Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

323 Taughannock Boulevard: Updated Plans for 20-Unit Waterfront Project

July 28, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

It’s clear that a lot of attention has been paid to the design of this proposal, and I thought it worthwhile to post some of the revised images and presentation materials for Rampart Real’s 20-unit 323 Taughannock Boulevard Project, 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).

Old photo of the inlet:

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_05

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)

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_16

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, all of which are here. There’s even a four-seasons greenhouse planned for the fourth floor.

Design references and inspiration:

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_09

Rendered Elevation with material selections and architectural features of buildings nearby:

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_19

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:

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_22

Site Plan and Floor Plans:

323 Taughannock Boulevard - Planning Board Presentation - 07-22-14_Page_15

  • David Ritchie

    Thanks for these drawings, but the “old” picture of the inlet is too old to give current context. Where is 323 Taughannock — is it the vacant lot next to Kelly’s Dockside, which has the address 319 Taughannock? Or is it the low building that has had a bar in it for a long time? And how does this development relate, if at all, to the proposal to replace Johnson’s Boat Yard with a bunch (13?) of upscale residential town home buildings? One of the concerns in the Johnson’s project was that there were no walkways planned for along the inlet, to allow walkers to pass along the waterfront. Is there any such plan for this 323 Taughannock building? Thanks.
    Dave Ritchie

    • Hi David,

      Sorry for the confusion- the previous post contains shots of the existing parcel:

      And the map on the homepage outlines the project, with a link to the project page (look for the red polygon at the bend of 89 on the inlet island):

      The Johnson Boatyard project doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at this time, and you’re right- it had a lot to do with being served by only one road, making the area more of a destination location. Perhaps there will be a time in which enough support (and money) is available to create better connections across Route 13, but the NYSDOT has traditionally been in opposition to projects that would hamper traffic flow of automobiles.

      323 seems well-positioned to demonstrate that more residential is feasible in that area; it’s actually not too bad of a walk to get around the West End now that most intersections have crossing signals, and having bars and restaurants in the area along with the waterfront itself play to the possibility of sustaining more housing nearby. Last time I checked the census block data for the West End (between Meadow St. and Cass Park), the population sum was around 250, and housing unit sum was around 125, but the same size area to the east gives me six times that population number. I think if this project goes through and proves to be successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if more were to follow.