Illustrated Architecture Dictionary ........... Styles of Architecture

Two-Part Block Commercial style

The two-part block is the most common form for small and moderate-sized commercial buildings in the United States.

This type of building is generally limited to two to four stories, and is characterized by a horizontal division into two distinct zones.    The two-part division of the exterior zones typically reflects differences in its interior use. The street level indicates public spaces for commercial enterprises, while the upper section suggests more private spaces reserved for offices, meeting halls or apartments.

Two-part commercial blocks define the central business district of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. In the early twentieth century, this type of commercial building lined Broadway, and several blocks of Fillmore Avenue. Most of these display decorative elements and materials characteristic of the Early Twentieth Century Commercial style, as discussed above. There are several examples on Broadway that feature ornate terra cotta fronts, intricate leaded glass transoms, and other decorative panels or motifs (880, 1105, and 1129-1131 Broadway).

In addition to representative examples of the Early Twentieth Commercial Style, the commercial center of the
Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood contained two-part blocks that were architect-designed. W.H. Zawadzki, the most prominent architect working in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, designed two-part blocks for commercial and social buildings.    Examples of this type of building form by Zawadzki include the Polish Singing Circle building (1907; 1170 Broadway), the five-story, Renaissance style, Lipowicz’s wholesale grocery store (1912; 1201 Broadway), A.Scrhreiber Brewing Co. (1909 section; 662 Fillmore Avenue), and the Polish Union Hall (1914; 761 Fillmore Avenue). Zawadzki also designed the Dom Polski (Polish Home) building at 1081 Broadway, a four-story Renaissance style that, with its horizontal banding, displays the composition of the vertical stacked form.

- Broadway-Fillmore, Buffalo, NY, Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey

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