Cary Family - Table of Contents ............ Rumsey Family - Table of Contents

George Cary in Buffalo, NY
Biography Beneath Illustrations

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George Cary, c. 1902

George Cary, c. 1930

George's home until the age of 50 when he married, 184 Delaware Avenue (demolished)

George's parents, Dr. Walter Cary and Julia Love Cary

George's aunt, Maria Love who founded the first day care center in the US.

George's brother, Dr. Charles Cary

"The Spirit of Niagara" by George's sister-in-law Evelyn Rumsey Cary

"The Centaur", by George's nephew, sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey

George Cary designed many private homes, but he himself lived in an Italianate house at 460 Franklin Street after he married George K. Birge's daughter, Allithea

George Cary's signature building, the Buffalo  History  Museum

Cary's Neoclassical Forest Lawn Administration Building

Cary's Neoclassical Forest Lawn Delaware Avenue Gate

Cary's Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company Administration Building

The George K. Birge Memorial is attributed to George Cary.

Stella Lowry row house on the Midway


The Cary Memorial at Forest Lawn Cemetery

George Cary's tombstone

William Warren House, North Street


George Cary (1859-1945) was one of seven children in a socially prominent family in Buffalo, New York. He was the grandson of a New York State Senator and a U.S. Congressman. His father was Dr. Walter Cary.

Cary took his undergraduate work at Harvard and received a Masters of Philosophy degree at Columbia in 1885.

He spent a brief apprenticeship with the prestigious New York City architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White before going to Paris to study.

The first Buffalonian to do so, he attended L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1886 to 1889. This explains the presence of H. H. Richardson (the second American to attend L'Ecole) and Stanford White (who worked for Richardson during some of the construction of the New York State Insane Asylum in Buffalo) as guests at 184 Delaware Ave. , since Cary continued to live there as a practicing architect until he married Allithea Birge, the last day of 1908, by which time he was 50.

In 1891 he returned to Buffalo and set up practice. He married Allithea Birge, daughter of George K. and Carrie Birge (Birge wallpaper and Pierce-Arrow cars).

Cary is best known for the museum and for the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company Administration Building (1695 Elmwood Avenue at Great Arrow Road), both sites previously occupied by Pan-American Exposition grounds.

Cary also designed

In the mid-1890s, Cary redesigned some rooms in the Ansley Wilcox mansion.

He died in 1945, at eighty-six, and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery (photo above).

Pan-American Expo

At the age of 40, Cary became one of the three local architects on the Board of Architects of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. He designed the Ethnology Building,, but only one of his masterful designs for the exposition survives: the New York State Pavilion, now the refined Buffalo  History Museum.

The pavilion was designed in Neoclassical style as a Grecian temple. The eight-columned south portico is a 3/4 scale version of the great Doric Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The pavilion was built of Vermont marble and was the only intended permanent exposition structure; all of the others were constructed of plaster.

Allithea Birge Cary
By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section F, Lot 67
Date of Death: 11/17/1918

Allithea is the daughter of George K. Birge and Carrie Humphrey Birge. Mr. Birge was the owner of Birge Wallpaper, famous for its 12 color wallpaper process, and an Executive of Pierce Arrow Motor Car. Birge lived at 25 Symphony Circle, which was known as the "Circle House."

Allithea married George Cary on 12/13/1908. Cary was a nationally known architect who apprenticed with McKim, Mead & White. His designs include the Administration Building at Forest Lawn, the Delaware Avenue Gate at Forest Lawn, the New York State Building for the Pan American Exposition held in Buffalo in 1901 (now the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society) as well as updates and renovations to the Wilcox Mansion. They resided at 460 Franklin Street in Buffalo. George's marriage to Allithea secured his place in Buffalo society.

Sources of text:

See also:

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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