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Delaware Avenue Historic District - Buffalo, NY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 42° 54.285 W 078° 52.346
17T E 673685 N 4752433
Quick Description: The Delaware Avenue Historic District consists of 14 structures along a two block stretch of road, often referred to as Millionaire's Row, north of downtown Buffalo, NY.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 5/17/2007 8:04:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM1J9F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 177

Long Description:
The residences in Buffalo's Delaware Avenue Historic District are the architectural fruits of a fiercely competitive free enterprise era of American history. In the years between the Spanish-American War and World War I, Buffalo hosted the Pan-American Exposition of 1901, and for a short time the city's commercial and industrial prospects looked unlimited.

The two block long district is only a small surviving segment of the spectacular Delaware Avenue referred to for years with both awe and reference by Buffalo's chroniclers. It was one of the principal links leading from the heart of the city to the Pan-Am Expo in Delaware Park. Records show that during these years the city enjoyed full employment and unusually high sales profits which led to increasingly large bank accounts.

This prosperity led to a wave of new construction along Delaware Avenue and are described as follows:
672 and 690 Delaware: a pair of houses designed in 1894 and 1896 by McKim, Meade and White for George and Charles Williams. 672 was owned by George L. Williams, a successful banker. President McKinley was supposed to have attended a dinner at this house on the night he was shot at the Pan-Am Expo. Williams left the house six years later and sold it to Edward H. Butler, publisher of the Buffalo Evening News. The Delaware North Company acquired the house, twice, and it is now under the control of the University at Buffalo as the Jacobs Development Center.
690 Delaware is a red brick building that is also three stories. It was owned by Charles H. Williams, also a banker. He and his wife both died in 1909, and their daughter and son-in-law, Frederick Pratt, moved in. The Depression caused the Pratts to lose their fortunes, and the City took over the house for back taxes. After being vacant for three years, the City Council dedicated the mansion to the Veterans of the GAR and to the Spanish War Vets. In 1978, Buffalo businessman Paul Snyder bought the house to house his Niagara Trading Corp. It is now owned by the LiRo Group.

Westminster Presbyterian Church is a large stone structure built in 1858 with a steeple centered on the front facade. The original flagstone sidewalk is still intact in front of the church.

726 Delaware: This house was probably built in the 1850s at the same time as the church. It was originally owned by the church and was bought again by the church in 1956 to serve as the "Hospitality House."

The building at 742 Delaware belongs to the United Way and is a two story brick building constructed behind a wrought iron fence.

The massive stone gothic house at 786 Delaware was built in 1913 and designed by E.B. Green for Stephen M. Clement, who was president of Marine Bank. Clement died just before construction was completed, but was lived in by his wife Carolyn Jewett Tripp Clement and their six children. She contributed a total of $80,000 to UB and served on the University Council. Clement Hall on campus is named after her. The house is now the Red Cross building.

806 Delaware is a large Renaissance Revival house built for Seymour H. Knox by Charles Pierrepont H. Gilbert. Construction started in 1915 and was completed three years later at a cost of $600,000. Knox was partners with his brother in law F.W. Woolworth in the 5 and 10 cent business. He also died before construction was complete, so his wife, Grace Millard Knox, and their three kids lived in the house. The two story stone building was purchased in 1969 by the Montefiore Club of Buffalo, a private mens club. They couldn't keep up with the expenses, so the bank took over on foreclosure. In 1978, Computer Task Group purchased the house for $13 million to use as their headquarters.

824 Delaware is a two story brick house with two story front porch supported by full length columns. The building was constructed at the turn of the century for George V. Foreman, president of Eastern Oil Company and founder of the Fidelity Trust Company. It was later owned by Oliver Cabana, is now the Children's Aid Society Building.

830 Delaware was built in 1901 and was formerly the George Brewster Matthews House. Matthews worked in the flour industry and worked for the Elmira Flour Mill. He was one of the first to see Buffalo's potential as a flour mill center and moved here. He and his wife lived in this house until their deaths. In 1942, the house was sold to the Children's Aid Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and they are still the current tenant.

844 Delaware was formerly the Thomas R. Lockwood House and was built in 1888. Lockwood purchased and remodeled it in 1918. After Lockwood died, his wife remained in the house until 1950 when she sold it to the Buffalo Catholic Diocese. In 1969, the house was converted as preparatory Seminary for Boys and in 2002 it was sold to the present owners Child and Family Services.

864 Delaware was designed in 1898 by Esenwein and Johnson for Harlow C. Curtiss. He was a lawyer in Buffalo for over 40 years. Several people have owned the house after Curtiss moved in 1905, most notably the Buffalo Association for the Blind. It is currently used by the International Institute of Buffalo.

Lastly, 888 Delaware is a two and a half story brick building with stone trim. It was designed and built in 1903 by E.B. Green for Charles W. Goodyear, a Buffalo attorney, politician, and businessman. It is now the Oracle Charter School.

The listed coordinates are for the intersection of Delaware Ave & Summer St, about the halfway mark of the two block stretch of the district.
Street address:
W side of Delaware Ave between North and Bryant Sts
Buffalo, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Erie

Year listed: 1974

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event

Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924

Historic function: Domestic: Single Dwelling

Current function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Religion: Business, Religious Structure, Single Dwelling

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Privately owned?: Not Listed

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 1: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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