Built in 1866, Ezra Cornell and other investors built Cascadilla Hall on the edge of Cascadilla Gorge as a water cure sanitarium and school for women doctors. The idea was promoted by Dr. Samantha Nivison of Dryden, a graduate of the Female Medical College of Philadelphia (1855). Stone was quarried from Giant's staircase Falls below Central Avenue Bridge. Medina stone was used for the quoins, stringcourses, and window trim. The Second Empire style employed is evident in the corner pavilions and Mansard roof with dormers. Albany architects Nichols & Brown were to adopt this style for Morrill Hall. The water cure business failed and this building was impressed for university purposes. In the early years it housed students, faculty, administrative offices, and dining facilities. The two-story oriel window above the south entrance is a later improvement. A major renovation in 1981 removed the chimneys and added a floor to the Mansard roof.