Robert Keating Root Building
70-86 West Chippewa Street, Buffalo, NY




Esenwein & Johnson


Beaux Art Classical Revival

Root's Home:

Root House
Bradshaw Hovey, Doug Swift: 'Sometimes you gotta take a risk'

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information

August Esenwein

James Johnson

Located on south side of Chippewa

Eaves feature rosettes with dentils below. Note S scroll.

White glazed terra cotta brick

Rosettes... dentils ... stylized drops ... S scrolls

Greek fret ... S scroll

Greek fret

See also:
Root House


2003 tenant is Emerson Vocational High School which operates a restaurant on the first floor

Painted "Root Building" sign

The text below is excerpted from
Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families, by Edward T. Dunn. Pub. by Canisius College Press, 2003, pp. 281-2

Robert Keating

Robert Keating Root [1866-1923] was born in Buffalo in 1866, the son of Robert Keating, scion of an Anglo-Irish family long established in Wexford [Ireland].

Robert Keating came to America in 1854 [born 1834 in County Wexford, Eire] and to Buffalo the next year where he spent eleven years with [S. S.] Jewett & [Francis H.] Root, stove manufacturers. He then formed a partnership with Jewett's son, Henry C., which under the name Root & Jewett set up tanneries in Olean and Port Allegany, which sold out to the leather trust in 1892. Keating then moved into banking. He was a director of the Third National Bank, secretary of Standard Savings and Loan Association, and vice-president of Buffalo Savings.

In 1860 he married his then boss's daughter, Caroline W Root [1839-1866], by whom he had one child, Robert Keating, mentioned above. When Caroline died in 1866, possibly in childbirth, Caroline's father, who wished an heir to perpetuate the family name, adopted him under the name Robert Keating Root.

Robert Keating Root

Robert K. Root (PHOTO) dabbled in banking, starting from the top. He had been a director and member of the executive committee of the Bank of Buffalo and became vice-president of that institution when it merged with Marine Trust at which time he became a member of the board of Marine. He had also been a director of the Market Bank, a trustee of the Fidelity Trust, of the Commonwealth Trust of New York, and of the Ellicott Square Company.

He was the eponym of and chief investor in the Root Building in downtown Buffalo.

His business acumen was expended chiefly in managing the Root estate much of which was invested in real property.

In 1888(?) he married Emily J. Davis, the daughter of the Townsend Davises of #596 Delaware. Emily died in 1917 and Robert never married again, so that the perpetuation of the Root name had not gone very far.

Next year Root served overseas as a captain in the Red Cross during World War 1. His sociabilite' embraced both Buffalo and New York. He had been dean of the Saturn Club and president of the Country Club. He belonged to the Buffalo Club, and to the Union League and the Strollers Club of New York.

He died in Miami in 1923 at fifty-seven of pneumonia supposedly contracted while surf-bathing. He had taken several companions from Buffalo aboard his yacht for two weeks of fishing. He was buried from his home, Rev. Cameron J. Davis of Trinity presiding.

[See also: RootsWeb]

Robert was a twin to a Langford Spencer Keating who died in San Francisco on 31 May 1898. You can see him on FindAGrave.Com. Robert was picked to be raised by his mother's father Francis Root to carry on the family name and his learn the family business.
-Werner Howald, Dec. 2018

Color photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
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