Jacob Schmidt House & Tavern - Table of Contents ......... Black Rock - Table of Contents

2003 Exterior Photos
Schmidt House & Tavern
71 Amherst
Street, Buffalo, New York
Black Rock Neighborhood

  HISTORY Beneath Illustrations

BEFORE photos

1989 photo, courtesy of Scott Glasgow.
Note siding and stairs for right-hand apartment.
The building was scheduled for demolition. Scott Glasgow was determined to buy the property and renovate it because of family roots in Black Rock.

1989 photo, courtesy of Scott Glasgow.
 Asbestos siding removed.

1989 photo, courtesy of Scott Glasgow.
East and north elevations.
Front clapboards and trim painted.
Left (east) of house: clapboards removed; plank construction revealed.


2003 photo.
Amherst Street neighbors: 81 Amherst, a pre-1850 Greek Revival with Victorian trim, and the Gothic Revival St. John's United Church of Christ. Both lots were carved out the original 3/4 acre plot purchased by Augustus Porter.

East Street neighbors: 109, 107 East. Both lots were carved out the original 3/4 acre plot purchased by Augustus Porter.

Neighbors across the street on East Street. House at far right is the Byrd House, the impressive interior woodwork, parquet floors, etc. were removed by a previous owner.

Over 90 pre-1850 standing houses still exist in Black Rock, and the ones for sale are usually available at bargain rates.

Diagonally across the street on Amherst and East is Engine #15 Fire Station converted to apartments.

Looking north on East Street is St. Francis Xavier RC school (not in use) and church. In 2008, the campus became re purposed as the Buffalo Religious Arts Center.


The original entrance (still being restored by owner Scott Glasgow, shown in the photograph) was Greek Revival with transom and side lights - even though it is a Federal style house.  It was not unusual to combine styles.

Unusually high foundation constructed of Onondaga limestone.
The name "Black Rock" is derived from the black chert (flint) that is found in the limestone.

The foundation, all original, on the front of the house on Amherst St. was dressed and cut; the rest (see next photo below) was simply rubble.

Rubble Onondaga limestone rocks used in foundation in right rear of house.

Right side (East St.) of house. The 2 1/2 story left section was originally a tavern.

The original structure was the 1 1/2 structure on the right. It now houses the kitchen.

Note St. John's Gothic Revival tower two doors away on Amherst. Land for the church was donated by a former owner of this house.

Rear entrance into kitchen

Right rear cellar door,


Built c. 1830-1835 by Augustus Porter (brother of Peter Porter) on a 3/4 acre lot for the purpose of entertaining potential land buyers in a tavern.

What appears to be an additional 1 1/2-story rear wing is actually the original structure. This may have been used as living quarters while the larger wing was added on Amherst Street to be a tavern. The front of the original building was sawed off and the larger front section built on.

About 1840 the building was remodeled and became a 1-family home for the Jacob Schmidt family (wife Catherine).

In 1880, the house was remodeled as a 2-apartment duplex. The original tavern door on the right front became the door to the right-hand apartment. Next to no "modernization," inside or out, took place after 1840.

Over the years, pieces of the lot were sold. Houses built on the parcels include 81 Amherst, 109 East, and 107 East. Catherine Schmidt's sister donated a parcel for St. John's Lutheran Church.

In 1989 the house was boarded up and scheduled for demolition. Neighbors had complained about the raucous parties that motorcycle gangs had held there. The present owner, Scott Glasgow,  convinced the city to sell the property to him and he has painstakingly restored much of the house with scrupulous historical accuracy.

Special thanks to Scott Glasgow for his assistance.
Other consultants: Tim Tielman and Mark Goldman in 2000.

Photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
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