William F.
and  Lula Colton Strasmer 

695 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo, NY

 - Elmwood East Nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, Section 7, p. 192
On the Explore Buffalo Lafayette Avenue Tour of Homes
September 22, 2018
Research by Judy Tucker

This house was built for William F. Strasmer and his wife Lula Colton Strasmer in 1896.  The young newlyweds held their wedding reception in the house on September 28, 1897.  William was born and raised in Buffalo and became a very prominent solo practitioner attorney. Lula was active in social circles and was the President of Magazine Club, a weekly woman’s publication that covered topics from latest inventions to gardening. She also headed the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolutions from 1900 through 1920’s. Their daughter, Katherine Strasmer, married Robert C. Graves, Jr. in 1927 and continued to live in the house for another 30 years. 

For eighteen years, John Bliss has been caretaker of this home, doing extensive renovations, while maintaining the integrity of the home’s original design.  Bliss has turned it into a welcoming gathering place for his children, family, and friends. 

The exterior of the home has undergone a 21st century makeover with a new porch, garage, deck, siding, and composite slate/copper roofing.  Five steps past the oversized front door and you will be amazed by the massive quarter sawn oak wainscoting/staircase, and the cathedral like stained-glass windows. Nearly all walls/floors have been refinished, double hung windows restored, and modern heating systems added. Most recently, Lula Strasmer’s original safe, labeled with her name, has been integrated into a first floor bathroom restoration.  The Strasmer’s may have built this house, but clearly, this house is earning the label “House of Bliss”.  

Facade (North elevation)
July 2017 photos

Colonial Revival frame house.

Colonial Revival style

Hipped roof   ...   Twin pedimented  dormers, swan's neck pediment  dormer in center    ...   Palladian window with keystone   ...    Twin bay windows

Colonial Revival   ...   Swan's neck pediment   dormer

Colonial Revival  pedimented  dormer

Dentil molding   ...   Ionic corner pilaster   ...   Engaged   Ionic  columns

Engaged  Ionic  columns   ...   Ionic corner pilaster

Palladian window with keystone    

Bay window with engaged Ionic columns    ...    Ionic corner pilaster

Colonial Revival  portico

Niches are substitutes for Colonial Revival  side lights

Ovals and flutes decorate the frieze   ...   Twin Ionic  capitals   ...   Shell   ...   Fluted  pilaster    ...    Fluted engaged  column

Balustrade   ...   Fluted square Tuscan column

Dentil molding   ...   Fluted square Tuscan column

East and West Elevations
July 2017 photos

East elevation   ...   Bow  bay

West elevation   ...   Oriel window

West elevation

West elevation   ...   Engaged Ionic  columns   ...   Ionic corner pilaster

West elevation ...   Oriel window with Tuscan columns

Photos and their arrangement 2018 Chuck LaChiusa
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