Westcott Community

The Westcott Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY

A vibrant eastside neighborhood rich in history, culture, food and entertainment

Walking Tours

Stately Streets

Stop #11

131 Harvard Place

  • Built: 1891-93
  • Architect: Unknown
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The Westcott neighborhood is a mix of single-family houses and multiple family dwellings. Some houses, like 131 Harvard, were built for single families, but later converted to apartments. The house was one of the earlier houses on the street. For many years after its construction it was occupied by Thomas N. Whiteman who is listed as a commercial traveler (salesman) in early city directories, but of whom little else is known.

Like many houses on this tour, the house was transformed into apartments some time in mid-20th-century. The third floor was apparently transformed into living space in the 1960s. When the present owner purchased the property in 1975 from the estate of Helen Teall, who had lived on the second floor, the building contained five apartments and two additional “sleeping rooms” and was in dilapidated condition. Dormers on the third floor were rotten and half collapsed, and the only means of emergency egress from the upper floors was a metal ladder out one of these teetering dormers. Today, 131 Harvard is an example of how attractive and comfortable neighborhood apartment living can be.