65 Bidwell Parkway
Buffalo, NY

TEXT Beneath 2015 photos

Ca. 1892
Shingle Style
Contributing building of the Elmwood Avenue-West Historic District

2015 photos

Shingle style ... Conical roof with finial atop tower ... Cross-gambrel roofs

Conical roof with finial atop tower.

Conical roof with finial

Gambreled roof ... Palladian window  .... Flanking oculi ... Various shaped shingles

Loophole style windows

Hoodmold over oculus

Bidwell Parkway

Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of Olmsted’s Buffalo parks and parkways system, cutting diagonally through the Elmwood Historic District (West) from Richmond Avenue and Colonial Circle through Elmwood Avenue near Potomac Avenue further on to Soldier’s Circle in the north-east.

The street and parkway itself were previously listed on the State and National Registers as a contributing element to the Delaware Park-Front Park system in the Olmsted Parks and Parkways Thematic Resources.

A divided roadway with grassy median, Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of the type of road-as-park that Olmsted envisioned; linking pre- existing settlement at Black Rock and Cold Spring with ribbons of trees and landscape to Delaware Park.

The entire street measures approximately 200-feet in width, creating a broad roadway. The median is planted with numerous elm trees on a grid layout, helping give this area a shady, forest-like orderly appearance. Streetlights on Bidwell Parkway are cast iron decorative luminares on poles with Art Nouveau flourishes and glass globes.

Houses on Bidwell Parkway date from approximately the 1890s to 1900s, and many feature more high-style examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival styles. The street also contains several apartment buildings, compatibly scaled to the neighboring 2 1⁄2 or 3-story houses.

- Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West), Section 7, page 8
65 Bidwell Parkway
- Elmwood Historic District (West) National Register of Historic Places Nomination, Section 7, Page 86

3-story cross gambrel frame house with mixed Queen Anne and Shingle Style influences, wood clapboard and shingle, asphalt roof. Engaged 3-story curved tower with conical roof, large entry porch with spindle balustrade, shed roof entry pavilion with casket doors. 2-story polygonal bay under large front gable with central recessed Palladian window with columns flanked by bulls-eye windows. Side elevation features balcony at 3rd story. 1/1 double hung wood windows typical. Contains contributing secondary building hipped roof frame building (garage).
65 Bidwell Parkway
Grant-Ferry-Forest, Buffalo, NY, Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey

The single house at 65 Bidwell Parkway is set on a shortened irregular trapezoidal lot, located on the south side of the street, at its south end. Bidwell Parkway is a residential boulevard that runs on a sharp northeast diagonal between Colonial Circle and Soldiers Circle (outside the survey area at the intersection of Lincoln Parkway). A component of Olmsted and Vaux’s original parkway system, it was once one of the most prestigious addresses within the survey area, if not the entire city, and the location of many fine individual homes. The property is located in a residential area of the east central section of the Grant-Ferry-Forest neighborhood.

A three-story, side and lower front gambrelled, urban, frame, residence of Shingle styling. It has a rough squared plan, slightly elled by the large side tower and extension. The facade has a full-width, open porch with open wood rail, that extends flat across the western 3⁄4’s of the facade to wrap around the three-story, extended bay and engaged tower that dominates the far east bay of the facade.

The paired main entrance doors with awning are located on the flat of the façade, off center to the east, set within a side oriented, shed roofed enclosed, rectangular vestibule that butts into the east bay tower. A two-story polygonal bay with tiered triple windowing occupies the west bay of the facade. A triple window group sets to the east on the second floor facade, above the entrance vestibule. Upper story contained within the gambrels. Lower front gambrel defines the eastern 3⁄4’s of the upper facade; gambrel accented by two symmetric circular oculus at the sides and a shaped center recession with recessed Palladian window and decorative shingle patterns.

West elevation has a first-story, roofed, polygonal bay to the rear, several first-story windows with awnings, single shuttered second-story window, and centered upper-story balcony with large brackets, flat roof, and metal rail. Brick chimney visible at the eastern valley junction of tower and main roof. Exterior wall fabric is wood clapboard and shingle. Fenestration is primarily one-over-one double-hung wood sash and fixed. Additional detailing includes modest frieze, belt course, shuttering, and framing.

The building at 65 Bidwell Parkway is significant as a good representative example of a three-story, side and lower front gambrelled, urban, frame, residence of Shingle styling. A style characteristic of early twentieth century residences, though fairly unique in the Buffalo Grant-Ferry-Forest neighborhood in which singles and urban doubles of Queen Anne style abound. One of several fine Shingle examples in the survey area. A Contributing building to the Richmond Avenue - Ashland Avenue Historic District.
Additional sources of information on this house found on Buffalo Architecture & History website:

1. Olmsted Park and Parkway System - Table of Contents
Bidwell Parkway is part of the Olmsted and Vaux-designed park system, the first designed park system in the US.

2. Grant-Ferry-Forest Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey
Intensive level surveys are usually professionally researched and published.  A wealth of information, among other uses, they can  lead to the formation of historic districts.

3. State and Federal Elmwood Historic District (West)
Bidwell Parkway west of Elmwood Avenue is included in the historic district.  There are current efforts (May 2015) to create a Elmwood Historic District (East) that would include Bidwell Parkway east of Elmwood Avenue. The main impetus for creating historic districts is for developers and  site owners to benefit from tax credits which is a way for society to express the appreciation of history.

Photos and their arrangement 2015
Chuck LaChiusa

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