College To Sell Fountain Place, Plans New Presidential Residence

By Dave Maley, April 3, 2018
The presidential home goes on the market, and plans for a new on-campus residence are in the works.

Ithaca College has formally put 2 Fountain Place — the home for the college’s presidents since 1938 — up for sale. Plans for construction of a new presidential residence, which will be located on campus, are also moving forward.

Exterior of 2 Fountain Place.

The Ithaca College Board of Trustees had announced last October that it would be selling Fountain Place, after previously determining that it would no longer serve as the president’s home.

Located on East Hill in the City of Ithaca, 2 Fountain Place and the adjacent 2 Willets Place are being listed exclusively by Warren Real Estate until May 1; if no buyer is contracted by that date, Warren will place the properties on the Multiple Listing Service.

The asking price is $1.5 million for Fountain Place and $450,000 for Willets Place, which formerly served as the carriage house and has been used most recently by the college as a guest house. The purchaser of Fountain Place will have the first-right-of-refusal to buy Willets Place as well.

The study inside Fountain Place.

Fountain Place was designed by noted architect William Henry Miller and purchased by the college in 1938. It has over 9,000 square feet of living space, with seven bedrooms and five bathrooms.

“We are honored to represent a property of such character and distinction, which would be nearly impossible to re-create in this modern age,” said Bryan Warren, president of Warren Real Estate. “We expect it will sell to a buyer who has a true love for its location, its architecture and its rich history.”

Proceeds from the sales will be put toward the cost of the new presidential home. An ad-hoc committee comprising members of the board of trustees and senior leadership of the college has been developing plans for that residence for the past year.

“We’re excited to announce that we have decided to construct the new house right on campus,” said board chairman Tom Grape ’80. “We want it to be a warm and welcoming home for our presidents and their families for now and for many decades to come, while also having appropriate spaces for a variety of large and small events hosted by the president.”

The chosen site is located near Emerson Hall, a student residence hall at the north end of campus. The house is in the very early planning stage, according to Doug Weisman ’78, chairman of the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee. Ikon.5 Architects has been retained to design the residence. The firm has done several projects in Ithaca, including the Collegetown Terrace apartment complex.

“We think that their contemporary design aesthetic will fit well with the styles on campus for other recent building projects like the Athletics and Events Center and Peggy Ryan Williams Center,” said Weisman. “The location, set into a hillside, will let us take advantage of the sweeping views of Cayuga Lake.”

Weisman says the intent is to begin construction by this fall, with a move-in date of fall 2019. The board will keep the campus community informed as the project moves forward.

“We want it to be a warm and welcoming home for our presidents and their families for now and for many decades to come."

Tom Grape '80, IC board chair
Interior of 2 Fountain Place.

Ithaca College has also purchased a house on South Hill to serve as a temporary home for the president while the new residence is being constructed. Since July, the college has provided an apartment in downtown Ithaca for President Shirley M. Collado and her husband.

“We determined that it would be more appropriate to own instead of continuing to pay for an apartment rental,” said Grape. “It will also allow the president to host small events during this time. The house will be sold once the new residence is occupied.”