Welcome to Downtown Syracuse

Downtown Syracuse, from its earliest beginnings, was a crossroads city, a place where travelers from north and south, east and west, crossed paths in pursuit of land, employment, and a market for their goods.  

There was an abundant supply of salt and potash, limestone and timber, good crop land and grazing for dairy herds.  All of these factors contributed to the emergence of Syracuse as an important commercial gateway to western New York and provided the substance that you see evidenced in the historical buildings of the city’s commercial center.

Downtown Syracuse is a storehouse of historical facts and a repository of sometimes forgotten custom and legend.  It is the buildings and the structures of this city that transcend time and provide us with a window on both the past and the present.  The commercial center of the city - downtown - sets the tone for Syracuse’s vitality and progress.

As you begin the tour, remember to look up!  You may see crouching figures, grinning faces, or interesting elements and designs on the roof lines, corners and surfaces of the buildings in downtown Syracuse.

This walking tour begins in Clinton Square, the centerpiece of the city.  However, you may wish to begin your tour at any point along the way.  Just select a stop from the list and click "take me here" for directions.

We’d like to offer a special thanks to the Onondaga Historical Association for their tour stop research and investigation. For more information about the history of Downtown Syracuse be sure to stop by Onondaga Historical Association at 321 Montgomery Street.