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.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.