Westcott Community

The Westcott Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY

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

Walking Tours

West of Westcott

Stop #33

700 Ackerman Ave / Charles Lee Raper House, now Messinger Family House

  • Built: ca. 1920
  • Architect: Unknown
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This is an impressive Colonial Revival house of two main stories with a large third floor accentuated by three large protruding gabled dormer windows. The house occupies an elevated corner site with the main entrance is on Clarendon Street, where there is also entrance to parking area and yard. A side porch overlooks Ackerman Avenue. On this side the tall chimney is set slightly off center (unlike in many Colonial Revival houses of the 1920s), and an oriel window is beneath the center point of the roof.

Charles Raper (1870-1957), was already a distinguished scholar and academic administrator for many years before he moved to Syracuse in 1920. He had been Dean of Graduate Education at the University of North Carolina before coming to SU where he was Dean of the Business School, Professor of Transportation, and then Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University (1936-1943). He lived here with his wife of 46 years (who died in 1950) and his one daughter. During his career he was involved in many organizations in the Syracuse area, including the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, New York State Planning Council, War Transportation Committee for Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York State Commission Against Discrimination in Employment, and he was actively opposed to the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.