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The Tompkins County Center for History and Culture will be a captivating destination, providing a place for visitors to better understand the past, experience the present, and imagine the future of Tompkins County. As a must-see gathering point for both residents and visitors, our vibrant facility will instill appreciation for our community's global impact and promote further exploration into the community.


The Tompkins County Center for History and Culture is uniquely suited to provide a visitor experience that is unparalleled in our region. The Center partner organizations' breadth of cultural knowledge will be the foundation for compelling and engaging exhibits and programs. The location on the Commons will offer a vibrant, centrally-located space that will become the cultural hub of our community. Combining these elements with a clear communications strategy will contribute to a remarkable visitor experience, and produce an informed and inspired local community. 

Community and Economic Impacts

By combining the Ithaca Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the History Center in Tompkins County, and other history, heritage, and cultural organizations, we are creating a destination spot for residents and visitors. Visitors will be oriented to go out from the Center and explore the 'corners' of the County. Visitors will deepen their connection and appreciation of this unique place, which in turn, will lead to longer stays, more return visits, and more tourism revenues.

The Space

The Center's exhibit space will connect Tompkins County's past, present and future. It will also engage the public by highlighting how our history both aligns with differs from other communities in the region and how, at times, our history took a different course. Those variations are due to interesting national and global interactions. Exhibits will include a timeline, artifacts including maps and photographs, and interactive displays. The center will offer a compelling narrative of this area's key historical themes, in essence telling the story of who we are as a community and what we value.

Retail & Marketing

Associated with the Visitors Center there will be retail space managed by the CVB that will address the Commons' three primary markets: local residents, visitors and students.

The collective aspect of the Center will utilize websites, newsletters, media releases, radio and television, posters, broadcast e-mail, magazine advertisements and social media posts. New York State heritage and history related venues will also be fully utilized.

Investments in the Center will continue to revitalize downtown by providing Ithaca and Tompkins County a robust place to welcome visitors and orient them to our community. The Center will be an important destination factoring into the proposed Finger Lakes National Heritage Area and New York State’s Path Through History.

The Tompkins Center will support our community’s efforts to offer rich heritage tourism programming, and create a new cultural experience that will strengthen our position as a tourist destination in New York State. Find out more about opportunities for support, recognition, and ongoing ways the Tompkins Center for History and Culture can impact you.

Our Audiences

  1. County and Commons visitors will experience a compelling orientation to Ithaca and Tompkins County 
  2. Regional residents will have enhanced opportunities for engaging and connecting through exhibits, research library, programs, art, and a space for sharing life narratives
  3. Partnering organizations will collaborate to offer innovative history and culture programming from a mosaic of perspectives.

The Finger Lakes Region

Ithaca is a key gateway to the region. Given the number of visitors to Tompkins County from all over the world, the Center will be marketed as a destination, and as a place that makes history every day.


The Commons
Ithaca, New York 14850 


Email Us
607-273-8284, ext. 222

Download our Brochure

Mail to

Tompkins Center for
History and Culture
c/o The History Center in
Tompkins County
401 E. State Street, Suite 100
Ithaca, NY 14850