Historic Binghamton Walking Tour with the Phelps Mansion Museum
This walking tour makes a loop through downtown Binghamton and includes numerous historic buildings and landmarks before concluding at the Phelps Mansion Museum.
Designed by architect Isaac G. Perry, the Phelps Mansion was built in 1870 by John Stewart Wells. It was built to be the home of Sherman D. Phelps, a local businessman, banker and one-time Mayor of the City of Binghamton.
This 97-foot structure, near the NYSEG stadium in downtown Binghamton, is the last remaining of four such towers erected by Guglielmo Marconi and successfully used to test the possibility of transmitting telegraph signals to trains moving along the adjacent Lackawanna Railroad line. The tower was constructed in 1913, with a 150-foot long aerial connecting it to a second tower (dismantled in 1925) in the vicinity of Chenango Street. (Another pair of towers, neither of which survives, was located in Scranton, PA.)
Built in 1900, Lackawanna Station was designed by Philadelphia architect Samuel Huckel, Jr. in a style described by some as Richardsonian Romanesque. Nearly lost to Urban Renewal and neglect, the structure has been repaired and renovated.
Built in 1903, the Kilmer Building was the manufacturing facility for “Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp-Root,” a patented mixture of herbs, oils and grain alcohol marketed as a kidney, liver and bladder cure.
Built in 1938, the Binghamton Greyhound Bus terminal has been in continuous operation since that time. The architectural style of the building is known as Streamline Moderne, a form of Art Deco design evident in many Greyhound bus terminals built between 1937 and the mid 1940’s.
The Binghamton Intermodal Archaeological Site was identified by the public archaeology facility in 2010 prior to redevelopment of the Greyhound Bus Station on this site. During the second half of the 19th century, many of Binghamton's elite families built elaborate homes along Chenango Street. Prospect Avenue (formerly Canal Street) forms the other major axis of this block and featured more modest homes occupied by middle-class families. These residences were replaced by commercial development, including the bus station, in the early 20th century. Archaeologists identified trash middens, portions of house foundations, wells, cisterns, and a privy related to the families who lived here during the 19th century.
The Richardsonian Romanesque-style Stone Opera House was built in 1892. Designed by architects Sanford Lacy and E.H. Bartoo, it was promoted as the most lavish theatrical facility between New York City and Buffalo. Sarah Bernhardt, Ethel and John Barrymore and many others performed on its stage. Since closing in 1978, the vacant theater has experienced neglect and significant deterioration.
The Binghamton Press building was built in 1904. Originally called the “Kilmer Building,” it was to be the home of the Binghamton Press, a newspaper founded by local businessman Willis Sharp Kilmer. The building was designed by T.I. Lacy and Sons.
The Security Mutual Building was built in 1904. Designed by Truman I. Lacey and Son, the 10-story building is an elaborate expression of Beaux-Arts Classical architecture.
Built in 1903 with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed by Sanford and H.A. Lacey under the supervision of Isaac Gale Perry. The building closed in 2000 and has remained vacant since that time.
Designed by Isaac Gale Perry and built in 1897, the Broome County Courthouse stands in Binghamton's Courthouse Square. It is the fifth County Courthouse to be built, and the third at this location.
This highly ornate four-story cast-iron building is one of Binghamton's most unique and distinctive structures. Designed in 1876 by Isaac Perry, the first two floors served as a department store and Perry's architectural firm occupied the third floor. The fourth floor was home to Perry and wife Lucretia until his death in 1904.
Built in 1897, Binghamton City Hall was designed by New York City architect Raymond Francis Almirall. Built in the distinctive “Ecole des Beaux Arts,” or “Hotel de Ville” style, the building stands as a landmark in Binghamton's Courthouse Square.
Built in 1913 of reinforced concrete and known as the Willey Block this 400-seat theater was promoted as an “absolutely fireproof photoplay house” and “one of the most modern structures of its character in the country.”
Currently known as the Lost Dog Café, the Hull-Grummond Building was built in 1886, expanded in 1906, and was home to one of the leading cigar producers in the country.