Olmsted Park and Parkway System - Table of Contents

Gates Circle
Buffalo, NY

HISTORY Beneath Illustrations



Looking north toward Chapin Parkway   ...   April 2018

2017 Photos

 There is a triangular "island" on either side of Gates Circle at Lafayette Avenue   ...   The Park Lane Condominium at Lafayette Avenue is in the center background of this illustration

Looking east, approaching Lafayette Avenue  ...   Gates Circle at left   ...   Triangular island at right

Triangular island in foreground

Looking south   ...   Building in background is Canterbury Woods Gates Circle retirement home, still under construction in June 2017 when this photo was taken

Looking south towards Canterbury Woods Gates Circle

Note smaller fountain in rear

Looking west   ...   Park Lane Condominium at left background

Smaller fountain (closer view below:)

Urns designed by James Earl Fraser
"The beauty of the attractive Gates Circle of the city of Buffalo has been enhanced greatly by the placing of handsome bronze urns on either side of the flight of steps at the north end of the fountain. ... graceful figures of dancing girls with soft, flowing draperies. They are the work of James E. Fraser, of New York, who was a a favorite pupil of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and who is the instructor in modeling at the Art Students' League.  They are part of Mrs. Charles W. Pardee's gift to the city - the gates Circle being a memorial of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. George B. Gates." - Academy Notes, Volumes 1-2 (online August 2019).  Research by Martha Neri

One of eight  light standards  (some being repaired in June 2017)   ...   Three details belows

Egg-and-dart at top under the globe   ...   Acanthus leaves design

Bronze acanthus leaves

Total: 1903

Locust trees

Chapin Parkway originates at Gates Circle, originally known as Chapin Place.

Gates Circle, named in 1902, was completed under the generosity of Mrs. Charles W. Pardee, a member of the Gates family, who was a resident of  938 Delaware Avenue. Mrs. Pardee underwrote the extensive work, done by E.B. Green, to upgrade this public space. Fountains, stairways and greenery were added to the circle and created an appropriate venue for the grand homes along
Chapin Parkway.

Gates Circle is part of the Olmsted Park and Parkway System which is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties and is a designated Local Historic District. See Historic Districts for more information.

Georgie B. Gates Pardee
By Patrick Kavanagh

As a dedication and lasting honor to her parents, Mrs. Pardee petitioned to have the area then known as Chapin Place (Chapin Place was named in honor of Col. Edward Chapin, who belonged to the 116th Infantry, and was killed at Port Hudson in 1863, during the Civil War), changed to Gates Circle.

In return for this name change, Mrs. Pardee offered to pay for the fountain and layout of the circle. E.B. Green
designed the layout of Gates Circle. 

The GAR adamantly objected to this proposal; however, Mrs. Pardee won out and since 1903, this circle has been known as Gates Circle, as Mrs. Pardee wished.

Fascinating secret

If you sit on the outermost circular stone bench of the fountain and speak to a lover (or otherwise confederate) some distance away, your whisperings can be heard from far away. Note well! because the outer ring of seats is broken by gaps, this phenomenon only works within the unbroken segments.

Many famous cathedrals and edifices have "whispering galleries," but this is the only one in Buffalo that I know of.

- Firstmate

Courtesy of Explore Buffalo

Photos and their arrangement 2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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