Last updated: 8/31/2012
Cortland, New York
Street Address
37 Tompkins Street
Cortland, NY 13045
Mailing Address
37 Tompkins Street
Cortland, NY 13045
phone: 607-756-7551
Thursday - Saturday12 PM - 4 PM
Adults: $8
Seniors (over 62): $5
Students (): $5
Children under 10: Free
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Michelle Grimes, Museum Coordinator
phone: 607-756-7551

Limestone mansion, built by successful industrialist Chester F. Wickwire, is a symbol of the grandeur of the Victorian and Gilded ages.

The lavish interiors of the 30-room mansion feature parquet floors, jewel-like stained-glass windows, ornate decorative stenciling, and oak and cherry woodwork. Discover artifact-filled period rooms, guilded-era interior and exterior architecture, rotating exhibits and display cases, and carriages on view in the Carriage House. There is literally something for everyone at The 1890 House Museum and Center for the Victorian Arts.

The 1890 House is the focal point of the Historic District of the City of Cortland and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Museum seeks to preserve and restore the 1890 House (together with the museum's carriage house and landscaped grounds), and to interpret to the public the historical and cultural significance of this property. In addition the musuem strives to collect, preserve, display, and interpret to the public appropriate objects and artifacts for the purposes of recreating appropriate historical interior and exterior settings at the 1890 House and for scholarly study, exhibition, and public interpretation of America's cultural heritage during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


The 1890 House Museum and Center for the Arts is the former home of Chester and Ardell Wickwire. Built between 1888 and 1890 under the supervision of Architect Samuel Burrage Reed, the house was lived in by the Wickwire family until 1973. Following the Death of Marion Goodrich Wickwire in 1973, the Wickwire mansion and its contents were sold at auction. The house was purchased by the Landmark Society of Cortland County with the intent to make the building into a museum. Many orginal family objects sold at the auction were then donated back to the museum. In 1984 the museum received its non profit charter from the New York State Education Department.

Artifact Collections

The museums collections include furniture, paintings, decorative art objects, personal artifacts, historic clothing, textiles, ephemera, and photographs.

Educational Programs

Teacher workshops, group presentations, school group tours (donation suggested)


Board of Trustees


Access: General Public, Students

Appointment required: Yes

  • Whispers From the Inglenook (quarterly newsletter)
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible



    Private Party use available by appointment, fee and service listed on the website.

    The museum can seat 50-55. If you are hosting a cocktail reception (where it is not necessary to seat everyone) the museum can accommodate more people.

    The 1890 House Museum is here to serve the community as a Social & Cultural Crossroads. To that end, and in order to bring you the best experience, we encourage our visitors to share their thoughts and observations, positive and otherwise. Call or write to us and we will gladly respond to your inquiries, interests, and insights

    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

    Group Tours

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    Richmond, Virginia

    Riggs Ward Design (RWD) is an award-winning experience planning and design studio headquartered in historic Richmond, Virginia. Over the past 24 years, we have provided experience design, strategic master planning, interpretive planning, research, content analysis, and storyline development for museums, universities, corporations, and cultural institutions. RWD’s services also include exhibit ephemera, books, and fundraising campaign materials.

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