About this listing
Charming two-story guest cottage situated in the garden of an historic train station (ca.1830) located at the southeast corner of Cayuga Lake.
Perfect as a writers retreat, for faculty, grads or parents visiting one of the universities, as a base of operations for outdoorsy adventuring or touring the Finger Lakes wine country - and especially for those with a penchant for historic architecture (American folk) and charming romantic spaces.
Cottage has a bedroom upstairs with views of the lake, and a lounge downstairs. Stocked with a mini fridge, coffee maker, tea kettle and toaster, and a tv for playing dvds.
The property was built ca. 1830 where it fulfilled the function of lighthouse. It was later transformed into a switchback to the railroad until sometime in the 1930s when it became a residential space. From the early sixties to the early '90s the buildings were abandoned and fell into ruin.
The property was rescued from a derelict state by British visual artist Paul Chambers who lived in Ithaca from 1972 until his untimely death from cancer in 2012. From (phone number hidden), Chambers 'recycled' the site into a work of living sculpture, and in 2007 Wylie purchased the property, which she considers to be a work of art, and maintains it in accordance with Chambers’ vision.
Check in is at 4pm, but this is negotiable.
Check out is at 11am.
Interaction with Guests
We try to be helpful but not hovering.
Close proximity to Stewart Park, the East Shore swimming beach, the Ithaca Farmer's Market, and the Cayuga Waterfront Trail.
There is a downtown-bound bus that comes to Stewart Park, a 5 minute walk from the cottage.
Downtown Ithaca and Cornell are a 5-minute drive away.
Other Things to Note
While the property is an idyllic garden-like setting with views of the lake, it is nestled in between two busy roads. Depending on the time of day it can be a little noisy from traffic.
The bathroom and kitchen are located in the main house, a separate building situated 10 feet from the cottage.
There is a ladder to get to the bedroom of the cottage. This is not ideal for those with bad knees, etc. (See a picture of it in my photo album section.)
The nightly price includes the addition of 8 percent for New York State sales tax, as well as 3 percent added on for the local county room tax.
In July, August and September, there is a 2-night minimum during weekends
Please contact me before booking. We want to make sure it is the right fit.
-Please keep bathroom door propped open when not in use so that our two very friendly kitties (Annie and Fredy) can get in and out of the main house (their cat flap is in bathroom door.)
-Please make sure front door to main house is latched shut at night (it is an old door (ca.1830!) and sometimes doesn't latch.
That's pretty much it.
Take the time to read the full description of this place. Much like Ithaca itself- the cabin is funky and rustic. You won't find the amenities here of a regular hotel, though it is priced as one. The view of the lake is nice and Wylie is a great resource for recommendations. The only thing I don't recall reading when I booked was the incessant highway noise that requires you to sleep with the fan on. Good location though not for everyone.
Jeff, I completely agree, potential guests should most definitely read the description of the cottage before booking, I make that very clear on my page as well, that the cottage is not for everyone and that it is important (for all of us) that it is the right fit. I clearly note on my page that the location of the house is nestled in between two busy roads which, depending on the time of day, can be rather noisy. This is not the country, but the outskirts of downtown Ithaca, even though the garden setting makes it appear as though we are in the country. However, my cottage is not priced the same as local hotels, which are upwards of $100 at the very lowest end. My cottage is priced similar to a motel. If what you are looking for is a motel, you should by all means book one - there are plenty of options. If, on the other hand, what you are looking for is unique and authentic experience in a beautifully-restored, yet definitely quirky (American folk!) 2-story cottage from the 1830s, situated on one-acre of landscaped garden with views of the lake from every room on the property, then you will love it here, as my 300 + positive reviews can attest to.
This is a delightful place if you are of the right mindset. One of the charms of Airbnb is the unusual and eclectic accommodations. The cottage is no exception. We were greeted by Wylie and her two cats (more like puppies they were so friendly), shown around and given some tips for places to eat. The cottage was clean and comfortable, and conveniently located for our visit to Ithaca. There is art and found objects arranged inside and out, books, and views of the lake. But a fair warning to those looking for a traditional b&b or motel experience. The bedroom is accessed via a loft ladder, the bathroom is in the main house, the shower is short (we're tall), and there can be a lot of noise from the adjacent roadways.
No Bathroom in Cottage.
My bad for not reading all the way down to the "Other Notes" at the bottom of the listing. We would have never stayed in a location that did not have a bathroom in the home or cottage. There is no running water so not even a sink in the cottage. Walking 50 feet (not 10 feet) outside across rocks and weeds and a rickety front porch to get the bathroom was not pleasant particularly while it was raining. The hosts personal effects (hairbrush with hair in it and other items) should have been put away not out in the open in the vicinity of where a guest would place their toiletries. The screens in the windows are broken. One kept falling out so bugs kept flying in. In general the place was messy and not clean. The photos look much better than the cottage looks in person. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend staying here.
Hi Brad, I'm very sorry your stay did not meet your expectations, as I try my best to make the experience as comfortable for all of my guests as possible. I can assure you the cottage is very clean, and was professionally cleaned the day you arrived. I know that sometimes people equate 'rustic' with dirty, but as you can see from my 300+ positive reviews, the space is in face clean, comfortable, and exactly as advertised - as long as one is willing to take the time to actually read the description of the space on my AirBnb page, and look at my pictures in advance of booking.
Wylie's artist space in both her home and the cottage are so special. What a treat to live in a creative environment...focusing on simplicity and the beauty of small things. I so enjoyed my time there. What an amazing view over looking the Lake!
Overall it was a great experience! The cottage was much spacious than expected and it had a nice view of the lake. There was a nice little park next to the lake which was perfect for picnicking. Host was very friendly and provided nice accommodations like water and tea! The cottage itself was very clean and comfy. Recommended for anyone who wishes to recharge and experience Ithaca's beauty.
The cottage is just as charming as described in the listing. I wish I'd paid closer attention to the "other things to note" comments, as we found the property wasn't ideal with our 11 mo old son.
Loved the cottage! Such a cool space, in a great town. Wylie was pleasant I had no problems with anything. Loved the tea in the fridge upon arrival. I felt very welcome and safe. Was great to get away for a few days here! Would love to stay again sometime :)
This host has 133 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Wylie
'Signalcamp,' as the property is nicknamed, is owned by Wylie Schwartz, a native Ithacan and a doctoral student in art history at Binghamton University. In addition to being the coordinator for Ithaca's monthly First Friday Gallery Night, Wylie is an independent curator - one of the cottages at Signalcamp, called 'station923,' becomes a project space for artists from May through October. Wylie lives here with her two very friendly cats named Freddie and Blue.
Wylie purchased the property - a former switchback to the railroad (ca.1830) - from her beloved friend, British visual artist Paul Chambers, who lovingly restored it from a derelict state and turned it into a work of 'living sculpture.' Wylie views herself as simply one of many caretakers along the way who has looked after this special place, and she loves to share it with others.