Short Histories of Not-for-Profit Preservation Organizations in Buffalo, NY - Table of Contents

Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier - A Short History


Existence: 
1969 - Founded as independent organization by Tony Fryer
1969? - Became chapter of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society which provided administrative support and the use of its facilities
1989 - BECHS affiliation terminated. New location:  Coit House
Reason for Formation: Grew out of concern for preserving Buffalo's oldest post-War of 1812 residence, the c. 1815 Coit House.
Mission: 
Enhancing Appreciation of Built and Natural Landmarks through Advocacy and Education.
1991 - Statement of Purpose
Some of the leaders:

Founders:
Appleton "Tony" Fryer
Frederic K. Houston
William Magavern
O. William Shelgren Jr.
Later Board members:
John Bozer
Francis R. Kowsky
William "Beau" Van Schoohoven
Richard Baer
Michael Stock
Ramona Whitaker

Maura Cohn
Gary Costello
Chuck LaChiusa
Board Presidents:
Austin Fox
Tekla Harty
John Conlin
William Koch
John Phelan
Alan McCarthy
Robert Shibley
Clinton Brown
Tony Fryer
Executive Directors:
Appleton "Tony" Fryer
Dennis Galucki
Landmark Society representative to the City of Buffalo Preservation Board
Richard Baer
Operation:

2002-2007, grew a $50,000 endowment fund  into a $135,000 endowment fund, $100,000 of which was placed in the Community Foundation, and the remaining $35,000 used for transitioning costs when the Landmark Society merged with the Preservation Coalition to form Preservation Buffalo Niagara.  (Dennis Galucki)

Annual Preservation Awards luncheons. (Maura Cohen)

Disseminated information about tax credits
to a reluctant developer community through seminars and newsletter.   (Ramona Whitaker, newsletter)

Tuesday spring and fall lecture series in the Market Arcade. 
(Dennis Galucki)

Weekday City Hall walking tour, later merged with the Preservation Coalition walking tours, an example of collaboration that proved useful in convincing the two boards to merge. (Dennis Galucki)

Collaborated with Buffalo Riverkeeper in Landmark Society office space. 
(Dennis Galucki)

Awarded a permanent seat on the  Preservation Board (Richard Baer, representative)

Accomplishments:

Acquired and preserved Hull House until Landmark Society Board member Gary Costello raised $1,000,000 for a spin off in December 2006.

Acquired covenants on some of the City’s most important historic structures including the Guaranty Building and four 19th Century houses on Washington Street

Downtown Signage project in Downtown Buffalo, with funding from
the Community Foundation. (Louise McClive, Ramona Whitaker, Dennis Galucki)

Funded survey of Olmsted Park system in preparation for the listing of the entire system as a National Landmark.

Acquired a Martin House window at a Christie's auction (John Conlin)

Published book on City Hall, authored by John Conlin

Published book on Oakland Place: "Oakland Place: Gracious Living in Buffalo," by Martin Wachadlo and Chuck LaChiusa

Printed a series of large posters on Buffalo landmarks

Raised money to purchase two of the beautiful wisteria entry windows that were removed from the Darwin Martin House and were up for auction at Christy’s

Developed a successful downtown marker effort and regional plaque program to educate the public throughout the region on important historic structures and sites including the Buffalo Lighthouse, UB’s Hayes Hall, DAR Chapter House and many other sites

Led a public outcry, (greatly assisted by Joan Bozer) that helped save the Old Post Office which now successfully houses ECC’s downtown campus



 Buildings Saved with the Aid of Landmark Society Advocacy:
Williams-Pratt House

Williams-Butler House

Old U. S. Post Office, now home to the Erie county community College city campus

Four adjacent Delaware Avenue mansions now homes to corporate headquarters, a charter school, and the International Institute

Birge Mansion

Washington Place, four century-old houses on the East side adapted for reuse as medical offices
The National Landmark Guaranty Building, for which the LSNF holds a covenant protecting its facade in perpetuity

Victor Hugo Mansion, now a boutique hotel

Warren & Polly Hull House in Lancaster.

The LSNF also advocated for state involvement in the restoration of the Darwin Martin House and against demotion of the Atwater House, whose next chapter hasn't been written yet.

Spin offs:
Coit House (Henry & Linda Priebe)

Hull House (Gary Costello)
Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature (Dennis Galucki)
Additional online information:

1989, 1992 -  Committees

1992-1993 - Activities and Events

1993 - Report to the Board of Trustees

1993-1996 -
Sample tour flyers

1997 -
Alan McCarthy obituary  (online April 2020)

2005 - Appleton Fryer, Founding of Landmark Society Inextricably Linked to Saving Coit House

2005 - Buffalo Rising, The Nature of the Niagara Frontier   (online April 2020)

2006 - "The Landmarker" newsletter, Fall/Winter 2006-2007

2008 - Blythe Merrill, History of LSNF and Pres Co   Speech

2010 - Francis R. Kowsky, A Tribute to Olaf William Shelgren Jr.

2013 - John J. Phelan obituary (online April 2020)

2016 - WNY History, A Martin House Story 
(online April 2020)

2019 - William Koch obituary
(online April 2020)

William "Beau" Van Schoohoven  obituary (online April 2020)

Surveys and Nominations by Clinton Brown Company Architecture/Rebuild

Francis R. Kowsky on the Web

Austin Fox on Buffalo Architecture & History website


Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2020
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