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William Henry Miller (1848–1922) was an American architect based in Ithaca, New York.[1]


William Henry Miller grave in Lake View Cemetery.

Born in 1848 in Trenton, New York, Miller attended Cornell University from 1868 to 1870, but departed without graduating one year before the College of Architecture was created. He married Emma Halsey of Ithaca in 1876.

Miller is buried at Lake View Cemetery in Ithaca, New York under a distinctive wrought-iron cross of his design and across from the Cornell family mausoleum he designed for his longtime benefactors, the Cornell family.[2]


He was the foremost architect in Ithaca and for Cornell for many years, designing over seventy buildings on and off campus including 9 fraternity houses.[3] Among his buildings for Cornell were the President's House, Barnes Hall, University Library, Boardman Hall, infirmaries, and Prudence Risley Hall. In 1878 he was commissioned by the Cornell University chapter of Alpha Delta Phi to build them a chapter house, it was the first building ever to be designed and built specifically for use by a fraternity as their lodge and residence.[4] Among his other fraternity houses were Deke House, Sigma Chi's chapter house, Chi Phi Lodge, and two former mansions: "Greystone Mansion," originally owned by silent movie actress Irene Castle, and the Jennie McGraw-Willard Fiske mansion, modeled on a French chateau, which became the Chi Psi fraternity house and burned down in 1906.[5][6] In Ithaca, he also designed the Elizabeth Van Cleef and Robert Treman estates,[7] the Edward G. Wyckoff mansion in Cornell Heights,[8] the old Ithaca High School building (now Dewitt Mall), Cascadilla School, the Stewart Street School, the Savings Bank, the Congregational, Baptist and Unitarian churches, and many other public and private buildings.[9] A home he built for the Stowell family of Ithaca now operates as the William Henry Miller Inn.[10]

Among his non-Ithaca buildings were the main building of Wells College in Aurora, New York, the Toutorsky Mansion in Washington, D.C., a villa on Carleton Island for Wyckoff's father, the typewriter magnate William O. Wyckoff,[11] and Iviswold (1889) for David Brinkerfhoff Ivison, designed as an expansion of the Floyd W. Tomkins House in Rutherford, N.J.[12] Iviswold is now part of the Rutherford campus of Felician College. Miller also designed two mansions on Rochester, New York's East Avenue (The Avenue of the Presidents) at 800 for Dr. John W. Whitbeck in 1887 and at 963 for Francis A. Macomber in 1888. He also designed the mansion of US Supreme Court Justice Henry Billings Brown in Washington DC in 1894.



  1. ^ William Henry Miller Inn: About , Ithaca, NY. Accessed 2008-10-09
  2. ^
  3. ^ Blake Gumprecht, The American College Town, Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 2008, ISBN 978-1-55849-813-6, p. 80.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Morris Bishop, A History of Cornell, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, 1962, p. 422.
  6. ^ Oscar Diedrich von Engeln, At Cornell, Ithaca, New York: Artil, 1909, pp. 127-28.
  7. ^ "City of Ithaca: University Hill Historic District". Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  8. ^ Sisler, Hobbie, and Dieckmann, pdf pp. 179-80.
  9. ^ Poole, Murray Edward (1916). A Story Historical of Cornell University. Ithaca, New York: Cayuga Press. p. 150.
  10. ^
  11. ^ History,, Paul Malo.
  12. ^ The Castle within the Borough of Rutherford. Retrieved 2010-01-23.