What is the castle-like structure on Triphammer Falls?


There's a lot of waterfalls in the gorges of Ithaca, New York, but Triphammer Falls is unique in that it's right on the campus of Cornell...

There's a lot of waterfalls in the gorges of Ithaca, New York, but Triphammer Falls is unique in that it's right on the campus of Cornell University in the middle of the city...and it's got a freaking castle attached!

Triphammer Falls got their name from the Triphammer Forge which operated in the area in the 1820's. It's made up of two drops. At the bottom of the first drop is a power station on Beebe Dam, and at the bottom of the second drop is what appears to be a 12th century Florentine castle. The stone used matches the stone of the gorge, making the building look like some sort of weird, ancient fort, but it's actually a Hydraulic Lab built in 1898 so the College of Civil Engineering could study water purification and observe the flow of water from the adjacent falls. Unfortunately, a flood in the 1960's forced the lab to close, and it's been sitting abandoned ever since. 

The best views of the waterfall is from Triphammer Foot Bridge or East Ave. bridge, or you can get a little closer to it from the trail that starts behind Risley Hall (further evidence of how urban this goregous waterfall is). The lab is quickly collapsing, and you can even see water rushing from various windows and cracks in its facade.

Looking for other wonderful waterfalls? Check out Teddy Roosevelt's 8th Wonder of the World, McArthur-Burney Falls, walk on the misty footpath between the two tiers of Multnomah Falls, or head inside a mountain to check out Ruby Falls!

Header via Flickr

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This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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