Ithaca Builds

2 05 2013

4-8-2013 182

When I first started following Ithaca construction projects (~2006), the only sources for project details came from news sources (which, with rapidly outdated URLs, were shoddy at best), and a thread on the urban development website/forum Other than that, some of the local towns would regularly update their online agendas and minutes; most wouldn’t, and attached renderings were unheard of.

Over the past several years, things have changed for the better. For one, this blog. For two, it seems like certain news outlets like the Journal and Times now recognize there’s some worth to keep in track of these projects, especially as growth in Ithaca has accelerated within the past couple of years.

I was looking something up recently and stumbled upon a fully-dedicated Ithaca development website, calling itself “Ithaca Builds“. At the time, they had just started putting together their interactive map. Now, the first blurbs are written, and the map has been fleshed out a little more.

From my personal standpoint, there was that brief concern of “uh oh, now I have competition.” For one, their HTML skills are way beyond my own, and their maps are much easier to use. For two, the Ithaca side of this blog is really the bread-and-butter these days, as I’ve already covered much of my preferred Cornelliana, and new history write-ups have become fewer.  So there’s always the worry that if someone who “does it better” comes along, I’m not going to have the time to keep up, and this blog will fall off the map completely.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that’s kinda a silly way to look at things. I don’t make any money from this, and given Ithaca’s market size, a “Curbed” style Ithaca site would struggle to be commercially viable. If someone has the personal interest and motivation to do a great website, that’s wonderful. I like to think that in the nearly five years of this blog, that it’s offered quite a compilation of Ithaca-related projects, so even if this fades, I’ve had a good run. In the meanwhile, since their writing has yet to come up to speed, Ithaca Builds and Ithacating in Cornell Heights actually compliment each other quite well. I’ll keep updates coming on my end because that’s how I am. But I’ll be interested to see how their work grows and evolves.



4 responses

2 05 2013

Yeah, please don’t stop. The new site looks nice and all, and may indeed end up being a meaningful complement, but for now there’s really no writing and analysis at all. Plus as you note, you’ve got years of history you can easily link back to as you discuss the progress of a project.

Keep up the good work! It’s appreciated.

2 05 2013

Yikes- please don’t stop writing. Your blog is the inspiration for doing Ithaca Builds. I intended to reach out to you before going live to see where we could help to enhance the tremendous work you’ve done for years now.
The idea for our site is to provide an explorable/interactive format with mapping and photos, mainly just focusing on downtown projects, form-based zoning, taxation & land-use issues, etc.
Email me and let’s chat,


3 05 2013

As you’ve hinted in this post, not competition, more complementary. I know you’ve cut back on the blog, but you still toss in subjects outside Ithaca developments. I also like your editorializing moments (though I don’t always agree), it’s thought provoking.
So stop this nonsense about ending your blog.

As far as Ithaca Builds, I do have great hopes for it. Looks like they’ve already got some renderings I’ve not seen before. Seems like I’ll have to spend even more time on the computer. I hope the wife cuts down on the Honey-do list so I can explore more Ithaca happenings.

6 05 2013
B. C.

Whoa. No need to be alarmed, I don’t plan on stopping writing just yet, and I have no intention on “shutting down” this blog. I was doing more of a reflection, thinking about how things have changed over time (which maybe I should have saved for the 5-year anniversary next month). Jason, I’ll send you an email when my schedule frees up.

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