Williams-Pratt House - Table of Contents
History - Williams-Pratt House / LiRo Group
690 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, N.Y.
(in Delaware Preservation District)
Married Emma Alice Jewett, daughter of Sherman S. Jewett
Click on photo for larger size. Source: "A History
of the City of Buffalo," published by the The Buffalo Evening News, 1908
Click on photos for larger size.
Charles and Emma Williams both died in 1909, at which time their
daughter Jeannie Jewett Williams (who married Frederick L. Pratt in the reception room of the house in 1907) and her husband moved
into the mansion. Pratt, the eldest son of civic leader, banker and industrialist
Pascal Paoli Pratt, spent his time managing the properties included in his inheritance.
From this time until the fateful stock market crash of 1929, the Pratts lavishly
entertained many distinguished guests and the reception room became known as the
City's "largest and one of the most elegant drawing rooms." One especially
noteworthy event was the 1926 Oriental Ball when the mansion was transformed into
a lush tropical garden.
City of Buffalo
The City of Buffalo acquired the property for back taxes, bought it at public
auction for $22,419.54, and filed a deed stating such on December 29, 1938. The building
stood vacant for three years, during which time theft and neglect caused damage to
the elaborate plumbing and the electrical fixtures (The house included an elevator
and ultramodern heating system).
In 1940, the Common Council voted to dedicate the mansion to the Veterans of the
GAR and to the Spanish War Vets for use as a meeting place and the storage for records.
The vets officially moved into the "GAR Memorial hall" April 15, 1941.
At this time, $2,000 was allocated by the Common Council to remodel and repair the
In 1978 Buffalo businessman Paul Snyder bought the house from the city to house
his Snyder corporation, the Niagara Trading Corp.
The Liro Group
2002 owner: The Liro Group
Click on photo for larger size
Stanford White (McKim, Mead and White), assisted by Edward York, later of York and Sawyer
Stanford White portrait is on display in the house.