New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network

George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation

George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation

930 James St.
Syracuse New 13203

Category: Museums & Related Organizations

Description: This Georgian colonial stands the test of time and speaks to the wealth and generosity of its owners at a time that Syracuse was most progressive. It was originally a two story Italianate Villa. Their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Barnes Hiscock, inherited the house, renovated all but Joseph Lyman Silsbee designed dining room, in 1895. It remains an architectural beauty replete with hand carved woodwork, stained glass, intricate plaster ceilings, an elevator and more. This is a historical jewel in Syracuse.

Our Story: George Barnes, a young English immigrant, grows up to be an abolitionist, philanthropist, industrialist and community leader in Syracuse. He and his wife, Rebecca, built the first house on James Street in 1853, and it is the only one remaining from that era. They hosted meetings in their home with such notables as Rev. Samuel May, Gerrit Smith and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her husband Henry. Later, their daughter (Bessie) and her husband, Judge Frank H. Hiscock hosted president Taft at the house.

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