opened in 1834, with a line going to the Susquehanna and Southern Tier. The Cayuga Inlet provided a water-to-rail-to-land and vice-versa loading point, but Ithaca never took off as a major shipping hub for a variety of reasons which included financial Depressions, the difficult surrounding terrain, and further construction of major railways to the south — most importantly, Binghamton. (Snodderly, Ithaca and its Past.)


Current proposal

The architectural style of harbor and waterfront buildings are taken into full account in the design here, which blends aspects of traditional industrial freight/warehouse buildings and modern techniques to connect occupants to the waterfront.

Skylight and louver-style roofs are iconic of harbor warehouse and freight buildings, in order to gain sunlight, but also natural ventilation for large enclosed spaces (although I believe the angled racks are for solar panels- creating the same visual effect). Many residential waterfront projects include large bay windows, terraces facing the water, and an immediate area to access the waterfront. There’s even a four-seasons greenhouse planned for the fourth floor.


Design references and inspiration


Rendered elevation with material selections and architectural features of buildings nearby

The material selections look respectful to context, and the rendered elevation helps to show how they fit together within the design: wood siding on the roof level, possibly slate or dark metal standing seam roofing, lap siding for the second and third floors, and a brick veneer with stone base on the ground level.

The vertically-oriented siding and multi-level windows on the stairwells also draw a nice visual interest. Hope to see this one move forward — it would probably be the first new, primarily residential building of this size on the inlet since, well, ever. I’m not sure if these would be for rental or condominium, but Ithaca’s West End has been seeing some very nice projects as of late.


North, south and east elevations


Site plan and floor plans