The pedestrian-only Ithaca Commons runs along State Street between Aurora and Cayuga Streets and along Tioga Street between Seneca and State Streets. Somewhat European in feel, it’s filled with fountains, trees, flowers, and benches, and is flanked with shops and restaurants. At the western end is Clinton House (116 N. Cayuga St.), a historic hotel now housing various arts organizations and the Ticket Center.
Most of the buildings along the Commons were built between the 1860s and the 1930s. Note the handsome Italianate building at No. 158 East State Street, and the art deco storefront at No. 152 East State Street. Just beyond the Commons, at No. 101 West State Street, glows a 1947 neon sign of a cocky chanticleer.
The Sagan Planet Walk was built in memory of astronomer Carl Sagan. It starts at the “sun” on the Commons and continues on to visit nine “planets” along a three-quarter-mile route leading to the ScienCenter Museum. Visitors who get their “Passport to the Solar System” stamped along the way earn a free visit to the museum.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition