John D. Larkin - Table of Contents ................ Show Houses - Table of Contents

John Durrant Larkin Jr. House
65 Lincoln Parkway, Buffalo, New York




Wood & Bradney

Original owner:

Originally the John Durrant Larkin Jr. House and one of five houses in Larkland


Colonial Revival


1981 and 1999 Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News Decorators' Show House


Other Lincoln Parkway Homes

Buffalo Park and Parkway System

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Click on photos for larger size and information

Bust of John D. Larkin in solarium

The Onondaga limestone wall along Lincoln Pkwy.

Architects: McCreary, Wood & Bradney




Rear of house on Forest Ave.


Solarium entry.

Solarium marble fountain.

First floor.

First floor. Original to house.

First floor

First floor

Second floor bedroom. Typical door throughout house

Second floor bedroom.

John D. Larkin - Table of Contents

Second floor walk-in closet

65 Lincoln Parkway

John Durrant Larkin Jr.

Mary Frances Larkin Kellogg, about age 15,
the only daughter of  John D. Larkin Jr. and Edna Crate Larkin.
Painting by Alexander O. Levy, the art director at the at the Larkin Co.  
Photo courtesy of Brian Kellogg

"Larkland" Houses

"The Buffalo Seminary Larkin House"
By Bonnie Bristol Clesse and Mary Beth Parrinello.
Pub. by the Junior League

The Georgian Revival mansion at the corner of Lincoln Parkway and Forest Avenue, now known as The Buffalo Seminary Larkin House, was originally only one of five Larkin family homes.

It was designed by McCreary, Wood and Bradney, a Buffalo architectural firm that designed both commercial buildings and private residences. The Spaulding Building and the Sidway Building are two examples of their work on Main Street. They designed several houses on Lincoln Parkway as well as the Willis K. Jackson, Conrad E. Wettlaufer and Forman-Cabana homes on Delaware Avenue.

In February of 1909, John Durrant Larkin, Senior, founder of Larkin Company, purchased an entire city block of land known as Rumsey's Wood. Bordered by Rumsey Road and Forest and Windsor Avenues, the property fronted on Lincol~ n Parkway. Larkin and his wife Frances called it Larkland and proceeded to have beautiful homes built there for themselves and four of their children (Charles, Frances, John D. Junior, and Harry). Each house had a garage with an apartment for the chauffeur's family above and a heating plant in the basement below. The heat was carried via steam pipes through a tunnel connecting the garage to the house.

In addition to the homes, there were greenhouses and utility buildings on the grounds. A road was built through the compound from Forest Avenue to Rumsey Road for deliveries of coal and other necessities. Finally, a limestone wall surrounded the whole property. Truly Larkland was a very extensive and beautiful estate.

Sadly, the main mansion of Frances and John D. Larkin Senior was demolished in 1939. The grandest, most lavish home of all, it had overlooked Delaware Park from the corner of Lincoln and Rumsey. The four children's homes at 160, 176 and 17S Windsor and 65 Lincoln remain with the original limestone wall to give us an interesting glimpse into the lifestyle of one of Buffalo's premier families.

John Durrant Larkin, Junior, worked in the family business as the general manager assistant to Treasurer Darwin Martin and finally, president. Married in 1900, he and Edna Crate moved into 65 Lincoln Parkway in 1915. There, they raised their three children, J. Crate, John III, and Mary Frances.

After her parents' deaths in 1945 and 1948, the tedious task of sorting through their belongings and extensive collections fell to their only daughter, Mary Frances Larkin Kellogg. To make this job easier, she and her husband, Howard Kellogg, Junior son of the founder of Spencer Kellogg Company, moved into the house with their six children. (Interestingly, the Kelloggs' own home at 12 Middlesex was the 1987 Decorators' Show House.)

In 1954 The Buffalo Seminary acquired and furnished The Buffalo Seminary Larkin House through the generosity of the Larkin and Kellogg families, Buffalo Seminary Graduates Association and many friends of the Seminary. The house has been used as the headmaster's residence and for social functions. In 1981 Larkin House, as it was known, was the first of the biennial Decorators' Show Houses. In 1999 it is the tenth, the only site visited twice.

Sources: "John D. Larkin: A Business Pioneer," by Daniel I. Larkin. Pub. by Western New York Wares, 1998

Special thanks to Buffalo Seminary for their cooperation in 2002.

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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