Black Rock - Table of Contents

 Eberz House
285 Dearborn Street, Buffalo, NY

Constructed:

1892
Style: Queen Anne

Status:

Listed on the State Register for Historic Properties Nomination (National  Register listing pending as of July 2011)

TEXT  Beneath Illustrations








Extended rafters  .....  Applied plaster (wood?) shell and scrolling acanthus leaves decorate the tympanum - a typical Queen Anne feature.



Victorian ornamentation ("gingerbread").







Reproduction balusters and newel post

North side


Portico






Text reprinted from the State Register for Historic Properties Nomination

Original owners


The 1900 census, recorded eight years after the house’s construction, lists Anna Eberz as the head of the household that includes her seven children with ages ranging from twelve to twenty-six. With the addition of a relative, John Eberz, seven of the household members were born in Germany, which is consistent with the ethnic settlement of Black Rock.

Throughout the records, the Eberz women are generally noted as dressmakers and the men are listed as tin and metal workers. The house stayed in the Eberz family until the 1960s, ultimately passing down two Anna’s daughter, Margaret.

One of the more interesting facts to emerge researching the house was the discovery that the Eberz family rented rooms out during the 1901 Pan American Exposition...  When the Exposition was announced in 1895, numerous boarding houses sprung up across Buffalo landscape. There were so many of these boarding houses constructed during the period, that today many local historians recognize the ‘Pan-Am’ boarding house in Buffalo as its own architectural category.

Even more frequent than the existence of these boarding houses, is the commonly traded story ‘this house-or that house’ in Buffalo rented its rooms to visitors during exposition.

Rarer yet is a true piece of ephemera that links a residence to this event. A postcard from the exposition period showing the house and address reads:
Pan-American Accommodations

Visitors will find pleasant rooms in the neatly furnished home.
Located in desirable residence district.
With everything necessary for comfort, including bathroom and veranda.
Fifteen minutes walk to Exposition.
Street car service to all point, including Exposition, Niagara Falls, Lockport, etc.

Rates for rooms $1.00 per day and upwards
 Breakfast served at reasonable rates if desired.
To insure accommodations it is advisable to engage rooms in advance.
Take Niagara Street car to Hamilton.

House Description

The two and half-story wood clapboard residence sits upon a stone foundation, is roughly three bays wide, and is topped with a cross gable roof. The roof is asphalt and the front pediment is closed, with a molded wood tripartite window unit within.

The windows are one-over-one and retain their wood sash. Above the windows at the peak is a decorated panel typical of the style. The areas below and surrounding the window are wood shingle. This ensemble sits above decorative rafters that delineate the floor levels.

The second floor is organized with a polygonal bay window to the right and accompanied by a single window to the left, both of these units being one-over-one and wood sash. Unlike the pediment windows, they are set within simple wood surrounds, with no decorative motif. The porch roof below rises to the sills of the second floor windows.

The home’s most distinguishing feature is its front porch. This full width porch features a shed roof with a closed pediment placed to the left over the front entrance, revealing the home’s side-hall plan. This porch- pediment features Queen Anne style decorative motifs that echo those in the roof’s pediment. The delicate porch supports feature thin square twin columns with chamfered corners, with decorative carvings in the upper portion of the columns. Painted fretwork spandrels adorn the porch in an arched display. The balustrade is composed of turned spindles, and the exterior foundation of the porch is covered with fishscale shingles. Each of these well maintained decorative elements exemplifies style, providing textured variations which are typical of the late-Queen Anne period. Within the porch are two single one-over-one wood sash windows, similar to those on the second floor. The front entrance is placed asymmetrically to the left, with a simple wood surround and paneled front door.

The side elevations of 285 Dearborn Street are relatively simple compared to the facade, with one-over-one wood sash windows placed throughout the first and second floors, corresponding to the interior room arrangements. The only noteworthy variation of the asymmetry of the secondary elevations is a two-story tripartite bay on the south and north that are topped by a peaked roofs with a closed pediments. These gable ends include a small set of paired windows. Additionally, the south facing gable provides additional space towards the back of the house, creating room for a rear stairwell. The facade is clearly the showpiece of the residence and displays prominently in the streetscape.


Photos and their arrangement 2011 Chuck LaChiusa
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