Bidwell Parkway

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.

Notable buildings on Bidwell Parkway include the George L. Thorne House at 50 Bidwell Parkway, designed for one of Buffalo’s most prominent real estate moguls by Bethune, Bethune and Fuchs around 1885. The house at 123 Bidwell Parkway dates to 1895 and was designed by Joseph Lyman Silsbee, a nationally-significant architect and early mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built for Charles Dudley Arnold, official photographer of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition in 1901.

- Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West)

Gen. Daniel Davidson Bidwell

Bidwell Parkway sites on
Buffalo Architecture and History website

 Benedict R. Maryniak, Soldiers Circle, Bidwell Parkway and Chapin Parkway

Photos and their arrangement 2015
Chuck LaChiusa

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