National Register of Historic Places
This form is for use in nominating or requesting determinations for individual properties and districts. See instructions in How to Complete the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (National Register Bulletin 16A). Complete each item by marking “x” in the appropriate box or by entering the information requested. If an item does not apply to the property being documented, enter “N/A” for “not applicable.” For functions, architectural classification, materials, and areas of significance, enter only categories and subcategories from the instructions. Place additional entries and narrative items on continuation sheets (NPS Form 10-900a). Use a typewriter, word processor, or computer to complete all items.
historic name Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory and Witkop & Holmes Headquarters
other names/site number 145
Swan Street – Weed & Company Building
street & number 149 and 145 Swan Street [ ] not for publication
city or town Buffalo [ ] vicinity
state New York code NY county Erie code 029 zip code 14203
I hereby certify that the property is: Signature of the Keeper date of action
[ ] entered in the National Register
[ ]see continuation sheet
[ ] determined eligible for the National Register
[ ] see continuation sheet
[ ] determined not eligible for the
[ ] removed from the National Register
[ ] other (explain)
Ownership of Property Category of Property Number of Resources within Property
(check as many boxes as apply) (Check only one box) (Do not include previously listed resources in the count)
[X] private [X] building(s) Contributing Noncontributing
[ ] public-local [ ] district 2 0 buildings
[ ] public-State [ ] site 0 0 sites
[ ] public-Federal [ ] structure 0 0 structures
[ ] object 0 0 objects
2 0 TOTAL
Name of related multiple property listing Number of contributing resources previously
(Enter “N/A” if property is not part of a multiple property listing) listed in the National Register
Historic Functions Current Functions
(enter categories from instructions) (Enter categories from instructions)
INDUSTRY/ Manufacturing facility COMMERCE/Warehouse
COMMERCE/Warehouse WORK IN PROGRESS
Architectural Classification Materials
(Enter categories from instructions) (Enter categories from instructions)
LATE 19TH AND 20th CENTURY REVIVALS foundation Stone
Italian Renaissance Revival walls Brick
(Describe the historic and current condition of the property on one or more continuation sheets)
8. Statement of Significance
Applicable National Register Criteria Areas of Significance:
(Mark “x” in one or more boxes for the criteria qualifying the property (Enter categories from instructions)
for National Register listing.)
[X] A Property associated with events that have made
a significant contribution to the broad patterns Commerce
of our history.
[ ] B Property is associated with the lives of persons
significant in our past.
[X] C Property embodies the distinctive characteristics
of a type, period, or method of construction or that
represents the work of a master, or possesses Period of Significance:
high artistic values, or represents a significant and
distinguishable entity whose components lack 1896-1927 (Sibley & Holmwood)
1901-1933 (Witkop & Holmes)
[ ] D Property has yielded, or is likely to yield, information Significant Dates:
important in prehistory or history.
1896, 1902 (Sibley & Holmwood)
(Mark “x” in all boxes that apply.) 1901, 1906, 1908 (Witkop & Holmes)
[ ] A owned by a religious institution or used for
religious purposes. Significant Person:
[ ] B removed from its original location N/A
[ ] C a birthplace or grave
[ ] D a cemetery
[ ] E a reconstructed building, object, or structure
[ ] F a commemorative property
[ ] G less than 50 years of age or achieved significance Architect/Builder:
within the past 50 years
Lansing and Bierl (Sibley & Holmwood)
Bethune, Bethune, and Fuchs (Witkop and Holmes)
Narrative Statement of Significance
(Explain the significance of the property on one or more continuation sheets.)
9. Major Bibliographical References
(Cite the books, articles, and other sources used in preparing this form on one or more continuation sheets.)
Previous documentation on file (NPS): Primary location of additional data:
[X] preliminary determination of individual listing (36 CFR 67) [ ] State Historic Preservation Office
has been requested.
[ ] previously listed in the National Register [ ] Other State agency
[ ] previously determined eligible by the National Register [ ] Federal Agency
[ ] designated a National Historic Landmark [ ] Local Government
[ ] recorded by historic American Building Survey [ ] University
# [ ] Other repository:
[ ] recorded by Historic American Engineering Record
Acreage of Property .49 acres
(Place additional UTM references on a continuation sheet.)
1 | 1 | 8 | | 1| 8| 3| 9| 2| 5| | 4| 7| 5| 4| 8| 1| 6| 3 | 1 | 8 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
Zone Easting Northing Zone Easting Northing
2 | 1 | 8 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 4 | 1 | 8 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
Verbal Boundary Description
(Describe the boundaries of the property on a continuation sheet.)
(Explain why the boundaries were selected on a continuation sheet.)
name/title Derek King and Caitlin Boyle
organization Preservation Studios date 9/18/13
street & number 60 Hedley Place telephone
city or town Buffalo state NY zip code 14208
Submit the following items with the completed form:
A USGS map (7.5 or 15 minute series) indicating the property’s location
A Sketch map for historic districts and properties having large acreage or numerous resources.
Representative black and white photographs of the property.
(Check with SHPO or FPO for any additional items)
Property Owner (Complete this item at the request of the SHPO or FPO)
name Charles J. Schneider
street & number 443 Delaware Ave telephone 716-923-7000
city or town Buffalo state NY zip code 14202
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement: This information is being collected for applications to the National Register of Historic Places to nominate properties for listing or determine eligibility for listing, to list properties, and to amend existing listings. Response to this request is required to obtain a benefit in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.)
Estimated Burden Statement: public reporting burden for this form is estimated to average 18.1 hours per response including time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form. Direct comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this form to the Chief, Administrative Services Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20503
The Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory and the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters are two contiguous commercial buildings located at 149 and 145 Swan Street in downtown Buffalo, Erie County, New York. Both buildings are faced with smooth fired brick laid in common bond with detailing in stone and metal. There is a light alley between the buildings that was part of the original construction of the Sibley & Holmwood Factory. The south elevations face a large surface parking lot. The interior of both buildings consists of exposed post and beam structural systems and load bearing walls, with open floor plates. Though unrelated in their commercial histories, the buildings share a setting in a portion of the downtown where much of the historic building fabric was lost during the midcentury. The buildings were both designed by notable regional architectural firms, are rare survivors of their types and are substantially intact from their dates of construction. Currently, the buildings are undergoing the work outlined in their Part II: Description of Rehabilitation as part of their Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit application.
Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory, 149 Swan Street
Located midblock on the south side of Swan Street and constructed in 1896, the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory is a flat roofed five-story, nine-bay-wide brick commercial block constructed with a faćade of late-Gothic detailing. The faćade is the building’s most highly decorated elevation and the symmetrical rhythm of building’s Gothic window arches is its most character defining feature. At the ground level, the storefront’s glazing has been altered; however, decorative cast-iron columns remain. Above the storefront, floors two through four contain nine bays of double windows, which are all separated by brick pilasters. Two larger pilasters divide the overall fenestration into thirds, with all of the windows on the fourth floor capped by arches. On the fifth floor, a grouping of four arched windows sits above each of the three larger bays. A corbelled cornice echoes these arches again, with twenty-six smaller projecting arches across the top of the building at the roofline.
Witkop & Holmes Headquarters, 145 Swan Street
Located to the directly to the west of the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory, Witkop & Holmes Headquarters is a flat roofed four-story, three-bay-wide brick commercial block constructed in 1901. Like its neighbor, the faćade is its most decorated elevation. The building sits on a rough stone foundation with brick facing carried down to a few inches of the ground. The faćade is composed of a non-historic commercial storefront at the ground level, followed by a three-floor unit composed of three bays separated by pilasters. The building is finished with a plain, concrete panel that replaced a decorative cornice. Though elements of the faćade have been altered, the building is a rare example from architectural firm of Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs.
The 1896 Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory and the 1901 Witkop & Holmes Headquarters are located approximately three-quarters of a mile southeast of Niagara Square, the center of Buffalo’s city plan, on the eastern edge of the historic central business district. The block is bounded by Swan Street to the north, Michigan Avenue to the east, Seneca Street to the south, and Elm Street to the west. South of Swan Street, the stretch of Elm Street that defines the western boundary of the block widens to four lanes as it ascends to the I-190 on ramp, a physical zone that effectively defines the eastern edge of contemporary downtown. While this area of the downtown was once a dense, demolition after World War II significantly eroded the built fabric in this area, particularly east of Ellicott Street and south of Clinton Street.
Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory Elevations
Principal Faćade (North)-
The original storefront of the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory consisted of three large plate glass storefront windows in the first and third bays with a central entrance in the second bay that was flanked by a single plate glass window on either side. The central entrance was removed and a new smaller entrance was created in the third bay (circa 1970s). The transoms in each bay maintain their original configuration but not the original glazing. The original cast-iron columns remain intact and the outline of the original central entrance is still evident on the interior of the building.
Nine bays of one-over-one double-hung windows are divided by pilasters, forming vertical bands from the second through fourth floor. Two larger pilasters divide the fenestration into thirds. Below each of the windows on the third and fourth floors, there are molded brick spandrel panels. The window bands terminate at the fourth floor level, which has layered, steeply pitched arches above each window. The larger central bay is visually separated from the larger first and third bay by brick pilasters that terminate with a simple, flat stone capital, which engages the termination points of the arches above the fourth floor windows. The windows of the fifth floor are smaller in size and have a recessed, blind arch with a cross-shaped brick molding centered in each. All windows on the north faćade of 149 Swan Street are one-over-one double hung windows with molded stone sills. Some of the windows are wood and appear to be original, though all non-original metal replacement windows have been removed as part of the planned rehabilitation. Four windows between the second and third bays were previously removed and replaced with metal doors for a fire escape added circa 1960s.
Secondary Elevations (East and South)-
The east elevation of the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory is a secondary elevation with rough face brick laid in common bond with a single row of headers for every five rows of stretchers. Several original window openings on this faćade have been infilled with CMU or new brick, which is currently being removed as part of the rehabilitation. All original window openings are located in the southern half of the elevation and have segmental arch brick lintels composed of three rows of headers. New window openings are cut, creating five bays of paired windows, mixing original and new openings. Three brick parapets exist above the roofline for the former chimneys, which are no longer utilized. The primary chimney and smokestack was located in the southeast corner, but was removed circa 1980s because of it was severely deteriorated. The windows on this faćade were a mixture of non-original, double hung, awning steel sash and glass block, and are all currently removed in order to be replaced as part of the building’s rehabilitation.
On the ground floor of the south elevation, there are three non-original loading dock doors. Several original window and door openings have been infilled with new brick or glass block. The second through fifth floors each have a pair of windows in each bay with segmental arch brick lintels composed of three rows of headers and flat stone sills. A pair of windows at the second and fourth floors in the second bay were removed and replaced with large garage doors, but the segmental arch lintels remain intact. All windows have been removed as part of the rehabilitation. There is a non-original, deteriorated fire escape in the third bay of this faćade.
Only the topmost portion of the west elevation of the Sibley & Holmwood building is visible above the adjacent building at 145 Swan Street.
The interior of the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory reveals its structural system, with a cast iron post and beam grid and load bearing brick walls throughout. The structural columns are in line with the exterior configuration of the building and align with cast iron pilasters on the primary faćade. Each of the floors consisted of predominately of open floor plates, though the second through fifth floors are in various staged of being framed out for construction of apartments.
The first floor is highly finished in comparison to the upper floors, suggesting that it was originally a showroom open to the public. All of the walls are covered with plaster and the original tray ceiling remains intact throughout the space. The front third of this ceiling has been painted over, but the rear two-thirds still retain the original wood finish. Small offices were constructed (circa 1970’s) in the northwest portion of the floor, but are removed as part of the plans to convert the space to a physical fitness center and restaurant. The remainder of this floor is open space with original hardwood floors in good condition. The original, recessed entrance was centered on the primary faćade and while it has been altered, the outline of the entryway still exists on the ceiling.
A light alley on the west faćade terminates on the first floor and was likely glazed to bring light to the first floor. It is being converted to a stairwell for circulation throughout the building. Adjacent to the light alley, a doorway is cut through the two buildings, and repeats on all floors above. A large freight elevator was removed, but a rear staircase that services all floors and the basement remains in use and in good condition in the southwest portion of this floor.
The second through fifth floors are identical in configuration and use of materials. All floors have painted brick perimeter walls and hardwood floors. Theses floors likely housed the equipment necessary for candy production when Sibley & Holmwood housed its confectionary operation here. The floors are being divided into apartments with framing for gypsum walls, with a “T” shaped corridor for circulation running from north to south through the building. The original wood floors will be retained, but are currently covered so they can receive a new finish floor over them, with the exception of the third floor, which will be fully restored. All walls except along the corridors have received framing to be furred out five inches, and the ceiling will maintain existing height, but currently has a metal resilient channel to eventually hold one layer of gypsum drywall for fire rating.
The basement is largely open space punctuated by the same structural cast iron columns that are visible on the floors above. Some additional structural elements were added over time and are not original to the building. The basement is cleaned, and a sloping of the floor has been corrected in order for the space to be used for tenant parking. A large opening for vehicle access is cut in the eastern wall. The rough stone foundation is exposed throughout the basement.
Witkop & Holmes Headquarters Elevations
Principal Faćade (North)-
The storefront of the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters was altered during the 1960s with smaller windows, some infill brick, and a large wooden garage door. A damaged egg-and-dart molding will be restored along the top of the storefronts, allowing it to visually separate the first and second floors. Originally the first floor was divided into three bays, and though the western most bay was still a large sliding door, the middle and westernmost bays were part of a small storefront. The prismatic glass that defined the upper pane of the middle section is still in place, though the sections above the sliding door and westernmost bay were replaced with a seven-over seven-window and wood respectively.
The second through fourth floors are identical and are separated into three bays that correspond to the organization of the first floor. Four projecting pilasters frame and define each of the three bays from the second to fourth floor. A detailed, projecting cornice likely topped the building above the fourth floor windows, but it was removed and replaced with a flat concrete panel. Current plans are to replicate the Bethune-designed original cornice that once adorned the top of the faćade. The original window frames remain intact, but are in deteriorated condition. No original windows remain, and large single panes of plexiglass will be removed and replaced with one-over-one double hung wood windows to replicate the original Bethune-designed configuration (See: Additional Information, Photo 1)
Secondary Elevations (West and South)-
The west elevation faces a surface parking lot where other two buildings once stood. There are no window openings or doors on this faćade. The surface is rough, red face brick laid in common bond with a single row of headers for every five row of stretchers. There is a painted, non-historic advertisement in the first bay of this faćade. Three bays of four windows each have been cut into the wall, though no windows or sills have been installed yet.
The south/rear elevation of the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters extends beyond the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory footprint. The ground floor level declines in grade from west to east and there is an opening in each bay. The original openings in the first and second bays have been filled in with CMU and a non-historic door has been added to the second bay. The third bay has a non-historic loading dock door several feet above grade, which replaced an original entrance. Originally this entrance appears to have been at grade and remnants of a ramp into the basement suggest that carriages and trucks once drove into the building for loading and unloading. On the second through fourth floors, there is a pair of windows in each bay. The windows have brick segmental arch lintels composed of three rows of headers and rough-cut stone sills. All windows are in the process of being installed or replaced.
The east elevation of the building is adjacent to the Sibley & Holmwood building and is not visible from the exterior.
Witkop & Holmes Headquarters, Interior-
The interior of the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters consists of an exposed wood post and beam structural system and load bearing brick walls. The structural columns are in line with the exterior configuration of the building and align with projecting brick pilasters on the primary facade. All of the brick walls are painted, with the exception of the fourth floor, which appears to have never have been painted or finished in any way.
Each of the floors consists predominately of open floor plates with some non-historic partitions, and are currently being built out for apartments and retail. A deteriorated office space in a small portion of the northwest corner on the first floor was demolished and will be replaced with retail space for a bicycle shop. The remainder of the first floor is open with the exception of the rear loading dock area, which is separated from the rest of the this floor by modern walls. The floor is a mixture of the original hardwood flooring and poured concrete.
An elevator shaft in the southwest corner of the building was likely a later addition that replaced the original stairs. The elevator itself, and a non-original staircase adjacent to the elevator shaft, has been removed. Circulation through the building is through the Sibley & Holmwood Factory, except for a non-original staircase that gives access to the second and third floors.
The second and third floors are almost identical and vary from the fourth floor only in finishes. Original hardwood floors remain intact and the brick perimeter walls are painted. The second through fourth floors are currently framed out for apartments with gypsum walls and a corridor will be created along the east wall. The structural columns will remain expressed within the new wall construction or will be left freestanding. The original wood floors will be retained, but are covered and will receive a new finish floor above them. Perimeter walls have framing to be furred out five inches for insulation.
The basement of the Witkop & Holmes is lower in height than the upper floors and is punctuated by large brick structural piers. The rough stone foundation is exposed throughout the space and the floor is simple concrete. There are no windows into the basement and it is only accessible from the interior of the building and through a doorway cut into the adjacent Sibley & Holmwood Factory. A portion of the original ramp from the rear faćade into the basement remains intact in the southeast portion of this floor.
Significance: Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory and Witkop & Holmes Headquarters
Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory and Witkop & Holmes Headquarters are individually significant late nineteenth century commercial buildings that are located adjacent to one another in downtown Buffalo. Though unrelated in their commercial histories, the buildings share a setting in a portion of the downtown where much of the historic building fabric was lost during the midcentury. Each building represents the history of a significant business. Each building was designed by a notable regional architectural firm, is a rare survivor of its type, and is substantially intact from its date of construction.
Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory, 149 Swan Street
Constructed in 1896, the Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of architecture as an outstanding and substantially intact example of a late Gothic Revival commercial block in downtown Buffalo, New York. The building was designed by the prominent firm of Lansing and Bierl, whose decade long partnership created a large body of work, with multiple buildings represented on the National Register of Historic Places. Under Criterion A in the area of commerce, the building is significant for its association with the Sibley & Holmwood Confectionary Company. Formed in 1873, the company grew to employ three hundred operatives and was generally regarded as one of the best producers of confectionery candy in the country. A period of significance for the building has been framed from the date of the factory’s 1896 date of construction, until 1927, when the building ceased in the production of candy.
Witkop & Holmes Headquarters, 145 Swan Street
Constructed in 1901, the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of architecture as an incredibly rare extant example of the work of the architectural firm of Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs. The firm is best known for its principal architect, Louise Bethune, the first woman in the United States to be officially recognized as a professional architect by two of the major architectural organizations of the late-nineteenth century; the American Institute of Architects in 1888 and the Western Association of Architects in 1885. Though never receiving national attention for her work during her lifetime, she was well known among Buffalo’s architectural circles and her firm created a large body of work at the turn of the century, most notable the nationally significant Hotel Lafayette (NR listed) in downtown Buffalo. Unfortunately, much of Bethune’s work has been lost to demolition, and the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters is one of the firm’s few remaining extant commercial buildings. The building is additionally significant under criterion A in the area of commerce for its association the Witkop & Holmes grocery chain, which occupied the building from 1906 to 1933. While located at the 145 Swan Street address, Witkop & Holmes was involved in a Supreme Court case regarding business practices and the legality of competitive tactics by national chain company A&P. The period of significance has been framed from the 1901 date of construction, to Witkop & Holmes vacancy in 1933.
Early Development History of the Area
Sibley & Holmwood Candy Factory, 149 Swan Street
The Confectionery Industry-
Confectionery manufacturing in Western New York rose in the wake of Buffalo’s industrial and residential expansion throughout the mid-to-late nineteenth century. While only a few confectionary producers in the area are known prior to the 1860s (the brothers John and Arthur McArthur being the most notable), by 1866 there were fifteen confectioners in Buffalo, eight of which were on Main Street. By 1888, Buffalo was home to one hundred and twenty-six retailers and thirteen manufacturers of confectionery candy. This reflects growth typical in the candy industry nationally. From 1870 to 1890, the industry grew from 949 to 2,921 confectionary manufactures, increasing in employment from 5,825 to 27,211.
James Holmwood and Frank Sibley-
James Holmwood was born in Sussex, England in 1841, but subsequently migrated to Western New York. In 1862, he moved from East Hamburg and worked for the Webster & Co. grocery store for two years before joining the wholesale grocer Hastings & Bell as a bookkeeper. In 1866, Holmwood worked as a bookkeeper and “confidential manager” with Henry Hearne, one of Buffalo’s renowned confectioners located at 110 Seneca Street. It is while working for Hearne’s that he met Frank Sibley. Sibley was born in Springville, New York on February 24, 1850, with his family moving to Buffalo shortly after his birth. In 1868, he joined Hearne’s wholesale confectionary firm as a travelling salesman, before leaving in 1870 to work a similar position for John Benson’s Son confectioners. In 1873, he joined Holmwood to form the Sibley & Holmwood Confectionary Company. Initially, they did not move far from their mentor, relocating a short distance away to 133 East Seneca Street, before settling into their first factory (right across the street from Hearne) at 111 Seneca.
In its earliest years, Sibley & Holmwood employed eighteen workers. Within a decade the company became one of the best-recognized manufacturers of confectionery candy in Buffalo. In 1880, the first factory was regarded as “an ornament to the city and substantial evidence of enterprise.” It was fully equipped with modern steam-pan confectionery and four floors dedicated to manufacturing and packing. An advertising publication for Buffalo’s industries noted that “it is safe to say that no house in the entire country makes such varieties or desirable goods.” In the eight years between 1873 and 1881, the company increased its workforce to almost one hundred, including six travelling salesmen. Even though a devastating fire destroyed its factory, as well as much of the surrounding blocks in 1891, by 1895 Sibley & Holmwood increased employment to almost two hundred workers and produced $200,000 worth of goods. Sibley & Holmwood’s factory at 149 Swan Street opened with fanfare in 1896. It was fully run by electricity and fostered the continued growth of the company. By 1898, the company employed 300 employees and was generally regarded as one of the best producers of confectionery candy in the country.
The success Sibley & Holmwood enjoyed in the confectionery world was reflected by Frank Sibley’s 1884 election as a founding member of the National Confectioners’ Association in Chicago, where he served as chair from 1886-91. In the first two years of his chairmanship, he coalesced the fledgling organization after a rough founding, and from 1888 to 1891 the organization increased total membership from seventy-eight companies to two hundred and twenty-one. Sibley served as the vice-president of the organization in 1896, and he was nominated for presidency in 1899 but declined. The National Confectionary Association is still in operation and, as of 2009, represents four hundred members who are responsible for 90 percent of the chocolate and confectionery production in the United States.
In 1902, Sibley & Holmwood incorporated with eighteen other companies from around America to form the “National Candy Co.,” which was based in New Jersey. Only one other Buffalo confectioner, Burt & Sindale, joined new brand. For three years following the sale of the company, Sibley remained manager of the factory, and Holmwood the assistant manager. In 1910, Sibley was elected president of the Cooper Paper Box. Co., a position he served until 1921, the year of his death.
Lansing and Bierl, architects-
William Lansing & Max Bierl formed their firm in 1892 after both worked had worked at the prominent local firm of Green & Wicks. Working in a variety of period styles, some of their best known examples include the C.W. Miller Livery Stable (1892-94, NR 2007), the Lafayette Presbyterian Church (1896, NR 2009) and domestic designs, such as the House at 37 Oakland Place (1897-8), Lansing’s own Colonial Revival house at 29 Oakland Place (1898), and the Shingle style Coatsworth House at 16 Lincoln Woods Lane (1897). Two of their last designs together as a firm were churches: the Gothic Revival Central Presbyterian Church (1910) and the Romanesque Revival St. Francis Xavier RC Church (1911-13, NR 2009).
Williams Lansing is perhaps the better known of the two, particularly for his role in designing the Connecticut Street Armory (1899, NR 1994) with state architect Isaac Perry and for his role as a supervising architect for the Buffalo Pan-American exposition in 1901. Lansing is additionally noted for his role helping to launch the careers of two younger architects, Lawrence Bley and Duane Lyman, who went on to produce some of Western New York’s most significant buildings from the early twentieth century, including the 1929 Vars Building (1929), the 800 West Ferry Street (1929) apartment tower with Darwin Martin Jr. as client, and Syracuse, New York’s nationally significant Art Deco masterpiece, the Niagara Mohawk Building (1932).
The design for the Sibley & Holmwood building combines the Italian Renaissance Revival with late Gothic Revival detailing. Lansing and Bierl were clearly influenced by their design for the aforementioned C.W. Miller Livery Stables, which also utilized three bays of deeply articulated columns to present an “arcaded three-story body and substantial attic story terminating the composition.” This principle defined the tripartite building type at the end of the nineteenth century and was heavily utilized by Louis Sullivan in his design for the Guaranty Building (1894; NR 1973; NHL). Outside of the scale of the buildings, the major difference between faćades of Lansing and Beierl’s livery and the candy factory is the introduction of Gothic detailing.
Witkop & Holmes Headquarters, 145 Swan- Constructed 1901
The Witkop & Holmes Headquarters was commissioned by Jacob Dold of the Dold Packing Company, a meatpacking company that had grown from a small butcher shop in 1860 to one of the largest meat packing firms in the country. He chose the local firm of Bethune, Bethune, and Fuchs to design a three-story building and later filed an amended plan two months later for an additional floor. It is unclear if the Dold Packing Company planned the building for its own use or as a speculative real estate venture. It is possible that the company envisioned using the building, as the original layout included a ramped entrance at the rear so delivery wagons could pass right through the first floor and out onto Swan Street. Either way, Dold never occupied the building. Weed & Co., the oldest hardware company in Buffalo, was the first official tenant, using the building until its new headquarters was finished in 1905 just a block to the west. Witkop & Holmes moved to the building in 1906, where the pass through and central location suited its needs as a rapidly expanding local (and soon to be regional) wholesale grocery with delivery routes throughout Western New York. They occupied the building, utilizing it for warehouse and office space until they relocated in 1933.
Witkop & Holmes was founded in 1888 by William Holmes and Theodore Witkop. In 1897, according to the Buffalo City Directories, Mr. Witkop was operating a firm called Empire Tea Co out of 254 Genesee Street. By 1902, it was known as Witkop & Holmes and listed as a wholesale grocer, operating as a home delivery service to the greater Buffalo area. The company moved to 145 Swan Street circa 1906. By 1933, it expanded beyond Buffalo, with stores in Niagara Falls, Lockport, Batavia and Jamestown, and relocated its main office to 515 Washington Street.
Although Witkop & Holmes began as a home-delivery grocer and tea seller, by 1930 it also sold furniture. Like many home delivery grocers, the company offered premiums for loyal customers. Premiums incentivized customer loyalty by offering rewards, such as a “free” chair, that was paid off with stamps collected from each purchase. As the premiums became more and more popular, Witkop & Holmes began to sell furniture exclusively, which led to the opening of its furniture store at 62 Webster Street (NR 2013) in North Tonawanda.
The Evolution of Grocery Stores in America-
Witkop & Holmes formed at a key point in the transition of small grocery stores from local retailers of bulk products to more regionalized facilities offering specialized services. In the mid-nineteenth century, many groceries were single-room storefronts filled with everything from tools and teas to chicken coops. Products such as flour, crackers, coffee beans, and sugar remained in the large wooden shipping crates or barrels they arrived in, and storeowners measured out portions for each customer. However, as technology advanced it became increasingly easier for storeowners to order smaller quantities. The advent of rail travel in conjunction with the development of the telegraph allowed owners to place orders of smaller shipments as needed, rather than bulk orders. Similarly, the development of paperboard packaging helped store owners buy pre-packaged amounts, which assisted not only with storage, but avoided the waste associated with ordering bulk goods. The Great American Tea Company, later the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, was one such adopter. Atlantic and Pacific (A&P) began as a bulk tea distributer in New York harbor, before opening a Manhattan teashop in 1861. Soon they opened up stores all over the city and expanded their small shops westward.
This smaller model was very different from the typical chain archetype. Usually, large department stores were the only chains with enough capital to spread out to multiple cities. With the new model, chain grocers like A&P and Kroger were able to open stores outside of cities, where they were either able to open a new store before a local alternative could develop, or drive out local competition because they used pricing based on cheaper bulk quantities. While these smaller shops allowed chain stores to reach new markets, they remained inhibited by customers’ transportation limitations. In cities, shoppers could take trolleys and streetcars downtown to department stores and grocers with ease, but in the countryside, a visit to the city took a full day and it was inconvenient to transport groceries home. Many stores began implementing home delivery services to meet this out of market demand. Home delivery services revolved around wholesale distribution centers, often in cities, with regional horse-and-carriage routes that often took two or three days to complete. Customers placed orders a week or two in advance on credit, and companies often offered “premiums” in order to keep customers buying. The system encouraged customer loyalty by offering rewards for frequent buyers.
In one format of a premium system, customers received a gift (the “premium”) up front and then collected a stamp for each purchase from the same company. After a certain number of stamps, the premium would be “paid off,” and another would be supplied. With each stamp book filled, the premium would get better; initially they would earn small trinkets, but the longer they ordered from a company the better the gift, such as furniture or other fixtures. Since home delivery cost so much, retaining customers was one of the most important aspects of the industry, and premiums were one such way of ensuring that.
Witkop & Holmes vs. A&P-
The battle for customers in home delivery services came to a head in a 1908 Supreme Court case between Buffalo’s Witkop & Holmes Company and the national A&P chain, which had crossed the two hundred store mark at the turn of the twentieth century. Witkop & Holmes, just a few years after its relocation to 145 Swan Street, filed a lawsuit against A&P alleging that the larger chain had illegally lured one of its drivers away from their company. The case was outlined in the Miscellaneous Reports book for the New York State Supreme Court in 1910. Witkop & Holmes’s business model utilized home delivery service, employing about twenty men who traveled around the city collecting orders, ordering and filling them at the distribution center, and then delivering them to said customer. All customer’s names and orders were printed on cards, a copy of which was kept by the driver for repeat orders. A&P was engaged in similar services, and both companies utilized a stamp-based premium program. The dispute revolved around two of Witkop’s drivers, John Raupp and Ervin Boyce (who the original lawsuit was against). Raupp had worked for Witkop & Holmes for several years, covering an area of East Buffalo from Main to Filmore and Best to Ferry. During his employ, he canvassed new customers, secured orders, and made deliveries, in total serving around four hundred customers. Boyce began working for Witkop in 1907 and after being trained by Raupp. After servicing the same route for over a year, he left Witkop & Holmes to join A&P. Though he had returned the cards obtained while employed by Witkop, he was more than familiar with the route, as well as the customers, and he began to solicit orders from them on behalf of A&P. Since stamp books had already been issued to those customers, Boyce provided new A&P stamp books, matching their Witkop & Holmes totals, ensuring they would not lose anything by switching providers.
The lawsuit reached the Supreme Court in 1910, and even though Boyce, and through him A&P, was not found in violation of any laws directly pertaining to property rights, the court ruled that they infringed upon Witkop & Holmes’s property rights. Part of that was a prevailing anti-chain sentiment pervading the country, apparent in the trust busts of the decade before, as well as in the language of several reports pertaining to this case. One discussion of Witkop & Holmes, written in 1913, was quick to point out that the three million dollar A&P Corporation nearly destroyed the forty thousand dollar company that “Witkop & Holmes had built up by years of hard work, energy, and enterprise.”
The case has been used as a precedent throughout the twentieth century for corporate property right enforcement. In a 1913 decision, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that a similar case between corporate co-partners who shared customer information did not fall under the same protection guaranteed by the Witkop & Holmes decision. In the 1916 Trust Laws and Unfair Competition, published by the United States Bureau of Corporations, the decision was used as an example of an American decision dealing with “betrayal of confidential information.” It was also cited in a 1995 government guidebook titled, Information Technologies for Control of Money Laundering, as an example of almost 100 years of court precedent in which the court understood that the “value of customer names to the corporations [as] a protected category of information and sought to protect against competitive harm.”
Witkop & Holmes, Post-Decision-
Though the case came at the end of the home delivery era, which would soon be outdated by large supermarkets accessible by a car-driving population, much of Western New York remained agricultural in nature, and it wasn’t until the late 1920s that Buffalo saw a dramatic shift in population to the suburbs. As such, Witkop & Holmes continued to provide home-delivery service, advertising for drivers in 1914 on a route through Geneva, as well as an advertisement in 1918 looking for a driver to depart from the Lockport store on “two day trips in the country.”
As the store progressed, the premiums of high-quality furniture became so popular that the company dropped grocery and tea sales from its business entirely. By 1930, “furniture” was part of Witkop & Holmes’s description in the city directory, and by the company’s 1933 move from 145 Swan Street to 511 Washington Street, it was the company’s sole focus. The switch proved to be successful. In 1936 Witkop & Holmes leased a five-story building at 379-383 Washington Street (finally purchasing it in 1946), while also constructing a new two-story building at East-Eagle Street.  In 1957, the company sold those two buildings, retaining the building at 64 Webster Street in North Tonawanda, the Niagara Falls store at 349 Third Street and the 31 Locust Street Lockport location. 
Bethune, Bethune, & Fuch, architects-
Louise Bethune’s architectural firm Bethune, Bethune, & Fuchs began in 1881 and designed a variety of projects around Buffalo, including numerous schools, police and fire departments, and residences. Despite never gaining national recognition for her architectural work in Western New York, her prominence as an advocate for women in the field of architecture is well documented. Louise Bethune’s significance and the number of her extant building’s in Buffalo is well documented in the 2010 National Register nomination for her most significant design for the Hotel Lafayette (1902):
Louise Bethune (1856-1913) was very active both in advancing the stature of women in the architectural profession and in promoting the profession in general. In 1885, she became the first woman member of the Western Association of Architects (WAA), a dynamic young group of practitioners that was pressing for professional standards and challenging the supremacy of the well-established American Institute of Architects (AIA). Louise became the first woman member of the latter national profession association in 1888. When the two groups merged in 1889 to form a new AIA, all WAA members became AIA Fellows, another first for Louise Bethune. She was also a founder of the Buffalo Society of Architects in 1886, which became the local AIA chapter four years later.
Bethune’s greatest impact was opening the doors in professional circles for other women to enter the field of architecture, leading by way of her commitment to the development of professional standards in the profession and the promotion of “Equal Remuneration for Equal Services” for women. In 1891, giving a speech titled “Woman and Architecture” before an audience at the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union in Buffalo, Bethune remarked about women in architecture, “The future of women in the architectural profession is what she herself sees fit to make it.” Simultaneously to this speech she declined an invitation to compete in the design of the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, citing the difference between the women’s prize of $1,000 prize versus the men’s of $10,000. In response to questions about the Women’s Building competition, Bethune stated, “It is an unfortunate precedent to establish right now, and it may take years to live down its effects.” She was correct in her assumption, as it would take generations of women years to gain full acceptance and equal pay in the field of architecture. Her work to equalize the disparities between men and women would be continued on by other notable women in the profession throughout the Twentieth Century.
In the 1880s, the Bethune office became one of the most prominent in Western New York, executing a wide variety of commissions. Among the most substantial were the Seventy-fourth Regiment Armory (1886) and the Livestock Exchange (1890) in Buffalo, and the high school (1890) at Lockport, N.Y. (all demolished). The firm was especially noted for its educational work, designing eighteen schools and additions in Buffalo and the surrounding communities. Sadly, none of these are extant. Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs also established a reputation for the design of industrial buildings. But most of these additionally have been lost. The former Iroquois Door Company at Larkin and Exchange Streets in Buffalo is one of the few to survive.
The Hotel Lafayette, one of many notable buildings the firm designed in downtown Buffalo, is the most significant work of Bethune, Bethune & Fuchs still standing.  Unfortunately, the last three decades of the twentieth century saw the demolition of at least seven of their other downtown buildings. Two of these went down despite being included in the locally designated Theater Historic District. The most intact structures by the firm to remain in the downtown area are a former stable at 177-179 Elm Street (1891) and a richly embellished commercial building at 621-623 Main Street (1908). Most of the firm's surviving work are houses in the city of Buffalo, including the Kellogg house at 211 Summer Street, personally designed by Louise.
Twentieth Century Disintegration of the Built Fabric
The Sibley & Holmwood Factory and Witkop & Holmes Headquarters are rare survivors of the post-World War II Urban Renewal campaigns in downtown Buffalo. As more and more of Buffalo’s citizens pushed outward into the suburbs after World War II, city officials adopted a policy of acquiescing to their parking needs downtown. As early as 1930, city planning advocates were arguing for highway bypasses in and out of the business district. For businesses during the mid-century, the lack of parking was the biggest concern, and many began moving out of the central business district to the outskirts of downtown to better accommodate their employees’ parking needs. In 1958, the city was urged by realtor and retail consultant Irving Saperston to widen streets to four lanes, create better arterial highways and parking, and even to destroy the monument at Lafayette Square. Though calling for dramatic changes, the consultant was still optimistic; “Every city has been weakened downtown,” said Mr. Saperston, “But Main St. in Buffalo will survive. Buffalo is going forward, and so is Main St.” The city did not heed all of Saperston’s suggestions, but it did pursue auto-oriented design. Once the city began pursuing a more aggressive parking initiative, blocks upon blocks of buildings came down for large flattened lots. Dozens of factories and buildings were destroyed, as private owners obtained far more value from parking lots than from buildings in disrepair. By the 1960s, Buffalo’s push for arterials and bypasses was at its peak. Interstate-190 opened in 1959, travelling along the shore over the filled-in Erie Canal, and the Kensington Expressway neared completion. Still, the area around downtown dealt with congestion, and business owners and politicians continued to advocate for further highway expansion.
The buildings at 145 and 149 Swan Street narrowly missed being demolished for an arterial, but both were under threat of demolition by 1987. The entire block on which the two buildings sit, as well as the block immediately to the north, were targeted for new development. Plans were ultimately scaled back, but the damage was already done, as many of the buildings on both blocks were already demolished for the expansion development zone.
The Sibley & Holmwood Factory and the Witkop & Holmes Headquarters are substantially intact examples of two prominent regional architectural firms that represent the once vibrant industrial and commercial presence in the area around Buffalo’s downtown. Urban Renewal projects, neglect, and poor city planning lead to the removal of many similar buildings in this area, creating a modern landscape very different from its historic urban context. The buildings are a reminder of the area’s former prominence to Buffalo’s industrial heritage, exhibiting qualities unique to the companies that inhabited them, as well as to the designers who envisioned them.
Insurance Maps of Buffalo, New York. New York: Sanborn Map & Publishing Co. Limited; 1889, Sheet 4.
Bethune, Louise. “Women and Architecture.” Inland Architect and News Record, 17(March 1891). Reprinted in Hays, 333.
Bodor, Alison, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, to John Mengel et al., August 24, 2009, “Follow up to Industry Meetings on AMS’ Proposed Rule for Dairy Import Assessments.”
“Building Purchased.” Buffalo Courier Express. January 31, 1946.
Court of Appeals, State of New York. “Case and Exceptions.” Vol 112. Syracuse: F.N. Spaulding, 1913.
Davies, Joseph. Trust Laws and Unfair Competition. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916.
“Elm-Oak corridor a major success and still growing.” Buffalo News. December 6, 1987.
Lester, Charles C. The Miscellaneous Reports: Cases Decided in the Courts of Record of the State of New York, other than the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Vol. 64. Albany, NY; J.B. Lyon Company, 1910.
Marthens, A.F. ed. “Commerce, Manufactures and Resources of Buffalo and Environs: A Descriptive Review.” Commercial Publishing Co, Buffalo, NY; 1880.
“New Downtown Site Leased By Local Concern.” Buffalo Courier Express. January 2, 1936.
“Obituary: Frank Sibley,” in Confectioners Journal 47 (1921): 124-125. Accessed August 22, 2012. Books.google.com
Paquet, Laura Byrne. Urge To Splurge: A Social History of Shopping. Toronto; ECW Pres, 2003.
“Reply of Sibley & Holmwood, of Buffalo, N.Y. manufacturer’s of confectionery,” in Reports of Committees of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the Fifty-Third Congress, 1893-1894, 24.
“Shift of businesses Offices to Fringe of Downtown Viewed as Growth Sign.” Buffalo Evening News, 4-22-53. Grovesnor Room Special Collections, City Planning Scrapbook Vol 2.
“Start on Elm-Oak arterial three years off, DOT says.” Buffalo Courier Express, June 2, 1973.
U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Information Technologies for Control of Money Laundering, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995.
Wachadlo, Martin, Francis R. Kowsky, & Daniel McEneny, June, 2010. “National Register of Historic Places Registration: Hotel Lafayette.” New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Walkowsky, Jennifer and Daniel McEneny. July 2008. "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. "New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.’
“Want Department and Classified Advertisements.” Geneva Daily Times. October 7, 1914.
Watson, Bob. “Revolutionary Plan Offered to Improve Downtown Area: Saperston Urges City to Get rid of Monument at Lafayette Square, Raze Chippewa Market.” Buffalo News. April 22, 1958.
White, Truman C. Ed. “Our Country and its people: a descriptive work on Erie County, New York,” Vol 2. Boston: The Boston History Company, 1898.
“Witkop to Sell 2 Buildings to Gotham Firm.” Buffalo Courier Express. February 28, 1957.
 “Our Country and its people: a descriptive work on Erie County, New York,” Vol 2. Ed. Truman C. White, (The Boston History Company, 1898), 136
 White, 123-124.
 White, 136.
 A.F. Marthens, Ed., “Commerce, Manufactures and Resources of Buffalo and Environs: A Descriptive Review.” (Buffalo: Commercial Publishing Co, 1880), 119.
 Marthens, 119.
 “Reply of Sibley & Holmwood, of Buffalo, N.Y. manufacturer’s of confectionery,” in Reports of Committees of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the Fifty-Third Congress, 1893-1894, 24.
 White, 136.
 “Obituary: Frank Sibley,” in Confectioners Journal, Vol 47, 124-125.
 Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Alison Bodor, to John Mengel et al., August 24, 2009, “Follow up to Industry Meetings on AMS’ Proposed Rule for Dairy Import Assessments.”
 Jennifer Walkowsky and Daniel McEneny (July 2008), National Register of Historic Places Registration: Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. Nancy L. Todd (August 1993), "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Connecticut Street Armory.
 Laura Byrne Paquet, Urge To Splurge: A Social History of Shopping, (Toronto: ECW Pres, 2003), 59.
 Ibid., 62.
 Ibid., 63-64.
 Ibid., 69.
 Ibid., 117.
 Ibid., 64.
 Charles C. Lester, The Miscellaneous Reports: Cases Decided in the Courts of Record of the State of New York, other than the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Vol. 64 (J.B. Lyon Company, Albany, NY; 1910), 375.
 Ibid., 376-377.
 Ibid., 378.
 Ibid., 380.
 Court of Appeals, State of New York, “Case and Exceptions,” Vol 112 (Syracuse: F.N. Spaulding, 1913) 47.
 Ibid., 48.
 Joseph Davies, Trust Laws and Unfair Competition, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916), 97.
 U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Information Technologies for Control of Money Laundering, OTA-ITC630. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1995).
 “Want Department and Classified Advertisements,” Geneva Daily Times, October 7, 1914; “Help Wanted,” Lockport Union-Sun and Journal, April 1, 1918.
 “Building Purchased,” Buffalo Courier Express, January 31, 1946; “New Downtown Site Leased By Local Concern,” Buffalo Courier Express, January 2, 1936.
 “Witkop to Sell 2 Buildings to Gotham Firm,” Buffalo Courier Express, February 28, 1957.
 Bethune was the principal architect of her firm, which included her Robert Bethune and draftsman William L. Fuchs.
 Louise Bethune, “Women and Architecture,” Inland Architect and News Record, 17(March 1891), 20-21, reprinted in Hays, 333.
 The prize would be claimed by Sophia Hayden, the first woman to graduate from the M.I.T. School of Architecture. She retired from the field shortly after the exposition, allegedly due to the harsh criticism of the design.
 At the time of the Hotel Lafayette’s 2010 National Register nomination, it was unknown that Bethune was the credited designer.
 The firm did not specialize in residential design, but ironically this is their most extant building type; among the best remaining examples are 35 Richmond Ave. (1883), 211 Summer St. (1885), 436 Franklin St. (1890), 193 Ashland Ave. (1895) and 165 Lexington Ave. (1899).
 Frank Kowsky, Martin Wachadlo, and Daniel McEneny, Hotel Lafayette National Register Nomination, 2010.
 “Shift of businesses Offices to Fringe of Downtown Viewed as Growth Sign,” Buffalo Evening News, April 4, 1953, City Planning Scrapbook.
 Bob Watson, “Revolutionary Plan Offered to Improve Downtown Area: Saperston Urges City to Get rid of Monument at Lafayette Square, Raze Chippewa Market,” Buffalo Evening News, April, 22, 1958.
 BEN, “Elm-Oak corridor a major success and still growing.”