Bemis / Ransom House - Table of Contents  ..........  Allentown Historic District

2002 photographs

Exterior - Bemis / Ransom House

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Click on photos for larger size -- and additional information

Soaring brick chimneys. 3-sided pavilion with top parapet.

Terra cotta ornamentation at top of gable

Lion gargoyle [grotesque] on a high-pitched roof

Gargoyle [grotesque] on left (west) of house.

Flemish Renaissance Revival gable head

Gargoyle [grotesque] and Renaissance Revival gable head on right (east) side of house.

Slate roof; soaring chimney; stepped Flemish gable

Arcaded porch with Romanesque arches

Roman brick facade; Roman arched entrance with keystone in voussoir surround

Terra cotta ornamentation on pier

Owners of Bemis House in October 2000

1931 Photo
House owner: Mrs. Joseph T. Jones



Joseph Lyman Silsbee and James Marling

Silsbee's second house commission for Buffalo. $25,000.
The first commission was next door at 291 North St., the Noyes/Naylon House. The cost for each house was $25,000.

In 1882 Silsbee opened an office in Buffalo with Buffalonian James H. Marling (1857-1895) who also had worked in Silsbee's Syracuse office before coming to Buffalo. (Silsbee continued his office and residence in Syracuse.) All of the commissions that Silsbee had in Buffalo (21 houses, plus some commercial buildings) were the result of the contacts he made when he designed the Falconwood clubhouse in Grand Island and the Hamlin Park Driving Club. Silsbee designed several houses for the Hamlin family.


1885 or 1886

Bemis lived on the property in another building and is listed at the address in '83 but building citations and research of Silsbee's work of the period proves that the home was built a few years later.

See also:
Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1885


Queen Anne....... Flemish Renaissance


The home was designed for John Muzzy Bemis and his wife, Mary. Mr. Bemis owned a wholesale lumber company in downtown Buffalo until 1891 when the family moved to Pennsylvania. The company was then consolidated with Taylor and Crate.

Silsbee met Bemis when he was designing the Falconwood Club. Bemis was a lumber baron who accumulated great wealth selling the abundant timber from area forests. The exquisite interior woodwork reflects Bemis's career success.

Mr. and Mrs. Philip W. Ransom lived in the house from 1955 to 1981. . Mr. Ransom's career centered on real estate and investments. He was a descendant of Asa Ransom, an early settler of Western New York.

The house was the
Decorators' Show House in 1983.

Main source of information:

Additional sources:

See also: Joseph Lyman Silsbee in Buffalo Bemis House architect

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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