Dorchester Road Revisited

Dorchester Road Revisited

Back in September of this year, I wrote a post about Dorchester Road. In response, I received so many emails from past and current residents of the street regaling me with their sweet memories of growing up here. I decided to take another look at Dorchester Road, and share some of those stories with you today.

Let’s Start with the Original Post

Suzanne, the grandaughter of Leo Stall, a longtime Buffalo pharmacist, sent me this 1929 photo below, which I added to the original post. It’s of Leo and his family. I’m sharing it again because I just think it’s so telling of who the family was. Welcoming, always. That seems to have been, and continues to be the prevailing attitude on the street.

Here is a photo of the Stall family home. For more about them, see the original post.

One of the E.B. Greens

I also heard from Bill Blake, who sent me this photo of the William H. Scott house taken in 1915, when Frederick W. Allan lived in the home. I added this to the original post as well. I love this shot of the home for some reason. Maybe it’s because there is less foliage and no fence. It appears more open and welcoming, perhaps because we can see the home better. Either way, it’s a gorgeous home, and happens to be one of the six E.B. Green homes on the street.

Hubbell, Mark H., “Home of Frederick W. Allan, 20 Dorchester Road.,” Digital Collections – University at Buffalo Libraries, accessed September 7, 2021, https://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/items/show/80308

Here is the home today. Still stunning.

Next

I also mentioned in the original post that I’d love to live on Dorchester. I would. So a real estate agent contacted me and told me she had a home to show me. I told her I wasn’t really going to move, but that I’d love to see the home anyway. She was super nice about it, and I went over the next day to see 65 Dorchester. Here are a few photos from the day. The home recently sold to a very lucky buyer, in my opinion.

An Invitation

Very recently, I received an email from a current resident of Dorchester. What a nice woman! This is a quote from a portion of her email:

“…in one of your books about Dorchester Rd, you mentioned a desire to live on our street.  I’m writing to tell you that there will be 3-4 homes for sale on the street.  1 currently & others coming on the market soon.  I so enjoy your books! I hope to see you as our neighbor!”

You see why I love receiving your emails? What a fantastic street! So welcoming! For all of you Dorchester residents, although I would love to be your neighbor, my husband doesn’t want to leave our current home, and I really like him – soooooo… It’s not in the cards for us to move to Dorchester. For now. Wink, wink.

Who wouldn’t want to live here?

The Losi Family

Enter the Losi family. Michael was the first family member to comment on the post, in early September. He mentioned that I had brought back bittersweet memories for him. He said he could picture his Mother sitting on the porch at 142 Dorchester, and it made him miss her. That told me, not only that he had lost his Mom, but that he had some beautiful memories on Dorchester that included her. Sweet.

Once again, the Losi Family home.

Fast forward a couple of months, and I received another email from Joseph Losi, Michael’s brother. Guess what? Joseph has just bought back the family home at 142 Dorchester, and from what I can tell, the entire family is very excited about it! And why not?

A Bit of History at 142

The Phipps Family

The home at 142 Dorchester was built in 1908, and as early as 1914 Charles R. Phipps lived in the home with his wife, the former Anna Beals and their daughter, Carolyn. Charles came to Buffalo in 1901, like so many people did, and was a superintendent of rolling mills at Lackawanna (later Bethlehem) Steel Company. He retired in 1941. Charles was a photography enthusiast and was a founding member of the Buffalo Camera Club. He was also a member of the Buffalo Masonic Consistory, which was located in the former George Rand mansion and is now part of Canisius High School.

Charles’ wife, Anna, was active in social circles in Buffalo. She was a member of the Twentieth Century Club, which, by the way, was the first women’s club founded by women and run by women, in the country. She entertained frequently in their home at 142, usually hosting lunches, teas and bridge games. Now, this being Dorchester Road, these social events probably were not attended by Buffalo’s most elite but they were listed in the social columns of the newspapers of the day. This means that Charles did very well and was respected, but that Anna was also very well liked. She was also an amateur poet, and a member of the League of American Pen Women. Sweet.

Charles and Anna’s daughter, Carolyn, married Dr. Carl F. Howe, a dentist. The two lived in Ithaca, NY and summered in a cottage in Sheldrake, NY. Dr. Howe passed away at only 42 years old, and there is some evidence that Carolyn came back to 142 to live for at least a short time.

Anna passed away in 1934. Charles followed in 1947 after a lengthy illness.

The Vara Family

Sometime after the death of Charles Phipps, Anthony Vara purchased the home. Anthony was an Inspector for the Sterling Engine Company. Having been wounded twice in France during World War II, Vara was an organizer and a four term commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars John Maxwell Post 452. He was very active in the Republican Party here in Western New York, and was named Mr. Republican in 1979. The photo below appeared in the Buffalo Courier Express on July 18, 1979. Vara is second from the right. Also pictured are Sheriff Kenneth Braun and Erie County Executive Ed Rutkowski.

Vara was married to Jennie (Panzica) and had four sons, Alfred, Anthony Jr., Robert and Richard. The family stayed at 142 Dorchester until 1957, when they moved to Hamburg, NY.

Back to the Losi Family

Joseph and Josephine Losi purchased 142 Dorchester in 1958. They stayed twenty years and raised their large Sicilian family here. By large, I mean they had six children, Joanne, Barbara, Anthony (Tony), Patricia, Joseph and Michael. I was able to spend some time speaking with Patricia, Michael and Joseph recently, and they shared some of their experiences growing up on Dorchester. So many of the stories they told me could have been stories of my own childhood, and while I listened, it struck me that so many of you reading this today will probably be able to relate them to your childhood as well.

The Losi Family, circa 1957-ish.

Let’s take a look.

All three shared their enormous love for their mother, Josephine. Like so many moms, she was the glue that kept the family together and she also kept the home together, working tirelessly to do so. One of the siblings, not mentioning any names, went so far as to call her a goddess.

Pat told me how she remembers her mother bringing the laundry up from the basement and going out to the backyard to hang it. Now there’s a memory our children probably won’t have of us!

Both Patricia and Michael spoke about Josephine’s lilacs and peonies in the yard, and how she loved them. Both must have been popular then, because my Mother too, kept both of these in our yard growing up, and to this day the smell of lilacs reminds me of Mom.

All three spoke of big, extended family dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Probably other holidays as well. All three spoke of the extra leaves being put into their large dining room table for these meals. Precious memories.

Barbara’s graduation gathering. Clockwise from left: Josephine (LaFornara) Losi, Gramma Jenny LaFornara, one of the six Joanne Losi Falzone, Julian Sapienza (the family called him Uncle Julie), and Angelina (LaFornara) Brozza.

The table is still in the family, and there is talk of it being returned to 142 someday. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Same day as previous photo. The four women, from left to right are: Angelina (LaFornara) Brozza, one of the six Barbara Losi Gangi, Rosie (Losi) Sapienza, and Josephine (LaFornara) Losi. Circa 1963.

Specific Memories

All three siblings mentioned that on the third floor of the home there was an apartment, probably originally the maid’s quarters. There was, however, no separate entrance to these rooms. That did not stop the family from filling them throughout their years there. An aunt lived there, as did different cousins throughout the years. Some of Tony’s friends lived there as well. And so did Joanne as a new bride. Apparently, her husband was drafted and had to leave soon (this was during Viet Nam), so the couple got married and moved in to the third floor apartment at 142. I would imagine this type of thing was pretty common in homes such as this. Especially during war time.

These are a few photos of the apartment on the third floor from the recent real estate listing. Impressive. And perfect for extended family members and friends.

Typical antics of the 60s and 70s

Joseph spoke about talking on the rotary phone back in the day, with the cord pulled around the corner to the basement stairs for privacy. Did any kids not do that in the days before cell phones? Because I know my whole family did. He also remembers riding bikes through the neighborhood, over to Claytons Toy Store on Elmwood, to the Art Gallery, and Delaware Park. Love it.

Michael and Patricia both talked about playing ‘cowboys and indians’ (it wasn’t wrong back then) using the back staircase as their home base. Mike told of Pat’s uncanny ability to make the sound of horses galloping…when Pat mentioned that she had this way of making the sound, she very lovingly said that Michael just loved it, and that’s why she always did it. Hearing the three talk about each other, I’m really feeling the love. This is a close family.

Left to right, cousin Tony LaFornara, Joseph & Michael in the yard at 142 on Joseph’s first communion day.

Pat fondly remembers one of her older sisters leaving the back staircase during one of these games and saying to her “Cover me!”, Pat, not knowing any better, threw a blanket over her head, thinking that’s what she meant. Haha! Cute!

She also got me laughing pretty hard while telling me the story of a bat being loose in the house. Their grandmother told them to cover their heads with paper bags, so the bat wouldn’t get caught in their hair. The boys caught the bat, apparently killed it and took it outside and burned it, while doing a ceremonial dance around the garbage can where it burned. Haha! I’m still laughing out loud at this one.

Joseph mentioned that while washing his father’s car one day, it somehow slipped into reverse and rolled into the DiGulio’s fence next door. I cannot imagine what ‘somehow’ meant in this case, but I’m pretty sure somebody was grounded in the Losi home that day. And probably for several days afterward.

Left to right, cousin Tony LaFornara, Joseph & Patricia in the living room at 142, on Pat’s first communion day.

Michael told me that their brother Tony, who sadly passed in 2007, used to play basketball in the back yard with Tony Masiello and Rocco Dino, who were high school friends of his. Michael would sneak into the back yard, climb up a telephone pole to get on the garage roof, hide behind the backboard and jump up at the last second and swat the older boys’ shots away from the basket.

You can’t make this stuff up…it’s the type of things kids really did before computer games. And if you are of a certain age, you know it’s true.

Pat spoke of stealing away to the back porch to sit and read a book, just for the opportunity to be alone. Sounds like something I’d do. She said she was quieter than her brothers, and didn’t spend as much time rough housing in the neighborhood. I can see that.

Joseph told me his father would whistle out the front door in order to call the kids in for lunch, dinner, if the street lights were about to come on, or whenever. My mother did the same thing.

The Neighborhood

Both Michael and Joseph spoke a lot about the neighborhood and local families. Here are some of the surnames mentioned: Bartolone, Sciolino (Susie), DiPasquale (Charlie), Carnivale, Lorenzo (this family lived in the E.B. Green home at 137, across the street), Taravella (I believe Joseph mentioned one of the Taravellas is his real estate agent), DiGuilio, Abate, Rooney, Leak, Fama (Nancy, Joseph’s first crush) and Vigilante. Almost all Italian (Sicilian) names. Joseph mentions that they didn’t really think of it back then, but, yes, it was a predominantly Italian neighborhood.

Neighborhood kids returning from a party at Melody Fair. Family names represented are Leak, Sciolino, DiPasquale, Augello (sp?), Fama (Nancy, blonde, and the famous crush). The taller boy on the left is Eddie Leak, who grew up to own Papa Jakes on Elmwood Ave.

Both boys also noted that the neighborhood was filled with doctors, attorneys, the owner of a dry cleaning business, restaurateurs, the owner of Melody Fair etc. Joseph mentioned that his father was an engineer by trade, and that he worked for Hewitt Robbins, and was laid off in 1967. A story all too familiar in Buffalo during the 50s and 60s.

The neighborhood boys would go over to Bidwell Parkway to play football. Michael has a memory of Dorchester playing against Potomac in a championship game over on Bidwell one year. I mean, we’re talking pick up games here, not an organized league with uniforms or anything. This is a memory that was pretty clear for Michael. Must have been a big deal.

Photos of the Home

Joseph has not yet taken possession of the home, but here are some of the photos from the listing.

My Impressions

I’d like to mention something that is pretty typical here in Buffalo, I met another Losi family member, Arlena, quite by accident. A few weeks ago, I was at the Buffalo History Museum selling my books at a Holiday Makers Market. A woman pointed to the Dorchester book, and began to tell me the story of how her cousin just bought back the family home on that street. I asked her if his name was Joseph, and she said yes. I then told her that I had a zoom meeting scheduled with him the following week! She told me the whole family was excited for them. Awesome.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that some of the families’ memories were bittersweet. Josephine, their beloved mother, passed away suddenly, not long after the family moved to Kenmore in 1977. Michael, the youngest of the six, was not yet 20 at the time, so all of the children lost their mother at a young age.

Joseph (the father) and brother Tony are both gone as well.

After a day at Crystal Beach are from left: Josephine (LaFornara) Losi (mother), Rosie (Losi) Sapienza, Angie (LaFornara) Brozza, Angie (Losi) DiGaetano, Joseph Losi (father).

Joseph (the son) spoke about how things changed after their father lost his job in 1967. He feels the pressures of raising six kids affected his father in a big way. Today on the phone, Joseph quoted Michael saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Even though Dad had his issues, he did give us 142 Dorchester.” A fine gift it is. And wise words, Michael.

In addition, there were tragedies on the street as well. One neighborhood boy, Stevie, was hit by a car and died. One of the children in the Rooney family was killed in the World Trade Center bombing. Another neighborhood child was killed (as an adult) in a mob hit. Wow.

So, as magical as the good memories are for the Losi siblings, there are bittersweet memories as well. We’ve all got something we’re dealing with. The loss of a family member, the loss of a job, a lost love. Whatever it is, it’s important that we keep in mind that everyone’s got something.

For the Losis, they are both lucky and blessed that they have been able to reclaim their childhood home. That one of them was in the position to buy it when it went on the market. That everything fell into place. I think it’s great! And even though Joseph lives on the west coast now, and the family is not yet sure when one or more family members will be able to move into 142, I am happy for each and every one of them. They seem so excited. Like a child’s laughter, the Losi family’s excitement is contagious.

This holiday season, take some time to be nostalgic. Remember the good times with loved ones through the years. Share some memories and perhaps some old photos from days gone by with family members and friends.

I wish each and every one of you peace this holiday season and in the coming year.

*Note: The Losi family will be renting the home at 142 Dorchester, available February 1, 2021. If you’re interested, contact Louis Taravella, MJ Peterson Real Estate, Lou@Olear.com, 716-867-0138.

Eddie Brady’s on Genesee Street

Eddie Brady’s on Genesee Street

Disclaimer: We’ve received no compensation for writing this post. We simply want to highlight locally owned small businesses for their hard work supporting our neighborhoods.

Some of you may have been expecting to see a story about an Italian restaurant today. Well, like Mick says, you can’t always get what you want. Things didn’t quite work out the way we expected this week, but we did get exactly what we needed at Eddie Brady’s.

Patrick drawing a tall one.

Tim and I used to go to Eddie Brady’s after seeing bands down at Lafayette Square on Thursday nights. Anybody remember the real Thursday in the Square? Well, afterwards Eddie Brady’s would be absolutely packed, with the crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk. Ah, good times.

Tim’s meatloaf special. He’s still talking about it.

Nowadays we go there to eat because about six or seven years ago they added a full kitchen. And the food is good. Real good. But, like I promised when I started writing about these locally owned eateries, this is not just about the food. This is also about the history of the place and the people behind the food.

The History of the Building

The history of this place is cool. The property was purchased in 1857 by Nicholas Losson as a harness and saddle shop. He tore town the existing wood frame building, and built the three story structure we know today. It is believed it was built around 1863. Civil War era. Love it. Not the Civil War, that the building is that old.

The Losson family owned the building until 1897, when they sold it to Emil Brombacher. He opened the first tavern on the site. John Lang was the next owner, from 1902 until Prohibition, when the tavern was closed. In the 20s the building was transformed into a candy manufacturing company called Honey Dew Candy Company. Nice.

Buffalo Courier – my first employer (Express).

In the 1950s another reno took place, transforming the building into the Kitty-Cat Lounge, owned by Henry and Eda Korman. This raises the question, was Chippewa, only a block away, a red light district in the 50s? I’m not sure. I mean, maybe the Kitty-Cat was just a men’s kind of bar with good looking wait staff (am I allowed to say waitresses?). I picture an old black and white movie where men meet after work at the Kitty-Cat Lounge for a couple of martinis or manhattans. Once in a while one of them gets a little blotto and makes a pass, and the waitress stalks off in a huff (and rightly so).

Let’s just hope it wasn’t that other kind of lounge. Interesting, this little tidbit. Had never heard this part of the story. The Kitty-Cat was closed in 1968.

Here’s where it gets a little blurry. No more information until 1985 when the building housed another tavern, Bremer’s Pub, which didn’t last long. Then it was a restaurant, Gandy’s.

Eddie Brady

Finally, we come to Eddie Brady, who bought the place in 1990. And the rest is history. Well, almost.

We gotta give Eddie props for opening this place when he did. I mean, Chippewa was still pretty active, if you know what I mean. Mark Goldman bought the Calumet Building in 1988 and the turnaround had begun, but it took years to get where we are today. Thank you Eddie, for being there from the beginning of the comeback.

Patrick Brady

Now, to Patrick. In or around 2015, Eddie’s brother, Patrick, came into the business and has since taken over Eddie Brady’s. He expanded the food from just a few sandwiches to a full menu, along with chef Dan Quinn, and has been cranking out fantastic pub food ever since. Patrick also serves up a side of sarcasm and wit along with everything else. As an Irish pub owner should.

Patrick Brady

Patrick, left and Eddie, right. Photo from Eddie Brady’s facebook page, used courtesy of Patrick Brady.

My Impressions

Eddie Brady’s is an old time saloon, with dark wood accents and furniture. Lots of exposed brick, a vintage looking bar back and beer coolers all add to the charm of the tavern. There is a definitely a ‘feel’ to the place. Comfortable and friendly.

While on a pub run on which Eddie Brady’s was a stop, Tim and I noticed the Courier Express and Iroquois Beer paraphernalia on the walls. One of the ‘regulars’ at the bar filled us in. Eddie had a Courier route as a kid, and one of his customers was the wife of the owner of Iroquois Brewing. He could always count on a good tip around the holidays at their home. Thus Eddie’s love of the old memorabilia. Patrick confirmed the story.

As a former Buffalo Courier Express carrier, I can attest to the lasting memories of certain generous customers. Love this story.

And I have to say that this trip was the first one for us since Covid, and for the first few minutes, I was the only woman in the place. I thought “Where are all my single friends? This place is full of decent looking men.”

I’ll let you in on an an inside joke Tim & I have shared for years now. When a friend of ours was told her husband was good looking, her response was, “He’s decent.” We thought that was hilarious, and have been using it ever since to describe each other, and other people we think are good looking. So, no offense guys who were at the bar that night. And girlfriends, you know where to go…haha. Everybody else should go too. You’ll all be glad you did. The atmosphere is fanstastic and the food is even better. Be sure to tell Patrick we sent you!

Visit Eddie Brady’s Tavern, 97 Genesee Street, Buffalo

**Use the ‘contact’ button at the top of this page to email me your suggestions on your favorite Mom & Pops, or locally owned places in and around Buffalo!

My reuben sandwich. Melted in my mouth.
Current menu.

City Living – Elmwood Ave

City Living – Elmwood Ave

Elmwood Ave. Where should I begin? I guess at the beginning. But certainly not at the very beginning of Buffalo. Elmwood Ave did not exist then. It wasn’t part of Joseph Ellicott’s design of our city streets. Nor was it planned the way other, larger streets were. Think Main Street or Delaware Ave. Those streets were carefully planned out. Elmwood Ave? Not so much.

Looking north on S. Elmwood Ave (from Johnson Park)

Originally, it ran from North Street to just beyond Amherst Street. And at the time, it was more like a series of smaller streets connected up together. There was talk for years about making it one coherent street but it didn’t happen until the city was readying itself for the Pan Am Exposition in 1901. Even then, it didn’t extend into the downtown core (Niagara Square) or north to the growing suburb of Kenmore. It only ran from Allen Street to just beyond Amherst. It was, however, at this time named Elmwood Ave.

The view south on S. Elmwood Ave, looking toward city hall (from Johnson Park)

It would not be fully extended into downtown until 1912.

Let’s Take a Look

I’ve decided to cover the section of Elmwood Ave between Bryant and Summer Streets. I realize this stretch is not what you probably thought you were going to see today. But I have my reasons for making this my first post about Elmwood Ave. Okay, so I only have one reason.

One of my most faithful readers, Jo Anne, lived along this stretch back in the 1970s, and I’m writing this for her. We’ve become email friends over the past year or so (remember pen pals?). Jo Anne now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but visits on occasion (like a lot of readers of the blog), and enjoys these ‘hikes’ around the area.

This one’s for you Jo Anne. Surprise!

Let’s Go

I’m going to begin at Summer Street on the east side of Elmwood. This is the first home I see. What a start to this hike! This Colonial Revival was built around 1888, and is made of Onondaga Limestone. Love the look of this house. Note the pedimented dormers, look at the curve of the center one, I believe that’s called a swan’s neck pediment. Sexy. Just look at the wide wooden trim, accented by the wreaths and ribbons. It’s just lovely. The front door and sidelights appear to be floating above the portico. It’s how they’re set into the limestone. Love it.

In the 1890s, William C. Warren lived in this home with his wife Clara (Davock). Warren was born and raised in Buffalo, attended Yale University and was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Commercial, a newspaper well known in the area for its progressiveness tempered with sound conservatism. William Warren was very well respected in both Republican and progressive circles, but he never ran for public office. Interesting. If only we could find someone with that kind of balance today – and if we could get him/her to run for public office. That would be great! Just sayin.

This Home, in 1915

In 1915, Judge Charles B. Wheeler was living in the home, and this is what it looked like then, below. It appears there used to be a widow’s walk at the roof, a balustrade on the roof of the portico, and the wreaths and ribbon on the trim are painted a darker color, probably black. Wish the old girl still had some or all of this. I can’t say for sure, but it looks like the front door is recessed just a bit, and I think the modern door is flush with the building. Which may account for the ‘floating’ look. I like it both ways.

Photo credit: Beautiful Homes of Buffalo, 1915 edition

The building is now home to a wealth management company. Interesting history here though.

Next

I always wonder how critical I should be when looking at homes. I realize sometimes owners are up against it to keep up these old treasures. The work is so expensive, and can be difficult to keep up with, so I hesitate to be negative. This one, below, has seen better days, but is obviously a diamond in the rough. Would love to see it brought back, even just a bit.

The roof appears sound to my eye. Some paint and then maybe some work on the windows would go a long way here. Look at that bullseye window at the peak. Could be beautiful, but it also looks like not just anyone could fix that. Same with some of the shingles. It’d have to be a skilled craftsman. And those don’t come cheap, with good reason.

This one could come back better than ever. And so I’m going to call it ‘one to watch’.

Take a Look at This One

Next, is this absolute beauty.

The colors are perfect and are perfectly executed. The ionic columns on the porch match the ones on the second and third floor windows, and are amazing, as is the broken pedimented dormer with its half moon window, which on closer inspection has spider webbed leaded glass. Cool!

These Next Few

The word that keeps coming to mind is amazing. Simply amazing.

This first one has been maintained so well. Love the ribbon windows in the peak with the shell trim above – so pretty!

Would love to sip cocktails on that upper patio!

I love everything about this next one, below. The use of Roman brick is spectacular. And the Medina sandstone foundation is very practical, but its use as keystones is fabulous! It ties it all together. Also note the original wrought iron at the front of the home. I see the shape of that railing foundation all over Buffalo, but there are usually no longer railings attached. Most people add newer railings to the actual stairs. Love that these are original!

This home was once a lighting store called Schneider’s Lighting Studio, and was advertised as Buffalo’s largest display of lamps and shades. Neat! Later, in the 1940s, it was broken into several small apartments. It now serves as law offices.

And More

This one needs some attention. But it has great bones!

The home below was built for Elbert B. Mann, who was the manager of Flint & Kent, a large dry goods store, located on Main Street.

Below is the home as it appeared in 1915. The original windows really add something, don’t they? Love the splayed lintels above the windows! Also, note the chimneys have been removed (above), as has the balustrade on the portico. Would love to see the windows on the dormers returned to something close to the original windows.

Hubbell, Mark H., “Home of Elbert B. Mann, 339 Elmwood Avenue.,” Digital Collections – University at Buffalo Libraries, accessed September 29, 2021, https://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/items/show/80299.

These Next Two

The next two homes are law offices. And the first one is an E.B. Green design! For that reason, I’m going to show it to you as he designed it in 1899, first. And is it ever lovely! It’s everything I would expect from E.B. Green and more! Love this home!

It was built for Philip G. Schaefer, a Buffalo brewer. And as we’ve learned in the past here on the blog, in general, brewers do okay for themselves here in Buffalo! Wink, wink…

It’s Friday, I’m in love! Photo Credit: The Buffalo History Museum

And here it is today – every bit as beautiful! Love the dormers and balustrade at the top of the home. Note the sidelights to the windows on the first floor – nice touch EB!

The transition between the two.

And the second home included in the same address. Love the color continuity between the two.

These

One of several apartment buildings on this stretch.

This home, below, once belonged to Dr. A. L. Benedict and his wife. In 1943, he spoke to the Buffalo Courier Express about his family coming to Buffalo via the Erie Canal from Schenectady over 100 years before. His grandfather, the Rev. Stephen van Rensalaer arrived with his wife and nine children on a packet boat, to make their home on Carroll Street, which ran between Washington and Ellicott Streets. Benedict told of stories he had heard throughout the years about the family walking to The Terrace and Main Street to get water (it was the closest pump).

Van Rensalaer came to work as pastor of the First Universalist Church, then at Washington and Swan Streets. Cool story. It seems like Dr. Benedict did alright for himself with this home on Elmwood Ave. It’s a beautiful Tudor. Love the entryway and the porch! Very inviting!

This next one, below, is interesting too. A woman named Alice G.R. Owen lived here when she passed away in 1951, at the age of 80. She was born in France in 1871 to English parents. At 16, she moved to Toronto, and shortly after that Alice came to Buffalo to stay. She studied at Buffalo General Hospital, and completed her studies in 1896. She then worked as a surgical nurse for Dr. Roswell Park! Cool!

During World War I she worked as an Army nurse at Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. After the war, Alice went back to school to become a medical technologist. She came out of retirement to work as a nurse and laboratory technician in the field during World War II. I think I would have liked Alice. And she lived for much of that time in this apartment building (above), on Elmwood Ave. Cool.

Now These

Anybody would love to live here!

A new driveway for this stunner!

Opposing political views under the same roof! Yikes!

Note the Palladian window at the side above the entryway. And I love the balustrade on the porch!

These next two photos will be Musical Suites (the name is a nod to the Community Music School which used to be housed in the second photo). The project is being undertaken by Schneider Development. Read more about it here.

The new build.

Existing 1910 building.

Benjaman’s Art Gallery – the home itself is a stunner!

Always loved this building at the corner of Bryant!

Crossing the Street

Here is the first home I come to on the west side of the street near Bryant. This is one I’d love to get into and check out. I’d especially love to see the yard – it’s a double lot! This home is beautiful! In my mind’s eye, there should be a covered patio coming off the north side of the house, and plenty of greenery and colorful flowers in the yard. And take a look at the side entryway with porch above! Wow!

Jo Anne’s Former Home

Now we come to it. The home that Jo Anne lived in during the 1970s.

The structure itself appears to be in really great shape. It’s got good bones, as they say. It wouldn’t take too much effort to get the landscaping cleaned up a bit to bring this house back to its original glory. Love it that the upper porch is still usable, so many aren’t anymore.

Like with almost every home, there is interesting history here too. In the 1950’s, this house was home to the Queen City Chess Club. I found an article in the Buffalo Courier Express from 1970 about a 12 year old boy (described as almost 13) who plays chess against 25 people simultaneously! He won 16 of the games, lost 2, and tied in 7. Young Peter Winston did this while holding a bottle of soda in one hand and making his moves with the other. And the other players were mostly adults who were champions themselves! Wow! Anybody thinking of The Queen’s Gambit right now? Many championships were won and lost in this house! These two brothers, below, were featured in an article in the Buffalo Evening News on October 10, 1955.

During the 1960s and 70s (including when Jo Anne lived here) the building was home to at least two bridge clubs. As in the card game. One was the Buffalo Whist Club and one was a chapter of the Frontier Bridge Club. I found many articles in several local papers about bridge, winners and their scores, where the games were held and who beat whom… It was a big thing, and Buffalo is still host to bridge tournaments. Jo Anne remembers the games going on into the night when she lived at 410.

A Pan American Exposition Connection

In addition to all of this, the Honorable William Buchanan who was the Director General of the Pan American Exposition lived in this home during and after the exposition.

William Buchanan
Photo Credit: Unknown

He was charged with the construction, the operation and the dismantling of the exposition. I saw several ads in newspapers offering various expo buildings for sale. Interested parties were to come to this home to sign the necessary paperwork. These were run in local papers all through 1902. I guess I never really thought about who took care of all of that after the expo closed at the end of October. But someone had to, and that someone lived in Jo Anne’s house!

Another Apartment Building

This building had some construction work going on in the courtyard between the two sides, but normally when I walk by, it looks like a lovely place to live.

And These

Love that ribbon and wreath trim on that rounded bay window!

This is a beautiful Victorian era home. Even the attorney’s sign (shingle) hearkens back to an earlier time. Love it!

And one more apartment building.

This house is just so nice to look at. It’s very welcoming – I want to spend time on that porch!

Beautiful!

It’s around here that I met Ron and his dogs. I should say his Mother’s dogs. Sadly, she passed away about five months ago. Ron just moved into this apartment, (home pictured below) a month ago, because his last place didn’t allow pets. He says his apartment is beautiful, and he’s enjoying being back in the Elmwood Village. We’ll have to take your word for it on the inside. We can’t see much of the outside, but the second floor makes me want to see more!

You’re a good son, Ron.

And one last house.

A lovely Tudor duplex for all you ivy lovers out there!

And there’s just one more building I’d like to show you. It’s the Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club. I’ve been past this building a million times and I have to say, I’ve never really noticed it. It’s beautiful. I love how original it is. I mean, those windows and for that matter, the shutters all look original. Love that.

My Impressions

This was a very different hike for me. It’s an area I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in. For me, it’s a pass through spot. You know, the areas that you pass through to get to a specific place. I’ve noticed the big old homes here, but never really looked at them. For this, I have Jo Anne to thank, by letting me know she used to live at 410. After that, my interest was piqued!

Knowing the history of Elmwood Ave really makes me think. It’s one of Buffalo’s busiest, best urban thoroughfares, and yet it wasn’t planned that way. It sort of evolved as the city evolved. And our city is still evolving. The conversation of just exactly how to do that is still a hot topic! And that’s a good thing.

Go See It

For me, when I see these old, grand homes that are now apartments, or offices, I end up daydreaming about the families who once lived in them, as single family homes. They make me want to time travel back to the days when Buffalo was experiencing the so-called ‘gilded age’. These homes make me want to see the stories first hand. But, until someone perfects time travel, I’ll have to be content with the written word, and sometimes a photograph or two.

Like I always say, every home, every building, every neighborhood’s got a story to tell. The buildings are nothing without knowing the stories of the people who built them, lived, loved, laughed and cried in them. That’s what I’m after. Go see your city, Buffalo. Get the stories.

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City Living – Mariner Street

City Living – Mariner Street

The other day, I spent about three hours doing what I love best. Just walking around the city. You’d be surprised at how much ground you can cover in three hours. But this day, I spent almost the whole time concentrated in one area. Allentown – one of my first loves. And I walked slowly. I didn’t want to miss anything. Today I’m writing about Mariner Street, the stretch between North and Allen Streets.  But first, let’s talk briefly about Allentown itself.

Lewis Allen

There’s so much history here in Allentown. I find myself thinking about Lewis Allen. (Josh Allen came later!) A lot of Buffalonians know Allentown is named for Lewis Allen. Some even know that he was Grover Cleveland’s uncle. But you may not know that Allen’s wife was the one who was related to Grover Cleveland. Isn’t it funny that we never hear about Margaret Allen in that context? I think it’s important enough to mention.

It is true though, that when Cleveland was passing through Buffalo on his way to Cleveland, Lewis Allen persuaded him of the merits of staying in Buffalo. Buffalo was, after all, a thriving, growing, important city at the time. Cleveland, of course, stayed, studied law, went into politics, and well, the rest is history.

What you also may not know, is that Lewis Allen came to Buffalo (with Margaret) in 1827, at a time where Buffalo was just beginning to experience the immense growth to come. Opportunity was everywhere.

A couple of years later, he purchased 29 acres of land that is now almost all of Allentown. You see, one of his endeavors was as a cattle rancher. It is said that his cattle trod a path from Main Street over to what is now Days Park. And that path has become our modern day Allen Street, a beacon in the city for shopping, dining and nightlife.

One more thing you also may not know is that Lewis Allen never actually lived in Allentown. He lived over on Niagara Street in a home previously occupied by Peter Porter. The home (estate, really) was between West Ferry and Breckinridge (see below) with a view of the river. Grover Cleveland lived here with his Aunt and Uncle for a short time when he first came to Buffalo.

Photo credit: The Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo, Frank H. Severance, 1912

Let’s Check Out Mariner Street

I was so taken with Mariner Street! The colors of the homes! Not to mention the ages of them. There are quite a few from the mid 1800s. The gardens! And later, when I did a little digging, the people who lived in them! Let’s see this street.

As I rounded the corner from North Street on to Mariner, I notice this Georgian Revival apartment building designed and built by E.B. Green in 1914. It is certainly something to look at. And it’s luxurious inside with features like marble entry halls and intricate plasterwork ceilings, not to mention servant’s quarters!

Love the Medina sandstone walkway and the wrought iron in the entryway!

It’s fitting that when the movie Marshall was filmed in the E.B. Green designed (former) federal courthouse downtown, Thurgood Marshall’s apartment was filmed here, in one of these apartments designed by Green as well. This was, by the way, Green’s only foray into real estate speculation.

There’s another gorgeous apartment building, right next door, on a smaller scale, but no less beautiful! Love, love, love the entryway here! Great brickwork!

Music Lessons Anyone?

This next house is one I think most would love to call home. In 1894, a gentleman by the name of Mr. E. H. Ferguson was teaching guitar, banjo and mandolin out of this home, which he called the Buffalo School of Music. I’d love to see this street in 1894!

When, oh when, will time travel be a thing?

Take a look at these next homes.

Love the decorative trim at the peak!

The paint job at the entryway makes this home pop!

Love this entryway with its curves and wrought iron!

Real, working shutters on original windows! And the trim around the entryway, wow! Love this place!

Dr. Ruby Butler

This next home was the home of Dr. Ruby Butler. She graduated from the American School of Osteopathy in Missouri in 1914. Dr. Butler practiced for a short time in Jefferson, Ohio before opening a practice in this home, below. She stayed here until around 1950 when she moved to Springville to live with her sister, where she practiced on a limited basis until her retirement. Very progressive woman! And a lovely home!

These!

Love the colors here!

It’s tough to see the tops of these houses for the trees! But just look at the entryway on the blue home, below. So charming!

The decorative trim is spectacular!

Love these gardens!

This is the best shot I could get of this charmer! Very private! Wouldn’t you love to sit on the upper patio in the evening with a glass of wine? I know I would!

A Sad Story

This was once the home of Staff Sgt. John W. Haney, below.

The home is lovely, with very original windows at the front of the house. The brick enclosed garden adds a certain charm as well.

Sadly, in 1944, Haney was killed during maneuvers in a medium bomber during an electrical storm over Hartselle, Alabama. He was 33 and left a wife, Alice, both his parents, one sister and four brothers. Haney entered the service in 1942, studied as a mechanic at a bomber school in Baltimore and was stationed in Hunter Field, Georgia. What a sad, sad story. One heard all too often during wartime.

Photo Credit:
Buffalo Evening News, April 11, 1944

Next Door

Right next door to Sgt. Haney’s home, I have three stories to tell you. One was from World War I, and one from World War II. One of the owners of this home, Cornelius A. Wild passed away in 1948 at the age of 75. He worked on the great lakes as a marine engineer until World War I, when he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. After the war Wild worked as chief engineer at Sheas Great Lakes, Lafayette Theater, as well as Majestic Theater. He was also chief engineer on site when our great City Hall was being built. Cool!

Just three years earlier, Wild’s son, Cornelius D. Wild, returned home in 1945 from a German prison camp. He was injured a year earlier and spent time in a military hospital in France, before being taken to the camp. The young Wild graduated from Canisius College and worked at General Motors before enlisting in 1942. The photo below is from the Buffalo Evening News, May 25, 1945

Pvt. Cornelius D. Wild

Okay, so I have one more story about this house. This warrants another photo to clear our minds of war, before moving on to bookmaking.

That’s Right, I Said Bookmaking

Quintessential Allentown colors!

So, in 1970, a woman living in this house, above, was arrested for bookmaking. Gladys Oates was reportedly a tavern keeper, and ran a bookmaking ring out of this home, taking in $3,000 a week. But that was not all, she had others working with her. A total of 14 people were arrested and the total take was $8 million. That’s a lot of bread! Ha! There are times when I cannot believe the audacity of some people!

Oh, Buffalo.

Update: Sept. 22, 2021

I received an email from the nephew of Gladys Oates who sent me the following photos. The first is a calling card that belonged to Jimmie(y) Oates, who was married to Gladys. Jimmie was an entertainer and was known as “the Pennsylvannia Nightengale”. He and Gladys met while performing with the same traveling troup. They married in St. Louis in 1927.

After coming to Buffalo, the couple lived on Mariner Street, which we already discussed. What we didn’t know is that they owned “The Jimmie Oates Grill” which was at the corner of Allen and Mariner Streets (now The Old Pink!). Jimmy passed away in 1970, presumably before the arrests for bookmaking, but clearly, he was involved.

Photo used courtesy of Tim Montgomery

I looked into the phrase ‘Walk Slow’ and my take is that in this particular use, it meant proceed with care. Interesting. Did Jimmie know the ‘heat was on’? Either way, he passed way before the arrests, including that of his wife, Gladys.

Incidentally, I found an article stating that all the charges in the case were dismissed in 1973. Apparently officials used wire tapping to compile their evidence. The defense claimed they used the wire tapping too broadly, listening in on private conversations, not just ‘business transactions’. Seems a pretty flimsy defense, but it worked. Below is a photo of ‘Jimmy’ and Gladys in happier times. Wonder if the photo was taken in the yard on Mariner?

Photo used courtesy of Tim Montgomery

Like I always say, every house holds stories. Most of which we’ll never know. But once in a while, we get a glimpse.

Let’s Move On, Shall We?

Let’s travel back to 1948 (the 40s were very busy on this street!). This is the story of a mother/daughter duo who came over from England to settle in Buffalo. Violet Russell, a partner in the Anglo-American Carbonising Corporation came to live in this home, below, with her daughter, Joan Russell.

Isn’t the house fantastic?!

Joan

Joan was a mechanical engineer. In 1948! She sought to come to Buffalo during a time when you could wait months for tickets for a transatlantic crossing. No worries, she and her mother both signed on to work as crew members on a cargo ship! Joan reportedly blew everyone away in the engine room, and was given the honorary title “Sixth Engineer” by the Captain.

Photo Credit: Buffalo Evening News, Feb. 24, 1948

After settling on Mariner Street, Joan then took her place as a mechanical engineer at Cherry, Cushing and Preble, a consulting engineering firm located on Delaware Avenue. She worked on heating systems. Cool.

Just a note: my husband works as a mechanical design engineer, and there are still not too many women working as engineers. So for 1948, this was amazing!

Both Violet and Joan loved Buffalo. When questioned though, Joan confessed to having an issue with our weather. She stated that our “nice, cold winters are fine, but that our summers are too hot!”*

That’s kind of hilarious!

Two very interesting women, wouldn’t you say?

Moving Right Along

And crossing the street, these.

This yellow magnificence below. There is so much that I like about this one. The window trim. The side entry appears amazing, but I’d have had to go up the driveway to really see it properly! The front doors appear to be original! Is that even possible?! I mean, this house is listed with the county as being built in 1865! If they were added later, boy are they done well! Love this place!

This one’s even older, above, at 1854! Could it be more perfect?

These next three are triplets!

And twins!

I keep wanting to say perfection!

Beautiful! I want to go on the second floor porch at the rear of the house! The windows appear to be original, no small feat with this house!

Wait Till You Hear This!

So we’ve discussed World War I and World War II. Mariner Street also had a gentleman who took part in the Civil War, believe it or not. Actually, judging by the ages of the homes, I shouldn’t be surprised. There were probably several Civil War vets who lived here.

Fast forward to May, 1939. Buffalo was preparing for their annual Memorial Day Parade. The Grand Marshal of the parade was an 89 year old veteran of the Civil War named Edward Hurley.

Buffalo Evening News, May 26, 1939

He lived on Mariner in this house, below. Nice!

Who Was He?

In an interview with the Buffalo Evening News Hurley admitted that he was just 14 years old when he marched with General William Tecumseh Sherman through the south! Fourteen! And he said he was not the youngest. Talk about “boys in blue”! Hurley served for six months, and was on guard duty when Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Walbridge of Buffalo (same family that the Walbridge Building on Court Street is named for) rode in to tell General Sherman of the north’s victory signaling the end of the war.

He went on to say that those six months were both horrifying and exciting. I cannot imagine. At fourteen!

Hurley was apparently well known in Buffalo as a contractor. He worked on the state hospital in Gowanda, the Jamestown Post Office, and our own Erie County Hall (completed in 1876).

Pretty amazing man.

Let’s Keep Moving

Lovely!

Katherine Cornell on Mariner Street

This last home on the block, below, was the Queen Anne style childhood home of Katherine Cornell.

Now the Cornell name is very well known around Buffalo. Katherine’s grandfather was S. Douglas Cornell, of the Cornell Lead Works, located where the Delaware Midway Homes now stand on Delaware Avenue. In 1894, S. Douglas built a beautiful French Renaissance Revival mansion, designed by Edward Kent. Cornell had Kent build a theater on the fourth floor of the home. He had retired from the Lead Works in 1888, and wanted to pursue one of his passions, namely directing and producing plays.

S. Douglas Cornell House, Delaware Ave.
Photo Credit: Art Institute Chicago – Ryerson & Burnham Archives

The mansion became a popular place for Buffalo society and artisans alike to see plays among friends. Katherine Cornell spent a lot of time at this home, watching the whole process from casting, to rehearsals to full on production. It was here that Katherine caught the acting bug.

Katherine Cornell
Photo Credit: Howard Beach

She began acting and had her first break when she played Jo in the London production of Little Women. In 1921, she had her first big hit in the United States in Bill of Divorcement. She went on to become one of the country’s most sought after theatre actors. Cool!

And she grew up on Mariner Street.

My Impressions

It feels so good to get back into Allentown for one of these posts. The homes are old and mostly well kept. The colors are definitely the widest variety in the city. And the overall feeling here is one of serenity and peace. Maybe that comes with the overall Allentown attitude of freedom and acceptance.

That said, I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone who lived on Mariner while I was there. That’s always a disappointment, but there was so much history to be found here! The music teacher from the late 1800s. The veterans – from three wars! A book maker and a famous actress (not to mention that she was a Cornell!). And I ran into my old friend E.B. Green. This was an interesting street indeed!

Art is everywhere in Allentown. Very cool.

And the homes are old! Many of them from the mid 1800s. As I walked along, I was struck by what good shape most of them are in. I could easily live on this street. Specifically, in the bright yellow home, or the blue one next door with all the window boxes. Love them both! Actually, I could name several more that would do nicely. Haha!

Next chance you get, take a walk around Allentown. Pay attention to details and take a moment to notice the feel of the area. It’ll bring your stress levels down. And we could all use a bit less stress now, couldn’t we?

*Special thanks to Tim Montgomery for providing family insight and photos of Jimmie & Gladys Oates.

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City Living – Dorchester Road

City Living – Dorchester Road

Dorchester Road has been one of my favorites from the first time I noticed it. And I’ve been wanting to write about it since I first started blogging, actually. Last weekend, I went on a tour with Preservation Buffalo Niagara that highlighted some of E.B. Green’s work in Buffalo. All I could think during the entire tour was that it was time to write about Dorchester. So here we are.

A peek into Dorchester Road from Bidwell Parkway.

I first became aware of this street about a dozen years ago. I’d seen it before from Bidwell Parkway, but had never had a reason to walk down it. One day I was in no particular hurry, and so I ventured in off Bidwell. Let me tell you what a sweet spot this street is. It’s one of my favorites in the entire city. It’s got everything! For a lack of a better way of saying it, Dorchester has a feeling of exclusivity while at the same time being extremely neighborly. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s true.

I mean, the homes are spectacular and stunning, and yet everyone you meet is willing to chat about whatever comes up. And, it’s right next door to the intersection of Elmwood and Bidwell, which is one of Buffalo’s most walkable neighborhoods. Dorchester is quiet serenity, in walking distance to everything you need.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are six, yes six, E.B. Green homes on this street! If you’re a regular reader, you know about my admiration for E.B.! My history nerd personality knows no bounds, and I don’t care! Ha!

Let’s Talk About EB Green for a Sec

Edward Brodhead Green was born in 1855 in Utica, NY. He studied architecture at Cornell University and was the eighth person to receive a degree from that school in the study of architecture. Before that time, architecture was viewed as more of a trade than a profession, and architects were trained by other working architects in the field.

In 1881, he and William Sydney Wicks made their offices in Buffalo. It was the perfect place for an architect to live at the time. Buffalo was growing like mad, people had money, and they were building. Buffalo kept the pair busy until Wicks retired in 1917.

Green continued on working with his sons, who were both architects, and with other architects, until his death in 1950. In his career, he designed over 370 buildings, and two-thirds of them were in Buffalo! That’s a lot of buildings!

E.B. Green

You know some of his designs. They include the Market ArcadeBuffalo Savings Bank (Goldome), the Fidelity Trust Building (Swan Tower), and the Albright Art Gallery (Albright Knox). He also designed practically every other mansion on Delaware Avenue’s Millionaire’s Row. The Goodyear Mansion, the Foreman Cabana House and the Clement Mansion (American Red Cross). Just to name a few. And there are many, many more. 

Green moved in high social circles in Buffalo. His closest friend became John J. Albright, largely through all the work Green did for Albright on various buildings and homes. There’s a story that was told by Albright’s grandson, that when the Albright mansion on West Ferry burned to the ground, Albright came across E.B. on the grounds during the fire. He greeted Green by saying something like, “Well, Green, have you brought plans for the new house?”

Green was, and still is, Buffalo’s most prolific architect. Partially because he lived to be 95 years old. But partially because of his passion for design, and his willingness to create the designs his clients wanted.

There are six E.B. Green designs on Dorchester.

So Let’s See Dorchester

I’m beginning at the northwest corner of Richmond and I’ll move west. This is the home I was in front of when I took out my camera to start snapping photos. I actually thought it was on Richmond (as the number 734 shows), but the city and the county both have it listed at 75 Dorchester. Who knew? And also, talk about porch envy! This home is fantastic, and a great start to my hike!

Coming around the corner and heading west towards Baynes, these are the homes I saw. This first one is lovely. Interesting how the front entry is enclosed in glass, right on the porch. I wonder if it’s original? The wrought iron railings make me wonder if they are original, or if the wooden balustrade is? It’s all very well done, and the porch is very inviting.

These yellow shutters appear to be original, and are real, working shutters. Nice!

This one, below, is the same color of the house I grew up in, and it gives me a good feeling. I especially like the brackets under the eaves on both the house and the dormers. With the morning sun shining in the sunroom, I picture myself sipping tea and reading in the mornings here. Love it.

This home below is the quintessential city home. The shingling on the peak, the palladian window, and the dentil molding. And the porch, with its brick columns, and this one also has windows on the weather side. Nice! Love the little lending library too!

The mix of styles on this house, below, works really well. Note the tie rod and anchor securing the chimney. There are several on the block, and this one is lovely. When I see shades on either end of porches like this, I know the people who live here actually use the porch. With the shades, they can relax here during more than just sunny, warm weather. Or maybe they’re trying for privacy from their neighbors, who knows? Haha!

And these

Spectacular – each in its own way.

Love this ocular window with its lintel and keystone. Nice touch!

Love the sunburst balustrades here. Seeing more and more of this type of thing, and I am loving it!

Love the sidelights in this entryway. Also, note the original windows in the dormers (someone added outer aluminum, but the inside, I’m pretty sure, are original).

Awnings done right! They are all the same color, but the morning sun has brightened up the upper awnings. The awning off the porch is unusual and must make it a nice, cool spot to sit in the summer heat!

The First E.B. Green Home

As I approached the first E.B. Green home of the day, I immediately notice the tile roof, the brick lintels above the windows and the brick quoins at the corners of the house. Also, the obviously original wrought iron balustrade. Beautiful. This house was built in 1914 for Edmund Thomas.

Then I see two people working on the gardens out front. Lucky me! It’s here that I meet the owner, Megan (pronounced Meegan) and her friend Skip. Skip kept busy with the garden, but Megan was more than willing to chat.

She bought this home just over two years ago, after moving from Soldier’s Place, where she raised her four children.

Megan has done a lot of work to the home in those two short years and she showed me some of it. Let’s go out back.

Note the detail on the columns & pilasters, the dentil molding & corbels. Fabulous!

Megan did extensive work in the sun room overlooking the patio. The windows are original. She added the patio on to the back of the house. Absolutely stunning! The craftsmanship here is beyond comparison. I looked pretty closely (like my father taught me!), and I couldn’t find one thing out of place. Everything is correctly scaled, all angles meet perfectly, it’s trimmed with copper, and it matches the style of the house. It even has a tile roof to match the house. In short, it’s perfect.

Lovely!

Megan is not done yet! She has plans to convert the two car garage into an entertainment space. It’s all original, brick, and has tons of potential! Megan is also looking for someone to work on the stucco on the house… Anyone?

Skip flashes a quick smile before returning to his work in the garden.

And what a garden it is!

I take a last look at this beauty before reluctantly moving on. Thank you Megan!

Then These

These next several are so pretty!

And this, below,…wow! The sun hit it just right as I was walking by. Beautiful!

Love everything about this one, right down to the sweet little gate at the top of the stairs!

These next door neighbors are very similar, but executed somewhat differently. Both are great homes!

And these.

Moving Right Along

As I move east towards Richmond and then Claremont, I notice this peaceful feeling has come over me. This street is an oasis. I hear only the sounds of summer. The crickets and birds singing. Gonna have to watch for one of these gems to go up for sale. Would love to live here.

After crossing Richmond, I came upon this stunner. And it’s where I met Faye, her two children and her Mother. Faye has been here six years and loves it. I’m happy to see a young family living on this street. For some reason, I’m always happy to see families filling these beautiful homes. I think it’s what they were built for. And Faye, love your gardens and yard. Just beautiful.

And these

The gardens!

This is where I met Bonnie. She and her family are just moving in. They’ve moved here from a home they still own over on (I think) Ardmore. She tells me they love the area and wanted to stick close, but they needed more room. Great choice in this home, below, Bonnie. As she pointed out to me, the porch adds something extra to the Colonial look of the home. I agree. Love all the detailing here too.

This house was once home to Mr. & Mrs. Judson Rumsey. Big name in Buffalo. Their daughter, Dallas Eugenia Rumsey, was a graduate of Buffalo Seminary and Radcliffe College. She worked as the curator of the Keats Collection in the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Nice!

Dallas married Richard Finn, a graduate of Nichols School and (you guessed it) Harvard University. He served as an officer in the Navy during World War II, and eventually was named to a post as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer (diplomat) to Japan. That must have been an interesting job in 1947!

Bonnie’s kids, and some others from across the street, have made an obstacle course on the road. I love this! (Although Bonnie didn’t look old enough to have kids who could do anything but scribble!)

A Few Others

This next house, below, used to be the home of Leo W. Stall, a long-time Buffalo pharmacist, who had his shop at the corner of Grant Street at Bird Ave. He was written up in the Buffalo Evening News in May of 1956 for celebrating 55 years as a pharmacist, and 44 years in the same location. He spoke to the News about the changes that had taken place since he became a pharmacist, the biggest of which was antibiotics. But right behind that was the use of many other medicines instead of the traditional herbs and tinctures that were popular when he received his pharmacy degree from the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 1901. Stall stated that the new medicines were “a hundred times more effective”.

The things he must have witnessed in his time as a pharmacist in Buffalo at that time! And he lived in this beautiful home on Dorchester Road.

I received an email from Leo Stall’s granddaughter, Suzanne, who sent me this photo, below, of the Stall family. It is from roughly 1929. It seems the family were very hospitable! Suzanne still has the lamps and and the painting behind the family! Thank you for sharing this with us, Suzanne!

Love these!

Let’s Finish Up with the Other E.B. Green Homes

I was so thrilled to see these homes (I knew they were here, but never really sought them out until recently). Here they are, in no particular order.

This is the Fred Dullard House, built in 1910. I admit, I’d love to see this one, below, with some of the plant life removed. Or trimmed way back. I see what I think are Tudor influences, some quoining, some brackets, but it’s tough to say. I cannot even see the entry. Wish we could see it better. Maybe someday.

C.E. Mickler House

This one, below, is lovely, and also has some Tudor influences. It was built in 1909 for C.E. Mickler.

I love the way the entryway is set back. It’s gorgeous. This home is meticulously maintained, but in my opinion, a little boring. Not what I expected from the great E.B. Green! But we have to remember, that was part of his genius. He did what the customer asked of him. Sometimes he was allowed to run free with his designs, sometimes not so much.

H.S. Griffin House

This next one was built in 1907 for H.S. Griffin and if you are a fan of ivy, then this one’s for you. I, however, am not a big fan. Let me see your house! That’s how I feel. I’ve heard people say that the ivy ruins your foundation, some say it doesn’t. I’ve done a little reading on the subject and the consensus is that it depends on the quality of the home and what kind of condition it’s in. In other words, the definitive answer is maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Haha. Sorry. The jury is still out on that subject.

No one could argue that in this case, it would be easier to see the home without the ivy. I think it’s a lovely house and if you’d like to see more of it, check out this listing.

H.C. Gerber House

The next one, below, is my favorite E.B. Green home on the street. It was built for H.C. Gerber in 1908.

It reminds me a little bit of one of Green’s homes on Summit Ave, but I like this one better. In fact, there’s nothing that I don’t like about this home. I love the colors chosen, and the use of each one. The Roman bricks, and the Flemish bonding used are fantastic. I love that the shutters are real, and that the cut-outs are diamonds, not the usual hearts. The wide dormer is great, and the dark entryway is drawing me in. I’d love to see the inside of this one!

William H. Scott House

This home is spectacular. It was built in 1903, for William Scott. And it’s larger than it appears in the first photo. You see, it’s a sort of flat iron shape, like the Dun Building (oh, also a Green design!). This highly decorative Tudor makes me think of an English garden. The setting is perfect just going into the curve as the street makes its way over to Bidwell. Green had a way of setting buildings just so, on the lots they were to rest, and this is no exception.

I especially love the overhang at the front door, and the decorative detailing above the windows. The windows on the front appear to be original. Love this home!

Below is a photo of the William H. Scott house taken in 1915, when Frederick W. Allan lived in the home. This photo was brought to my attention by reader Bill Blake. Isn’t it fantastic!? Thanks so much Bill!

Hubbell, Mark H., “Home of Frederick W. Allan, 20 Dorchester Road.,” Digital Collections – University at Buffalo Libraries, accessed September 7, 2021, https://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/items/show/80308

My Impressions

When I walk over to Dorchester from Bidwell Parkway, I feel like I’m walking into a park. This street has a feeling. A good one. From one end of the street to the other. The center medians filled with plantings and flowers help. But the median is not huge. And I think that keeps the feel cozy and intimate. The neighbors aren’t so far apart that they don’t see each other regularly. I like that.

Here’s an odd observation I made while walking Dorchester. All of the street numbers were new and modern looking. Okay, not all of them. But I would say a good 60% of them are new. Especially between Richmond and Baynes. Just a weird thing I noticed, but I’ll tell you, it made me think that the people on this street are on top of things. If they care enough to replace their old, worn out house numbers, the insides of these homes must be fantastic. It’s all in the details. Just sayin.

I was so happy to finally write about all of these E.B. Green homes on Dorchester. Without men like E.B. Green, Buffalo would not be dripping with incredible architecture like we are. There are others, but Green was one of the best, and certainly the most prolific.

Take a walk on Dorchester Road soon. You’ll forget your troubles for a short while. Everything will melt away and you’ll get that ‘serenity now’ feeling.

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