The Architect: G. Morton Wolfe
Draft Nomination - National Register of Historic Places
Parkside Candy Shoppe and Factory
3208 Main Street, Buffalo NY
By Francis R. Kowsky and Martin Wachadlo
[Edited by Jennifer Walkowski, NYSHPO]
The architect of the Parkside Candy Company was a well-known figure in the Buffalo architectural profession in the first half of the twentieth century. G. Morton Wolfe was born in 1886 in Middletown, Connecticut, and settled in Buffalo in 1903. At the time, he began working for a local building concern. In 1908, he started his own architectural and engineering practice, building a reputation for the design of all sorts of buildings, especially industrial buildings and shopping centers. Residences in a variety of historical styles also came from his drawing board. Among his earliest independent works was the Spanish Revival Circle Arts Theater (1914) at 444 Connecticut Street (now a mosque). A later cinema, the Amherst Theater on Main Street near the Parkside Candy Company, was a major component of the University Plaza (mostly demolished) that Wolfe designed in 1942.
Wolfe was also active in promoting the fortunes of the local architectural profession. In 1938, he organized the first professional association here, the Western New York Society of Architects. When this organization was superseded in 1944 by the Buffalo Western New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Wolfe became its first president. In 1949, Wolfe organized a committee of architects and engineers to revise Buffalo’s building code, which was then more than fifty years old. For eight years, his group worked pro bona to complete a new code. He also represented the AIA chapter in its efforts to improve relations between contractors, laborers, and architects. Wolfe retired from active practice in 1962; he died three years later.