69 Bidwell Parkway
Buffalo, NY

1 of 3 houses built for W. B. French

Additional sources of information found beneath the 2015 photos

Ca. 1910
Colonial Revival and Craftsman
Contributing building of the Elmwood Avenue-West Historic District

Bidwell Parkway

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.

- Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West), Section 7, page 8
69 Bidwell Parkway
- Elmwood Historic District (West) National Register of Historic Places Nomination, Section 7, Page 86

Ca. 1910  ...  2 1⁄2-story side gable masonry house with mixed Colonial Revival and Craftsman detailing  ... rubble stone foundation and 1st story  ...  pebbledash finish upper  ...  asphalt roof  ...  Central entrance in projecting stone bay with copper hood  ...   paneled door with sidelights  ...   tripartite leaded window at 2nd floor  ... Paired front gable dormers  ...   exposed rafter tails  ...   knee braces  ...  Broad 1/1 and 6/1 double hung windows, with segmental arched stone headers at 1st story  ... Contains non-contributing secondary building (garage).
69 Bidwell Parkway
Grant-Ferry-Forest, Buffalo, NY, Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey

The single house at 69 Bidwell Parkway is set on a shortened trapezoidal corner lot, located on the south side of the street, toward its south end at the intersection of Ashland Avenue.

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-and-one-half story, side gabled, urban, frame residence of a Colonial Revival style with extensive Craftsman detailing.

It has a roughly square plan with small first-story north wing. The house is oriented to front Ashland Avenue. The facade has a centered, full-height, shallow, rectangular bay contained under the wide eaves. The main entrance is set centered on this bay, beneath a flared hipped roof.

Symmetric windowing defines the facade with a set of tired single windows set centrally in both side bays. Two gabled dormers with paired window accent, brackets, shaped verge boards and rafter tails rest on the front roof slope, one centered over each side bay. Small, side gabled, first story, wing on the north elevation, with elongated ribboned windowing.

Brick chimney, visible on the exterior, bisects the north side gable and elevation.

Exterior wall fabric is stone on the lower story, with stucco upper.

Fenestration is one-over-one, four-over-one, and six-over-one double-hung wood sash and fixed.

Additional detailing includes wide open eaves, brackets, shaped verge boards, and exposed rafter tails.

A garage occupies the rear west of the lot.

The building at 69 Bidwell Parkway is significant as a good representative example of a two-and-one-half story, side gabled, urban, frame residence of a Colonial Revival style with extensive Craftsman detailing. Styled urban singles of varying design, such as this, were typical housing for upper class families in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, though those with heavy Queen Anne influence were most common on the West Side.

A Contributing building to the Richmond Avenue - Ashland Avenue Historic District.

Broken rangework masonry on chimney

Onondaga limestone

Rafter tails support overhanging eaves - a typical Arts & Crafts/Craftsman style feature

Gabled dormer  with rafter tails support overhanging eaves  ...  Craftsman  knee braces

Leaded glass windows

Leaded glass side lights

Copper porch roof with Greek key ornamentation

Leaded glass side light


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.

Photos and their arrangement 2015
Chuck LaChiusa

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