37 Bidwell Parkway
1 of 3 houses built for W. B. French
Additional sources of information found beneath the 2015 photos
|W. B. French:||Other houses on Bidwell Parkway built for W. B. French: ##39, 43
||Stephen R. Berry
||Contributing member in the Elwood Historic Preservation District (West), Section 7, p. 8
Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of Olmsted’s Buffalo parks and parkways system, cutting diagonally through the Elmwood Historic District (West) from Richmond Avenue and Colonial Circle through Elmwood Avenue near Potomac Avenue further on to Soldier’s Circle in the north-east.
The street and parkway itself were previously listed on the State and National Registers as a contributing element to the Delaware Park-Front Park system in the Olmsted Parks and Parkways Thematic Resources.
A divided roadway with grassy median, Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of the type of road-as-park that Olmsted envisioned; linking pre-existing settlement at Black Rock and Cold Spring with ribbons of trees and landscape to Delaware Park.
The entire street measures approximately 200-feet in width, creating a broad roadway. The median is planted with numerous elm trees on a grid layout, helping give this area a shady, forest-like orderly appearance. Streetlights on Bidwell Parkway are cast iron decorative luminares on poles with Art Nouveau flourishes and glass globes.
Houses on Bidwell Parkway date from approximately the 1890s to 1900s, and many feature more high-style examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival styles. The street also contains several apartment buildings, compatibly scaled to the neighboring 2 1⁄2 or 3-story houses.
37 Bidwell Parkway
Grant-Ferry-Forest, Buffalo, NY, Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey
The single-family house at 37 Bidwell Parkway is set on a long slightly trapezoidal lot, located on the south side of the street, at its south end.
Bidwell Parkway is a residential boulevard that runs on a sharp northeast diagonal between Colonial Circle and Soldiers Circle (outside the survey area at the intersection of Lincoln Parkway). A component of Olmsted and Vaux’s original parkway system, it was once one of the most prestigious addresses within the survey area, if not the entire city, and the location of many fine individual homes. The property is located in a residential area of the east central section of the Grant-Ferry-Forest neighborhood.
A two-story, hipped roof, urban, residence of a modest Prairie style. It has a rough, elongated, rectangular plan.
The facade has 7/8-width, first story, hipped roof, polygonal, enclosed living porch, with lattice windowed upper, 1⁄2-height thick pilasters, modest belt course, and frieze.
The main entrance is located on the forward section of the west elevation, with a small entry porch and stair.
The second floor facade has symmetric triple windows with extensive leading in each of the side bays. Lower story protruding, rectangular bay on the west elevation, to the rear of the entranceway.
Large brick chimney visible at the forward edge of the east roof slope. Exterior wall fabric is stucco. Fenestration is dominated by ribboned and multiple window groups. Additional detailing includes wide open eaves, framing, and high belt course.
A garage occupies the far rear of the lot.
The building at 37 Bidwell Parkway is significant as a good representative example of an architect designed, two-story, hipped roof, urban, residence of a modest Prairie style.
One of few Prairie residences within the survey area. Styled urban singles of varying design, were typical housing for upper class families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Buffalo, though those with heavy Queen Anne, influence were most common on the West Side.
Built for W. B. French. A Contributing building to the Richmond Avenue - Ashland Avenue Historic District [later changed to Elmwood West Historic District].
37 Bidwell Parkway
Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West)
Stained glass ribbon windows
Opalescent stained glass
Leaded glass lattice window
Important Prairie style feature: widely overhanging eaves (with supporting rafter tails)
Widely overhanging eaves
|Additional sources of information on this house found on Buffalo Architecture & History website:
1. Olmsted Park and Parkway System - Table of Contents
Bidwell Parkway is part of the Olmsted and Vaux-designed park system, the first designed park system in the US.
2. Grant-Ferry-Forest Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey
Intensive level surveys are usually professionally researched and published. A wealth of information, among other uses, they can lead to the formation of historic districts.
3. State and Federal Elmwood Historic District (West)
Bidwell Parkway west of Elmwood Avenue is included in the historic district. There are current efforts (May 2015) to create a Elmwood Historic District (East) that would include Bidwell Parkway east of Elmwood Avenue. The main impetus for creating historic districts is for developers and site owners to benefit from tax credits which is a way for society to express the appreciation of history.
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