Westcott Community

The Westcott Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY

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

Walking Tours

Stately Streets

Stop #40

315 Allen St

  • Built: 1911
  • Architect: Unknown
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Ione Nicholson Tracy grew up in this house and described it in her memoir, Remembrances of Things Past (Jamesville, NY: Pine Grove Press, 1993), 2-3

“We lived in a big house at 315 Allen Street, Syracuse, New York. It was planned and built to the specifications of my father in 1911. It had three stories, a central hall, small parlor, large living room and dining room, a front pantry and a back pantry, as well as a good sized kitchen. There were seven bedrooms, including two finished on the third floor. We loved playing up there because we found a crawl place from the back attic into the closet of one of the bedrooms. The chimney went up through the rear wall of the front attic, and we could walk around it. A partition in front protected it since the floor did not fit flush to the stones, and we had to be careful not to step in the open space. Great places for hide and seek. My brothers had a punching bag mounted in the front attic which I was too little to reach. The boys always stayed on the third floor when they were home.

Three of the bedrooms on the second floor had wash basins with running water, probably a carry-over from the days when every bedroom had a china wash bowl, pitcher of water, a shaving mug and a slop basin. They were a great convenience and kept the traffic to the one big bathroom down to a minimum. There was an in-house telephone, one of the first floor, one on the second, and I think, one in the garage, and maybe one in the cellar. My friends and I found it added to our fun while playing indoors.

Mother had a rose garden in the back yard, as well as other flowers, including lots of lilies of the valley. A grape arbor yielded delicious Concord grapes and little sweet red ones. A gardener planted vegetables, including corn in a small area below the back hedge. This section was bordered by currant bushes, and Mother would pay me and the children in the neighborhood a penny a box to pick them every year.

Wicker furniture decorated the large back sitting porch, and above it was a sleeping porch where I slept every summer from the time I was seven or eight years old. No screens, but I don’t recall begin bothered by mosquitoes. ..

There were only four houses on our side of the street and four on the other, all toward Lexington Avenue, which ended at Allen Street. At the end of Lexington, towards the east, was a long hill, great for sledding in the winter. Fayette Street, down below the 200 block of Allen, was not yet a street, only trolley tracks. Running east at the bottom of the hill, the tracks turned toward Genesee street on what is now Ellis Street. At the corner was a shuttle that went up the hill and down again for the people who lived there. It was free and we kids used to ride it up and down the hill. Also at the corner was a small pond full of pollywogs and frogs.”



Tracy, Ione Nicholson. Remembrances of Things Past (Jamesville, NY: Pine Grove Press, 1993), 2-3