Strolling on the sculpture trail in Seneca Falls

Few villages in Upstate New York have the cache of Seneca Falls. As home to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the likely inspiration for “Bedford Falls” in It’s A Wonderful Life, this place has a unique appeal that’s not found in most towns five times its size.

Bridge scene from It's a Wonderful Life
Still from It’s a Wonderful Life

I could easily have spent a full day exploring the historic places in Seneca Falls. The eastern face of the Women’s Rights NHP visitor center features an engraved version of the Declaration of Sentiments along with the names of the women who signed it. The village contains the homes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Bloomer among other sites important to the suffrage movement. But between Covid restrictions and a rambunctious toddler, we decided that this wasn’t the right time for a day long history lesson.

Engraving of the Declaration of Sentiments at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park

I found the Ludovico Sculpture Trail while searching for outdoor activities within an hour’s drive of Ithaca. The name and lack of official website intrigued me and led me to add it to a long list of potential stay-cation ideas.

As a place that was free, open, and outdoors, we decided to check it out. We parked at the eastern end of the trail near Bridge Street and set out to see what we could see.

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Institutional Neighbors

About a month ago I became very familiar with our local hospital (especially the maternity wing and the cafeteria). This got me thinking about how institutional buildings fit into the urban transect.

Hospitals and other institutional buildings typically have rigid architectural programs. Unlike commercial office or retail spaces, institutional tenants have specific needs for their buildings to accomplish.

Unfortunately, architects rarely find ways for these unique structures and campuses to blend into the urban fabric of the city. Instead, institutional buildings tend to feel isolated from their immediate neighbors. Continue reading