Buffalo in the ’40s: The Zoo’s Marlin Perkins and Eddie the Chimp

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

As Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” was on the air from 1963 to 1985, Buffalonians were always quick to claim the host Marlin Perkins as one of our own.

Buffalo News archives

America’s best-known animal lover in the TV age, Perkins grew and expanded the Buffalo Zoo in the years he was curator and then director in the 1930s and 1940s.

Perkins is pictured in 1944 as he was leaving for a new post in Chicago, accepting a suitcase from Eddie the Chimp.

For as famous as Perkins was around the country, he could barely compete with the sensation he created at the Buffalo Zoo.

Eddie was the Buffalo Zoo’s first chimpanzee when he arrived from Africa in 1940. Eddie was friendly and willing to take direction, and Perkins and staff had soon taught Eddie to dance and to shave his keeper — with a straight razor. It was clear that Eddie loved the limelight, and would seemingly do anything for applause. Keepers dressed him in a Marine uniform and the chimp raised money for the USO during World War II.

But soon after Eddie became an adult — when he was 5 or 6 years old — Eddie stopped wanting to perform. One handler said it was pretty clear that Eddie thought of himself as more human than chimp. He never associated with the other chimps and never mated.

By the early 1950s, Eddie was clearly angry. The banana peels he’d fling at passersby were the least offensive organic matter one might get pelted with.

In the late 1950s, after Eddie spat at and threw dung at a group of passing VIPs, glass was placed between Eddie and zoo visitors and the barrier seemed to suit him just fine.

For more than 30 years, visitors to the zoo didn’t know what they might get from Eddie. Maybe a dance, reminiscent of the way he was in the 1940s … or maybe the show looked more like something from a bawdy boys high school locker room.

That was part of Eddie’s somewhat sad draw though — never knowing what you might see.

At the age of 47, Eddie the Chimp was the oldest resident at the Buffalo Zoo when he was euthanized after suffering a stroke in 1985. Perkins died the next year.

The new Parkside Meadow pumps tasty new life into old memories

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Judging by the smells, tastes, and smiles of its first day, the Parkside Meadow (corner of Parkside and Russell avenues, Buffalo) looks poised to be an institution on par with the warmly remembered predecessor you couldn’t go five minutes without hearing about.

Opening night at the Parkside Meadow, Parkside and Russell Avenues, across the street from the Buffalo Zoo. Over locally brewed beers, people remembered the old Park Meadow, enjoyed the tasteful memorabilia displayed and waited for a chance to taste gourmet takes on a variety of sandwiches. (Steve Cichon/Special to The News)

Echoes of the old Park Meadow, the venerable neighborhood fish fry place-turned college party hangout, were everywhere, as strangers reminisced about their days and nights in the PM — those memories growing as hazy as they were on some of those nights.

The good news is the Parkside Meadow, just like the people who remember the old PM, has grown more sophisticated in its current iteration, cultivating a more subdued yet still fascinating environment for drinks and imaginative and tasty takes on sandwich favorites.

The 1950s Iroquois Beer neon sign on the front window offers a pretty good idea of what you should expect inside. (Steve Cichon/Special to The News)

Aside from the stories that come along with the building, the place has been tastefully decorated in with hundreds of museum quality pieces of Buffalo’s industrial, retail, and beer drinking past. Dozens of matchbooks from Buffalo taverns and gin mills of yesteryear. Stoneware jugs from Buffalo’s oldest brewers and distillers. Boxes and crates once filled with bottles of beer like Simon Pure, Iroquois, and Beck’s, all once brewed by proud Buffalonians.

Among the old Buffalo taverns remembered on the walls of the new Parkside Meadow: The Park Meadow, which was a neighborhood fish fry and college party institution from the 1950s through the 1980s. (Steve Cichon/Special to The News)

From the display cases, to the walls, down to each tabletop, food delivered to your tabletop is almost an interruption of taking in what Buffalo once was. But then you take a bite, and it’s all about the plate in front of you.

Among the blasts from the past: Salt and pepper shakers made from Visniak and other old Buffalo pop bottles. (Steve Cichon/Special to The News)

The menu is simple. It’s a single sheet of heavy stock with a large selection of gourmet-style takes on sandwiches ranging from shaved lamb to fried bologna plus a few salads and larger entrees. The menu offers a chance for some interesting tastes on a corner tavern budget– nine of the menu’s 11 sandwiches are less than $10 and include fries. The full bar offers seven different locally sourced beers on tap, ranging from McKenzie’s Hard Cider and Rusty Chain to the venerable Genesee.

Opening night was a Friday night, and just like any good Buffalo spot, fish was on the menu. Three broiled options and one fried. The Hush puppy and beer-battered fish fry is a true-to-the-original twist on a Buffalo favorite, with batter that was a hint sweet and very thick and tasty.

A Buffalo Friday night at the Parkside Meadow: Hush puppy beer-battered haddock, with skin-on fries and cole slaw, and a Genesee draft. (Steve Cichon/Special to The News)

Whether you have foggy memories of the Park Meadow you’d like to relive or you’re just looking for a new spot that from food to atmosphere is really different from any other place in Buffalo, a stop at the Parkside Meadow is recommended.

This review originally appeared in Gusto.

Parkside’s community activist and community mom, Ruth Lampe

By Steve Cichon | steve@buffalostories.com | @stevebuffalo

 

Our community’s self-styled “Deputy Dog” and “Mother Hen” has succumbed after a long valiant fight against cancer.

Ruth Lampe was no-nonsense and tough as nails, but also loved her friends, family, and community with fierce and burning passion.

She was a force of nature and in a category all her own. Her style and sensibility was a beautifully complementary combination of Iowa farm girl, 1960’s style left-wing radical activist and motherly protector and influence to all who knew her.

In a society where most people like to meet and vote– or worse, just complain– when problems arise, Ruth roared and steamrolled for what she thought was right. And once she pushed her way to the front of an issue, she took command and was relentless and got things done.

After more than 40 years of community and civic activism in Parkside, she knew everyone– and knew most of their fathers, too. Widely accepted as speaking for the community and fair, her aggressive tactics were usually met with open arms by the powers that be– with the knowledge that having Ruth on your side was always a smart move.

But it wasn’t just about sweeping grand notions with Ruth– it was about sweeping up after events. And moving chairs. And helping at the ticket table. She was the sort of leader who lead by example every step of the way, and would never ask anyone to do something she hadn’t already done and wasn’t getting ready to do again.

All that is wonderful, but to really turn the rusty wheels of change– you inevitably rankle the comfortably accepting of the substandard or offensive.

You know Ruth Lampe was a hero by the number of people who wince– even decades later– at hearing her name. It may have happened during the city’s 1982 free paint program, but 33 years later, there are still those in Parkside who will snear, “Ruth Lampe made me paint my house.” She always made an impact. She sure did on me.

When my phone rang during lunch on two weeks ago yesterday, I smiled to see the name Ruth Lampe on the caller ID.

She’d been terminally ill with untreatable cancer, but I was thinking of how I’d been filled with joy when I saw a thin-but-healthy Ruth out on Hertel going to dinner with her husband David a couple weeks before. I was about to run up to say hi when a couple of little munchkins hop out of the car, too.

Selfishly, I stopped and enjoyed watching her be grandma from half a block away. I’m sure she would have enjoyed a hello and a hug, but I wasn’t going to intrude on grandkid time, and I really enjoyed seeing her in that element.

She looked great that day, and that was in my mind as I answered the phone.

With genuine excitement I hit the button and offered a “Hey Ruth!”

Without thinking, I followed with a “How are ya!” which I genuinely meant– but said without thinking given her battle.

My upfront question meant the call got right down to business. She talked about the next stage. Hospital beds at home, making final plans.

Ruth’s last great gift to those who love her is taking on the final project of her life with the bullheaded strength and tenacity she’s shown every project she’s ever undertaken. She was planning her own goodbye– one she knew was coming in a period of time that could be counted in days more than weeks or months.

It was a classic Ruth moment of organization– but of course it’s different. This isn’t fighting with mayors over stop signs or school boards looking for racial balance and equality in our neighborhood public school.

I don’t know that I ever heard this great woman resigned to anything– but she was calm, accepting, and willing to put her and her loved ones into the hands of the Lord. The peaceful beauty and dignity with which she faced this grand struggle is awe inspiring.

This final battle is for everything. We want to help, just like with every other battle we’ve joined her for– but no letters to the editor or picket carrying can help.

We always say, “Anything I can do,” which is always true. But I think we say it more to help ourselves through the thought of someone else’s pain. Someone in Ruth’s situation really doesn’t want to be handing out jobs, you know?

So, I’ve tried not to say that. Ruth and her husband David know it’s true– anything– but I try not to say it.

What I’ve tried to do, since back pain turned to cancer turned to just a matter of time, is just remind them both in little, hopefully unobtrusive ways that I love them both very much.

There are no more cliches. Just what’s real. What else can you really do but love and pray and answer the phone when it rings?

Which it did during lunch on a Friday two weeks ago.

And Ruth asked me to be a pall bearer. At her own funeral. Taking what she could off the plate of her soon to be grieving and devastated family, by fighting and loving the best way she knew how— by doing.

I have little right to be emotional as this incredible woman powered through what was the start of her final two weeks among us, but I can’t help but be moved to tears by the thought of it. This woman, our neighborhood queen and sheriff and mother asked me to do the honor of presenting her earthly remains to her friends and to her church and to their final resting place…. That someone who has meant so much to me as a civic leader, as a mentor, as a cage-rattling compatriot, as a friend– can even think of me at all as the sun sets on her beautiful life, but that she would so powerfully and personally offer me this honor leaves me just without words… Other than…

I love you, Ruth. The many many many of us you’ve touched, we all love you.

And we’ve all learned from you. The trail you’ve blazed in fighting for what’s right won’t grow cold so long as I’m here to battle forward with the gifts of knowledge and strength you’ve given us all.

The spirit you’ve kindled lives on… and doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

New tours show Parkside neighborhood in different lights

By Steve Cichon | steve@buffalostories.com | @stevebuffalo

I’m really excited to be offering the first of four new walking tours of the Parkside neighborhood this summer.  George Stock, who has been guiding neighborhood tours for over 30 years, continues with three new tours this summer as well.

Steve Cichon is the author of The Complete History of Parkside and four other books.
Steve Cichon is the author of The Complete History of Parkside and four other books.

At the start of the 20th century, Buffalo was one of America’s most exciting, fastest growing cities. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the Parkside neighborhood, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as a buffer between his Delaware Park and Main Street.

The wealth and new ideas that poured into Buffalo found a home and flourished in Parkside. The a wide sampling of the avant garde in architecture, art, and culture from Buffalo’s most exciting era remains mostly intact in what remains one of Buffalo’s finest neighborhoods.

The Parkside Community Association, in conjunction with the Martin House Restoration Corporation, have turned to historians and story tellers who live in the neighborhood to share the tale evolution from farmland to National Register of Historic Places.

The monthly tours, revamped and brand new for the summer of 2015, offer a series of unique glimpses into the elements that, more than a century later, continue to make Parkside one of Buffalo’s most sought after addresses. While each tour has a different focus, participants on any tour will get a more full understanding of Parkside and Buffalo.

June 13, 2015:    Parkside, The Park, and The Zoo | starts at 10am at Parkside & Russell outside the New Parkside Meadow Restaurant

Before there was Parkside, there was “The Park”– Frederick Law Olmsted’s original name for Delaware Park. Docent Steve Cichon offers a brief multimedia lecture before guiding a tour focused on how the park and the zoo helped shape the neighborhood while acting as the communal front lawn, as well as how both institutions were shaped by the neighborhood.

Tickets are on sale now at http://parksidebuffalo.org/walking-tours/

 

July 11, 2015:      FLW & Beyond: Arts & Crafts in Parkside | starts at 10am at Jewett Pkwy & Summit Ave

The aesthetic of the Arts & Crafts Movement is unmistakable, and Parkside was unmistakably one of Buffalo’s Arts & Crafts hotbeds. Docent George Stock guides a tour of architecture, architects, and art which have gained worldwide attention for Parkside, including the neighborhood’s two Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes.

Aug. 8, 2015:      The Parksiders Who Built Buffalo | starts at 10am at Jewett Pkwy & Summit Ave

As the 1800s begat the 1900s, the homes of Parkside were being built by the wealthy industrialists who were also building Buffalo. Docent George Stock introduces you to the printers, retailers, milliners, brewers, and other wealthy bon vivants who created the original sense of joie de vivre which remains part life in Parkside to this day.

Sep. 12, 2014:    Modern Conveniences: Home Life & Culture at the turn of the century | starts at  10am at Jewett Pkwy & Summit Ave

The homes of Parkside were built as oil lamps gave way to the light bulb and the horse and buggy gave way to the motor car. To this day, many Parkside homes remain a vestige of a world that had one foot in pre-industrial times and the other in the midst of the City of Light.  Docent George Stock highlights the manifestations of culture at the turn of the century in Parkside.

Each tour is approximately two hours. Admission is $20, $15 for Martin House and Parkside Community Association members. Complete ticket information at http://parksidebuffalo.org/walking-tours/ or 838-1240.

Hoping to better honor Buffalo’s Tomb of Unknown Soldiers

By Steve Cichon | steve@buffalostories.com | @stevebuffalo

During the War of 1812, about 300-400 soldiers died on what is now the Delaware Park golf course.

an 1895 account of what happened at The Mound in the Meadow, and the scuttled plans of Elam Jewett for a memorial

There was no battle there, though the men were in Buffalo in defense of our nation’s borders. The soldiers, mostly from southern states like Maryland and Virginia, died as they wintered on the large open area that would become “the park meadow” and the golf course.

These soldiers came to Western New York to defend our nation wearing light summer uniforms and open ended tents. They took on the worst of Buffalo winter with few blankets, fewer boots, and very little food. Most of the food that did make it this far out to the American frontier was rancid.

“Camp Disease,” probably cholera or dysentery or a combination of both fueled by starvation and frost bite, killed this men in an unimaginable way.

Burial explanation, 1895

The ground was frozen, so the dead were buried in either shallow graves or simply piled in tents. When spring came, a large hole was dug… the dead buried in a mass grave.

Buffalo’s Tomb of the Unknowns.

If you don’t know about this, you’re not alone. Through the years, many attempts have been made to call attention to this sacred site— the very reason for Memorial Day.

mound 1896 memory

 

If this were a Civil War mass grave from 50 years later, Delaware Park would be a National Park and it’s story known around the world. The War of 1812 isn’t as sexy historically speaking, so these men lie mostly forgotten.

 

Mound 1895 account-2A large boulder, placed in 1896, marks the spot of the grave. The fact that its in the middle of the golf course means, again, it’s forgotten.

It was hoped the monument could be dedicated on Remembrance Day in 1896, but it wasn’t ready– and was dedicated on July 4, 1896 instead.

Old Newspapers
Old Newspapers

Sadly, through the years, the site– and therefore the memory of the sacrifice it represents– has been stripped of more attention raising features.

A flagpole disappeared in the first half of the 20th century.

This 1955 article from the Courier-Express shows a pair of Civil War parrott rifles on either side of the stone marker and a historical marker pointing to the site from Ring Road. The cannon disappeared in the 80s, the marker some time before then.

More needs to be done to honor the sacrifice of these men who gave their lives and now are spending eternity in the midst of our city.

Can the historical marker be replaced? Can we as a community build awareness and try to bring more honor to this many times over forgotten sacred site?

Read more about the history of The Mound in the Meadow and our 2011 commemoration at the site: http://www.staffannouncer.com/meadow.htm

Buffalo in the 40s: Gee, our old LaSalle ran great

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

If remembered at all, General Motors’ LaSalle line of cars might best be recalled as the closing line in the opening theme of “All in the Family.”

Between 1927 and 1940, LaSalle was a General Motors nameplate for slightly less upscale and less  expensive versions of the Cadillac. This 1940 ad is from LaSalle’s last year of production for Maxson Cadillac/LaSalle at 2421 Main at Jewett, Buffalo, as seen in the Buffalo Evening News. (Buffalo Stories archives)

The autos were produced by the Cadillac Division of General Motors and were meant to be a less expensive version of the premium Cadillac line.

Buffalo’s leading Cadillac dealer was Maxson, at the corner of Main and Jewett at the Art Deco Pierce-Arrow showroom, now (2015) the home of a First Niagara Bank branch (KeyBank branch 2018.)

As Edith and Archie sang, “Those were the days.”

 

The home owners enjoy as much as the ticket holders: The 16th annual Parkside Tour of Homes

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

BUFFALO, NY – “I love to be a part of busting open any preconceived notion.”

Devon Karn thinks when she and her husband Kevin open their home for the 16th Annual Parkside Tour of Homes (Sunday, May 18, 2014) that a handful of assumptions about the neighborhood and its homes could fly out the stained glass art window.

Over the last 15 years, hundreds of Parkside homes have opened their doors to tens of thousands of people from all over the globe for the annual Parkside Tour of Homes. This year’s self guided tour of ten homes shows the wide array of architecture in the neighborhood, from a modest, half-furnished bungalow to glimpse of the work Frank Lloyd Wright considered his finest. (Photo by Steve Cichon/Buffalo Stories LLC Archives)
Over the last 15 years, hundreds of Parkside homes have opened their doors to tens of thousands of people from all over the globe for the annual Parkside Tour of Homes. This year’s self guided tour of ten homes shows the wide array of architecture in the neighborhood, from a modest, half-furnished bungalow to glimpse of the work Frank Lloyd Wright considered his finest. (Photo by Steve Cichon/Buffalo Stories LLC Archives)

“Parkside is known for the big, beautiful, sprawling majestic homes,” says Karn, “but interspersed among them are smaller, slightly more accessible homes that are like ours– a comfortable bungalow.”

The young couple hasn’t even lived at their Parkside address two years yet– there’s a long to-do list, but she says there’s no shame in showing off a home that’s a work in progress. In fact, from her perspective, that’s a bit of the charm. “It doesn’t have some of the grandeur of some of the Victorian homes, but we do have some of the interesting details– the leaded glass, the woodwork, the central fireplace– they all make for very comfortable homes.”

Comfortable and lived in homes of all shapes, sizes and styles, just like the people of Parkside.

“I wanted to put our little, comfortable, humble bungalow on the tour, to offer that no-holds-barred, open door approach that exemplifies the Parkside attitude,” says Karn. “The people in this neighborhood are the most open, most inviting– It’s one of the most participatory neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo. It’s not an exclusive neighborhood. It’s so open, so welcoming. Come as you are. The fact that we will have our not quite-perfect, yet still intriguing space on the tour is a testament to the community.”

And while her little sliver of the Frederick Law Olmsted designed neighborhood offers one perspective, Karn loves the tapestry woven by all the parts blended together. “Part of the beauty of this Home Tour,” says Karn, “is the variety people get to see.”

The variety will be underlined for tour goers who walk the half-a-block from Devon’s humble bungalow to the imposing Arts & Crafts American Four Square home of Ken Wells and his wife, Phyllis.

Once the home of a Congressman and later to a family of 11, the beautiful brick, original woodwork, wrap-around porch and historical past occupants offer a bit more grandeur, but it’s still simply a family home.

“In the spring, summer and fall we live on our front porch,” says Wells. “The backyard is our oasis. It is the main gathering place for parties and just hanging out.”

Showing off is part of the fun, and it’s why Pat Lalonde is back on the tour again this year.

Five years ago her home was featured, but one new project she knows will be the envy of many people who live in older homes. “For the first time in the 30 years I’ve lived here, I now have a first floor half-bath,” says Lalonde, who also has a new screened-in back porch and new room configurations to show.

The cleverly configured bathroom might inspire folks to finally build the powder room of their dreams, but Lalonde admits: Putting her home on the tour again is as much for her as the hundreds of people who’ll be coming through.

“I had a blast the first time,” says Lalonde. “People were so nice; they said so many wonderful things about my house. I was thinking my house isn’t all that special– there’s no Arts & Crafts style or the natural woodwork… But all the great comments made me realize that my house really does have some really interesting features.”

The event is the biggest annual fundraiser for the non-profit Parkside Community Association. They hope you’ll stop by May 18, and find out why so many people are passionate about the homes that are like none other, as well as the community of people that is like none other.

For more information, including buying tickets, visit the 2014 Home Tour page on the Parkside Community Association website.

Book About Two Who Lived For Kids, St Mark, to Benefit Parish School

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

BUFFALO, NY –  They are called “Father” and “Sister” and it’s a case where they both really feel like members of hundreds of Central Park, Parkside, and North Buffalo families. It’s also a case of reciprocated love and concern.

msgrbraunsrjeannecrop
Msgr. Francis Braun and Sr. Jeanne Eberle each lead a part of St. Mark for three decades. Fr. Braun was Pastor of St. Mark Roman Catholic Church for 30 years, Sr. Jeanne was Principal at St. Mark School for 35 years. (Photo courtesy WNY Catholic)

Before each retired in the last few years, you had to go back to the 1970s to find someone else doing the jobs they loved, heading the St. Mark Parish and St. Mark School.

Though they approached their jobs with personalities almost as different as two human beings could be, Sr. Jeanne Eberle and Msgr. Francis Braun spent 30 years of ther lives selflessly and tirelessly giving their love and of themselves for the people of St. Mark, particularly the smallest ones.

For decades it was a common sight to see kindergarteners and first graders line up to give Sr. Jeanne a hug at the start or end of a school day, while the too-cool seventh and eighth graders walked on by, all with Fr. Braun watching closely, stationed on his own side of the hedge separating the rectory and the school.

It happened many times through the years, though, that the “too cool” kids became parents of St. Mark kids, once again willing participants in hugs for the woman who they know cared as much for their kids as they did themselves.

At Mass on Sunday, Msgr. Braun’s stories of days gone by, and his family made most of us feel like we were listening to stories of our own family. His grandfather the cop, the Crystal Beach boat, the firehouse around the corner, his Irish mom and German dad. We might still know Father’s family stories better than our own.

As the author of two books, including “The Complete History of Parkside,” Steve Cichon wants to write this story because these people are very special to him and the community.

“The history of St. Mark is rich and fascinating, and there are many wonderful stories to tell. From the stained glass depictions of events in the life of Jesus, to the thinly veiled anti-Catholic bigotry which lead to St. Mark being built at the corner of Woodward and Amherst, no one tells those stories better than Fr. Braun,” says Cichon.

“It’s only a natural extention, then, to also talk to Father about his life and times, and to record all of the great stories he shared about himself with us through the years. The same is true of Sr. Jeanne. It’s as much a genealogy project about two beloved family members as it is a book about our church. I’m blessed and honored to have so much support in writing and researching it.”

The hope is to have the work completed by the end of 2014, the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the current St. Mark church building.

If you have any photos, items, or stories pertaining to the history of St. Mark,
please contact Steve Cichon at steve@buffalostories.com

stmarkfrontcover

The book is now available at The Buffalo Stories Bookstore.

The Structures of Parkside: An Authoritative Look at the History of Parkside’s Homes

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

 

While the Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy now exists to run and maintain Buffalo’s Parks, as first founded, The Friends of Olmsted were concerned not only with the parks and public spaces designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, but also with the streetscapes and other Olmsted designs which aren’t necessarily parks, but are a part of the master landscape architect’s “city within a park” idea.

82 West Oakwood
82 West Oakwood

The Parkside neighborhood was designed by Olmsted as a buffer between Main Street and the serenity of the park meadow. In the early 1980s, the Friends of Olmsted worked to have many of Olmsted’s landscape designs listed on the National Register. In 1986, with the help of the Parkside Community Association, “The Parkside Historic District” streetscape was recognized by state and national registers.

74starin

Part of the several year process in gaining that status involved identifying each structure within the streetscape footprint, and identifying the characteristics of those structures. In other words, some very smart people looked at every house in Olmsted designed portion Parkside and wrote a brief description along with research on when the structure was built.

34-jewett

The final report is several thousand pages long, and actually gives much greater detail on each of the 1109 “contributing principal buildings” of Parkside, but on this page are those brief descriptions of every house. The links below are hundreds of pages, painstakingly scanned, to provide information like this on every house:

117parkside

This is an example of what you’ll find inside… The listing for my home. Sadly, that glass door on the side porch didn’t make it from the early ’80s to 1999 when we first walked into the house.

To find out about your house:

  • open the report by clicking this link. (While it’s a large file an takes some time to download, this method is probably easier that trying to use the reader below.)
  • clicking “Ctrl+F” once the PDF is open
  • type in the number of your house (there made be a few with your number, but this is the easiest way)
  • if that doesn’t work, for for your house number with spaces in between the numbers. (e.g., mine comes up as “1 1 7” instead of “117”)
  • if that doesn’t work, search for your street name then scroll a bit. (note that most streets are broken up odd/even.)

If your street or house isn’t listed, it was not a part of the survey done by the Friends of Olmsted in 1986. Sorry!

Page through the report here:

ParksideHousesSearchable

 

From the Report:

The report states Parkside has “an informal, curvilinear street pattern” largely reflective of Olmsted’s original 1876 and 1886 subdivision plans for the neighborhood. The neighborhood is “characterized by numerous, relatively narrow, 1/8 acre building lots and a preponderance of small, wood frame, single family residences” built between 1888 and 1936.

23-agassiz

The application states, “The architectural character of the historic district is largely defined by repetitive, narrow, late Victorian period houses with front porches and gabled facades built between 1895 and 1915, as well as by standardized American four-square houses, with square floor plans, boxy massing, and hipped roofs with dormers built between 1900 and 1925.”

coverSteve Cichon is the author of “The Complete History of Parkside.”

For more on the book and others by Cichon, including how to purchase them, visit The Buffalo Stories Online Bookstore.

 

 

Reformatted & Updated pages from staffannouncer.com finding a new home at buffalostories.com
Reformatted & Updated pages from staffannouncer.com finding a new home at buffalostories.com

New Book! The Complete History of Parkside

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

The Complete History of Parkside, Buffalo, NY
A New Book by Buffalo Author Steve Cichon

A history of the Frederick Law Olmsted designed neighborhood, from its place in the history of the Seneca Nation, to its role in the War of 1812, to Olmsted’s design and the turn of the century building out of the area, and the neighborhood’s 20th century evolutions. Included are discussions of the area’s earliest colorful settlers, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, Delaware Park, The Buffalo Zoo, and the stories and anecdotes of many more struggles, individuals, and institutions that have made Parkside one of Buffalo’s premier historic neighborhoods today.


Questions You’ll Have Answered as You Read:

  • Where is Parkside’s mass virtually unmarked grave?
  • How did a Parkside quest for riches turn to… naked women?!?
  • Why did the FBI have Parkside staked out for most of a decade?
  • You’ll also learn details on how America’s first jet plane was built in Parkside, and the scandal with Parkside roots that nearly brought down a Presidency.

135 historic photos, 172 pages.

Steve CichonABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Cichon is an award winning journalist with WBEN Radio, where he’’s been a news reporter and anchor since 2003, having worked in Buffalo radio and television since 1993. Steve and his wife Monica became Parkside home owners on Valentines Day 2000, and quickly fell in love with the neighborhood. They continue to renovate and restore their 1909 EB Green designed American Four Square, and will likely continue to do so into perpetuity.

Books available for purchase NOW online… and at the following locations:

  • Talking Leaves Books (Main St. and Elmwood Ave. Locations)
  • The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Shop
  • The Darwin Martin House Gift Shop
  • WNY Barnes & Noble Stores
  • Borders WNY Locations
  • Buy online at the Buffalo Stories Bookstore

Steve is available to talk about Parkside History. Please email Steve for details.


Reformatted & Updated pages from staffannouncer.com finding a new home at buffalostories.com
Reformatted & Updated pages from staffannouncer.com finding a new home at buffalostories.com