James Dilapo House
166 Rumsey Road, Buffalo, NY

Interior Photos

TEXT (below photos)

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information

John D. Larkin
purchased the property


Heavily wooded parcel of Rumsey's Woods

Rumsey's woods being cleared

107 Rumsey Road.
Demolished 1939

West side of Lincoln Pkwy. at Rumsey Rd

Rumsey Rd. neighbor (east). Larkin main entrance gates are original

The 1954 Dilapo House: Lincoln Pkwy. (east) elevation

The Dilapo House: Rumsey and Lincoln corner

The Dilapo House: Secondary front entrance on Rumsey; attached garage left

The Dilapo House: front view on Rumsey Road

The Dilapo House: Rumsey Road main entrance

Companion page: Interior Photos

The Dilapo House: to the immediate right (west) of main entrance

The Dilapo House: Lincoln Pkwy. (east) elevation

The Dilapo House: south (rear) elevation


The Pan-American Exposition, which opened just north of this home in 1901 on land leased by the Rumsey estate (Bronson and Dexter Rumsey), attracted visitors from around the world. At the construction of the exposition, and in conjunction with Buffalo's growing economic strength and population expansion, there was a high demand for residences. Many larger estates were divided down to allow for construction of stately homes, built on smaller pieces of property along the city's more distinguished Frederick Law Olmsted and calvert Vaux Parkways including Chapin, Bidwell, Lincoln, Richmond, Porter, Red Jacket and McKinley.

In 1909, John D. Larkin, president of Larkin Soap Co., purchased
a heavily wooded parcel of Rumsey's Woods (Ansley Wilcox represented the Rumsey estate) from Bronson and Dexter Rumsey and named the Lincoln Pkwy./Windsor Ave../Forest Ave../Rumsey Rd. block "Larkland." The northern boundary, Rumsey Road, is directly across the street from Delaware Park.

The Onondaga limestone wall surrounding the block - still extant - was begun almost immediately.

107 Rumsey Road, the John D. Larkin house, was built 1910-1912. The entrance door facing Delaware Park had a heavy bronze knocker in the form of an eagle, bearing the inscription "Larkland, 1909."

Larkland houses for the three sons and daughter were completed by 1915 and deeded to the children in 1917.

107 Rumsey was demolished in 1939 (victim of the Depression) by the Larkin daughter and her husband and the land was divided and sold as four lots.

In 1954, James Dilapo, Jr. purchased the far west lot bordering on Lincoln Parkway and built a contemporary ranch style house. An artist, Dilapo had given up painting and had turned to home designing. His contracting concern, the D. & S. Construction Co., had put up some 25 homes in Buffalo by 1954.

The Rumsey Road. home, which was built as the residence for his father, James Dilapo, gave the young artist a chance to incorporate his favorite ideas in home construction.

The iron grillwork is of an old-Italian pattern cast at Ft. Worth, Texas. The exterior quarried stone is from Berea, Ohio.

The house is 94 feet long, and the width varies from 36 to 40 feet.

To take advantage of the superb location, the house features 18 large floor-to-ceiling windows made of two quarter-inch polished glass plates, with a half-inch vacuum in between.

All windows are covered with sheer curtains, hanging from a track recessed in the ceiling plaster. A new type of construction is used in which the ceiling is hung from the roof. It is held up by the roof, rather than resting its weight on the walls. This is because of the great amount of window space.

See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1966


Special thanks to James Price, the current owner as January, 2003, for his cooperation.

Color photos and their arrangement 2003
Chuck LaChiusa
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