National Register Listings
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Buffalo’s National Register Properties Buffalo is fortunate that Ted Hull, who grew up in the City of Tonawanda and is currently with the National Archives, maintains a frequently updated Wikipedia listing of National Register properties in Buffalo. Most National Register properties can also be found on Buffalo Architecture and History.
Jennifer Walkowski with the State Historic Preservation Office processes National Register nominations from the Buffalo area and provides this information on new listings:
New Nomination -- Elmwood West Historic District
Preservation Buffalo Niagara is the proud sponsor of the National Register Elmwood Historic District – West . The project was funded by grants from The Preservation League of New York State, the Baird Foundation, the DB TRUST, and Councilmen Michael LoCurto and David Rivera. A copy of the full nomination can be found here; additional documentation can be found here.
New Nominations -- All within Black Rock, the State Historic Preservation Office has just forwarded a proposed Market Square Historic District (on Amherst Street) and four individual properties to the National Park Service for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. These nominations have been approved by the State Review Board and supported by the state's Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Approval by the Keeper of the National Register is expected by Fall of 2011. The individual listings are at 218, 243 & 285 Dearborn, and the former Buffalo Smelting Works, 23 Austin Street.
Market Square Historic District With Buffalo winning the campaign to be the terminus of Erie Canal, the former village of Black Rock evolved into a city neighborhood that has maintained a historical identity that began during the campaigns of the War of 1812. Black Rock has played a part in the history of the canal, in Western New York’s role in the abolition movement, and in the industrial successes that would define the city of Buffalo throughout the 19th and 20th century. The Market Square Historic District represents the heart of the once thriving neighborhood that has suffered from disinvestment and abandonment. Although many individually eligible buildings survive throughout Black Rock, Market Square is the only concentration of buildings to retain architectural integrity. The Market Square Historic District is significant for its collection of Early Republic, Late Victorian and Late 19th Century & Early 20th Century American Movement domestic, commercial and ecclesiastic architecture. The district’s period of significance begins c.1830, when the Market Square public space was donated to the Black Rock neighborhood by General Peter B. Porter, and ends in 1912, when the last contributing building in the district was completed. The early dates of the Market Square and the neighborhoods association with General Porter adds to its significance. Buffalo History and Architecture pages Market Square Historic District
House at 218 Dearborn is a post-Civil War era shotgun worker’s cottage located in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. Constructed c.1880, the home was built as the area became a thriving working class neighborhood, with many members of its immigrant population working for the nearby waterfront and rail industries. The house is eligible for the National Register as a surviving example of the worker’s cottage type, which during the last half of the 19th century dominated much of the landscape of the Black Rock neighborhood. Significant in the local context, a period of significance has been set from c.1880, the era in which the initial home was constructed, to c.1890, when the house’s porch received a fashionable late-Victorian era remodel. Based on the extensive survey completed in 2010, there are as few as four shotgun workers’ cottages remaining in the Black Rock neighborhood that maintain enough exterior integrity to be considered eligible for the National Register. Of the four examples documented, 218 Dearborn is the only example known to have an intact interior plan and an intact late-Victorian era porch. Buffalo History and Architecture page for 218 Dearborn St.
Dayton House, 243 Dearborn, is a Greek Revival and Italianate styled brick residence located in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Constructed c.1840, the home was built in the years that followed the construction of the nearby Erie Canal. The house is eligible for the National Register as a rare surviving example of an early brick residence in the Black Rock neighborhood. Significant in the local context, a period of significance has been set at c.1840, the year of the home’s initial construction, to c.1870, when the residence received an addition and was refashioned in the Italianate tastes. Based on an extensive survey completed in 2010, the Dayton House is one of only three 19th century brick residence to remain with National Register eligibility, and one of the oldest buildings to survive in the Black Rock neighborhood. Buffalo History and Architecture page for Dayton House.
Eberz House, 285 Dearborn, is significant as an intact example of Queen Anne residential architecture in the city of Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood. Although the Queen Anne style is often noted as being one of the more common forms of turn of the century urban domestic architecture in American cities, examples of this type have disappeared from the Black Rock landscape due to severe alterations and demolitions. This high style residence retains a significant level of architectural integrity from its c.1892 date of construction and is rare example that illustrates the history of Black Rock during the late-19th Century. The period of significance has been set squarely on the c.1892 date of construction. Based on the extensive survey completed in 2010, and of the roughly five intact examples of the Queen Anne style remaining, 285 Dearborn Street is the only one to maintain a nearly pristine level of integrity both inside and out. This frame structure features many elements that are characteristic of its era of construction, including a textured wall surface, sunburst decorative motifs, and an elaborately ornate porch. As a thorough architectural example of the Queen Anne style, the Eberz House displays essential elements of this important historical era of prosperity in the Black Rock neighborhood. Buffalo History and Architecture page for Eberz House
Buffalo Smelting Works The former Buffalo Smelting Works, located at 23 Austin Street, is a particularly exquisite and rare surviving example of waterfront industrial architecture in the Black Rock neighborhood. The paired building was constructed as the neighborhood became a thriving industrial area during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The Buffalo Smelting Works demonstrates elements frequently seen in industrial architecture of its type, with a steel truss roof system topped with roof monitors, and is embellished with detailing in the Romanesque Revival taste, with segmental and Roman arched windows, as well as a repeating motif of oculus windows. Built for the Michigan based Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, the building is additionally eligible for the information about the nationally successful company and its Buffalo operation. As a prominent industrial processing plant, the Buffalo Smelting Works enjoyed nearly three decades of success in the copper smelting industry, attracting much business to the region. A period of significance has been set at 1891, the year of the building’s original construction, until 1920, when Calumet & Hecla sold the property to the American Radiator Company. Buffalo History and Architecture page for Buffalo Smelting Works.
New Listings -- The properties below were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 11, 2011: If available, a Buffalo Architecture and History link is provided.
University Park Historic District- PBN newsletter article on this nomination (.pdf) portions of Larchmont Road, Niagara Falls Blvd, Radcliffe Road, University Ave, Allenhursst Road, & Pellhan Drive in Buffalo.
The University Park Historic District is a remarkable, intact example of an early 20th century planned residential subdivision in the city of Buffalo. In the broad context of the city’s turn of the century development, the location and development of University Park reflects the importance of the streetcar and the rise of automobile use which determined much of the city’s expansion. The themes of suburbanization in the city of Buffalo are covered extensively in the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF), Multiple Resources Associated with the Suburban Development of Buffalo, New York. For Residential Subdivisions to be added to the MPDF, the registration requirements state: The property type must represent the range of residential subdivision structures associated with the growth of the city into a new form during the period between the Civil War and World War II (1860-1945).
Buffalo Seminary 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo
Buffalo Seminary is significant as a unique educational and cultural building which has served the needs of its female students since 1909. Originally founded in 1851, Buffalo Seminary is the City of Buffalo’s only non-sectarian, college preparatory institute for girls. Located at 205 Bidwell Parkway, a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parkway which links the City’s sprawling park system (Olmsted Parks and Parkways Thematic Resources, NR 1982), the Buffalo Seminary building was constructed in 1909 by Boston-based architect, George F. Newton in a Collegiate Gothic style. The Buffalo Seminary Building should be considered eligible for inclusion in the State and National Register of Historic Places based on Criteria C and A of the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. As an excellent example of the Collegiate Gothic style, the building is eligible under Criterion C. The Buffalo Seminary Building should also be considered eligible under Criterion A for its role as home to a significant educational institution which has served the Buffalo community for over 150 years and has produced several graduates who have made significant contributions to Buffalo and the nation.
20th Century Club 595 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
The 20th Century Club in Buffalo, New York, built in 1896, is an outstanding local example of the Classical Revival style (also known as the Neo-Classical Revival) and a major example of the work of two regionally prominent architectural firms, Green & Wicks and Duane Lyman. In the context of American late-nineteenth-and-early-twentieth-century architecture it relates to the rise in popularity of the Classical Revival style and the City Beautiful Movement that were inspired by the World’s Columbian Exposition held at Chicago in 1892. Secondarily, the Twentieth Century Club relates to the context of social history in Buffalo as an outstanding example of the national women’s club movement and the increased influence of women generally in American life. Decorated with imposing murals on themes of womanhood by Alice Russell Glenny (1858-1924), an early Buffalo woman artist and twice president of the club, as well as with many pieces of fine furniture, original paintings, and reproductions of Renaissance masterpieces, and graced by a garden designed by a local artist/landscape architect, Harold LeRoy Olmsted (1886-1972), the club house and its grounds are little changed inside and outside from the final date of construction. The building therefore meets Criterion C in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Art, as well as Criterion A in the area Social History.
Engine House #2 and Ladder #9 310 Jersey Street, Buffalo
Buffalo, New York’s Engine House #2 and Hook & Ladder #9 were constructed in 1875 and 1897 to serve the needs of the rapidly expanding city and its Allentown neighborhood during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Originally designed by the firm of Porter & Watkins to serve as the City’s Engine House #2, it was expanded in 1897 by the firm of Eckel & Ackerman to provide additional space for the Hook & Ladder #9. The Engine House and its Hook & Ladder are unified by their Second Empire design and are locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as a good example of a late-19th century firehouse designed by two regionally successful architectural firms from the period. As one of the City’s oldest extant firehouse buildings, the Engine House and Hook & Ladder are additionally significant under Criterion A in the area of Social History for their importance to the development of the City of Buffalo’s public services and the organization of its Fire Department. A period of significance has been set at 1875, the year of the Engine House’s construction, and spans to 1917, when significant alterations were made to the building following a fire.
Hazard H. Sheldon House, Niagara County 539 4th Street, Niagara Falls
Constructed in 1857, the Hazard H. Sheldon House is locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as a rare example of the ‘Italian Villa’ style of architecture in Niagara County, which was popularized during the mid-19th Century by the writings of A.J. Downing and numerous pattern books from the period. The home is additionally significant under Criterion B in the area of Government and Politics as the home of Hazard H. Sheldon, ESQ., who during his 1857-1900 period of occupancy played an important role in the civic affairs of the then burgeoning village of Niagara Falls. This productive period of his career includes his involvement in the organization and recruitment of Niagara Falls’ Civil War troops, serving as the Government Recruiting Agent in 1863 and 1864. Inspired by his role in the war efforts, Sheldon enlisted and was quickly appointed to Captain of Company M in the 8th Heavy Artillery Regiment, manning the fortifications in the Baltimore vicinity. After a year of service, Sheldon returned to his home, continuing his successful law practice and serving several elected and appointed positions within village government. He played an important role in the creation of the 1889 village charter, which ultimately led to the formation of what is now the City of Niagara Falls. The period of significance for the Hazard H. Sheldon House has been framed from 1857, the date of the home’s construction, to the end of Sheldon’s life in 1900.