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 #37

421 Clarendon Street / John Herman Wharton House

  • Built: ca. 1905
  • Architect: Unknown
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This house is notable for its architecture, but also as the residence of John Herman Wharton (1889-1921), a Syracuse University graduate, professor, and administrator who founded Syracuse University’s College of Business Administration and, now the Whitman School. His career came to a tragic end, however, when he was murdered in his office by a troubled faculty member.

Before he was an influential member of the Syracuse University faculty, Wharton was an active member of the University’s student community involved in many school associations and activities, including serving as the business manager of the yearbook board, editing the first Syracuse Songbook, founding the Southern Club, participating in the Prohibition Club, serving on the Executive Committee of the English Club, and being elected class president. He received his undergraduate degree in 1911, and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1913.

Wharton began teaching as an instructor at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and later became a professor in both the College of Applied Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts, becoming the head of the English Department. In 1918, he first proposed creating a new college for business administration, and despite little promotion and few resources, 350 students enrolled in the College of Business Administration for its first session.