Wilkes House - Table of Contents

   Exterior - Emma B. Wilkes House
495 Lafayette Avenue at the corner of Norwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY

Martin C. Miller
Arts & Crafts
2012 Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
First owner:
1906 - Henry and Emma B. Wilkes
Second owner:
1911-  Alice Nathan
Third owner: 1939 - Ernest & Margot Freudenheim. Ernst moved here from Germany in 1930s to evade Jewish persecution.  Through the 40s Freudenheim housed several refugee families on the third floor of this house.
Fourth owner: 1958 - Jules Fugdor
Fifth owner: 1964 - Robert Freudenheim  (son)
Sixth owner: 1973 - Victor Shanchuk
2019 photos

495 Lafayette Avenue
Owners: Victor and Deborah Shanchuk
By Judy Tucker

The Shanchuk’s are the current owners of this home. Victor is an accomplished photographer, painter and artist and the home is filled with the couple’s collections of art and antiques. Victor recently had a show, Chemical Light, exhibited at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

This handsome Arts and Crafts Colonial style house was designed by Martin C. Miller and was built in 1906 for Henry and Emma Wilkes. Wilkes was born in Buffalo and was Founder and President of the American Household Storage Company in 1903. He was an Elder at Lafayette Presbyterian Church for 25 years.

In the late 1930s, Ernst Freudenheim and his family moved to Buffalo from Germany after persecution of Jewish people began. Freudenheim first worked in a jewelry store and then opened his own jewelry business in this home. The original jewelry safe is in the first-floor bathroom. Freudenheim was very active in help
ing Jews get out of Germany and in the 40’s he housed several refugee families on the third floor of this house.

Listed on National Register of Historic Places in 2012, note the stained-glass transom window above the entrance, and period windows throughout the house. The home contains its original oak panels, open central staircase, window seats and pocket doors. In the entry, a saloon bar that the current owners found in the basement has been restored and contains the original nameplate for A.F. Meyer, a Buffalo manufacturing business started in 1915 that was a pioneer in electric refrigeration and saloon fixtures.

Architect's drawings: 1906

Arts & Crafts style

Slate dormers   ...   Bargeboard     ...   Six over one lights   ...   Replacement asphalt roof

Rafter tails - a typical
Arts & Crafts style feature


Rafter tails

Battered wall



Arts & Crafts style stained glass  transom window

Stained glassOpalescent glass   ...   Ripple glass   ...   Came

West elevation

Brick voussoirs   ...   Six over one lights   ...   Stone sill

Oriels    ...   
Brick voussoirs   ...   Sills   ...   Corbels

Sills   ...   Corbels

Eight over one lights 


Special thanks to current owners Victor and Deborah Shanchuk for their cooperation in 2019

Photos and their arrangement 2019 Chuck LaChiusa
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