ITHACA, N.Y. – The former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Station at 701 W. Seneca St. is officially a local landmark, following a unanimous vote from Common Council.
The building is representative of the Prairie School style of architecture and was built in 1912 by prominent architect Frank J. Nies. The historic designation was recommended by the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Planning and Economic Development Committee prior to Wednesday’s Common Council meeting.
By declaring the building a local landmark, council affirmed “it possesses special character or historic or aesthetic interest or value as part of the cultural, political, economic, or social history of the locality, region, state, or nation,” embodies a distinct architectural style, and is the work of an influential designer.
Christine O’Malley, preservation services coordinator for Historic Ithaca, voiced the organization’s support for the historic designation during public comment.
“The building has great potential for adaptive reuse,” she said.
The building served as an intercity bus station for many years until September. Council member Seph Murtagh, who chairs PEDC, said a tour of the now vacant site helped highlight the building’s architectural features. Before voting for the designation, he said, “Seeing it in a fresh light – not as a bus station, but seeing its historic details – I’m proud to support it.”
As the city weighs future uses for the building, its designation as a local landmark will ensure that changes are compatible with the site’s historic character.