1901 William and Eloise Nottingham, both SU alumni and trustees,
built an elegant Tudor-style home near the Syracuse University campus.
Today this sprawling mansion is the Chancellor’s official residence,
where a succession of SU Chancellors and their families have lived
since 1915. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “humble
cottage on the Hill,” as Chancellor Charles Wesley Flint called
it, the University commissioned a watercolor painting of the residence
by Linda Abbey and published a brochure that honors its legacy.
“This house reflects the long-standing relationship between the
University and members of the local community,” says Mary Ann Shaw,
wife and associate of Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw.
Fourteen years after the Nottinghams moved into their magnificent
home, they offered to “trade” it for the more modest Chancellor’s
residence at 604 University Avenue, giving SU a portion of the property’s
value as a gift. As part of the exchange, John D. Archbold, chairman
of the SU Board of Trustees, paid the Nottinghams an unspecified
cash difference, making it possible for the University to obtain
the property to use as the Chancellor’s official residence.
Designed by architect Albert L. Brockway, this stately, two-and-a-half-story,
20-room house sits on two beautifully landscaped acres with a commanding
view of Onondaga Lake in the distance. A hedge and concrete wall
define the boundaries of the tree-lined property, which is bordered
by Walnut Avenue, Harrison Street, and Comstock Avenue. At one time
the grounds included an icehouse, reflecting pool, and carriage
house—which was converted into a three-bedroom apartment and garage.
“Visitors to the residence are continually delighted by the multitiered
gardens,” Mary Ann Shaw says. “They display a profusion of colorful
blossoms in the spring and a rich variety of perennials and annuals
throughout the summer months.”
Each year the Chancellor’s residence is the site of more than 100
meetings and events that promote the University and help further
its mission. Chancellor and Mary Ann Shaw host visiting dignitaries,
meet with campus and community leaders, welcome back alumni, and
recognize students, faculty, and staff for outstanding achievements.
“The house can accommodate a formal trustees’ dinner for 90 as easily
as a small pizza party for students involved in community service,”
Mary Ann Shaw says. “During the 100-year anniversary, we celebrated
the memory and generosity of William Nottingham and Eloise Holden
Nottingham, who gave the University this treasured gift.”