Hamlin House - Table of Contents ............... Hamlin Family - Table of Contents
2002 photos - Cicero J. Hamlin House / Hamlin House
432 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY
Now the Hamlin House Restaurant
Once named Tuscarora Street, Franklin Street is the product of Judge Ebenezer Walden's subdivision of his personal estate, the southern boundary of which was Edward Street and which abutted Lewis Allen's farm to the north. From the beginning the street attracted professionals who wanted to combine comfortable suburban living with the proximity to the boom of commerce So many doctors hung out their shingles on Franklin Street that it was called "Pill Alley" by Buffalo wags.
No.432 Franklin is one of a handful of Italian Villas built in Buffalo. characterized by low pitched hip roofs and decorative elliptical lights at the floor level of the attic story. A three- story tower on the left side of the structure provides an asymmetric grace. The main roof ends in broad eaves supported by ornate modillion brackets and a dentilated frieze. A molded stone course separates the attic story from the floors below.
Elongated first and second story windows are capped by segmental arches. A first floor bay on the south side is graced with Corinthian columns supporting wide dentil-ornamented eaves.
The entryway porch and the porch on the right-hand side are supported by Corinthian columns under bracketed capitals, and ornamented with heavy bracketing and dentil-molding under the eaves.
The tower is lit by round-arched lunettes.
Additions have been made to the rear and the right side.
The 1977 owner and 1992 occupant was American Legion Post 665, and the building now houses a restaurant called Hamlin House.
Cicero J. Hamlin
The original owner was Cicero J. Hamlin, a wealthy sugar investor. He owned the land from 420 to 440 Franklin, with 200 feet of frontage. Frank Hamlin owned another 100 feet on the corner of Franklin and Virginia Streets. These large properties backed onto Delaware Avenue, across from the equally large property of Cornell Lead Company.
Hamlin was the first president of American Glucose Company, which employed over 1000 men. The company began as Buffalo Grape Sugar Company and then American Grape Sugar Company, until it was consolidated with several midwest companies. Glucose manufacturing was an important industry in 19th-century Buffalo.
Hamlin was also known for The Village Stock Farm in the town of Aurora. He bred 500 cattle each year and had an extensive stock of fine thoroughbred stallions and mares. In the 1850s, his brother John was the principal family merchant, but in the 1880s, Cicero was considered one of Buffalo's most prominent capitalists. By 1898, Mr. and. Mrs. C.J. Hamlin had moved to 1035 Delaware Avenue and were listed in Dau's elite social directory. Later, Hamlin's descendants developed the Hamlin Park section of Buffalo. As an item of curiosity, the top story of the judges stand (c. 1855) from Hamlin's Village Farm and Racetrack may be seen on West Fillmore Avenue in East Aurora.
Mr. & Mrs. Hamlin moved to 1035 Delaware Avenue. In 1885, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Hamlin lived here.
In 1898 Edward R. Spaulding lived there and was listed in Dau's elite social directory.
See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1870
- "Buffalo's Brick Italianates: An Allentown Legacy," by Sonia R. Efron. 1994.
- "A Field Guide to the Architecture and History of Allentown," by Louise McMillan, et. al. Buffalo: The Allentown Association, Inc., 1987