An Overview of Linwood Avenue's History

Dating from the 1820s, our tree-lined, residential neighborhood shows the work of many famous local architects and prime examples of styles including Vernacular, Second Empire, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Stick, Shingle, Queen Ann, and Georgian and Colonial Revival. Once a city suburb, the street was an extension of Franklin Street's "Pill Alley," home to upper middle class doctors, dentists, and lawyers who ran their practices out of their homes. This practice continues to this day.

Established October 17, 1978 and expanded in 2015, the Linwood Avenue Preservation District includes both sides of Linwood Avenue between North and West Delavan. It is intended to preserve the historic character of neighborhood houses. View the historic district map: http://www.historiclinwood.org/images/Historic_districts_V2.pdf


This article dates to the founding of the district:

Linwood Historic District Favored

By Sally Fox (Courier Express Staff Reporter)

Buffalo Courier Express Wednesday October 11, 1978 page 12

A committee of the Buffalo Common Council voted Tuesday to recommend that the Linwood Avenue area be designated as the fourth historic preservation district in the city.

The action by the council's Legislation Committee was based on an application prepared by the Linwood-Oxford Association and approved by the city's Landmark & Preservation Board. The full council is to act on the committee's recommendation at its meeting next Tuesday.

Bounded on the north and south by West Ferry and North Streets, the proposed Linwood Preservation District has as its western border the west side of Delaware Avenue and as its eastern border the east side of Linwood Avenue. Incorporating some 200 structures, it includes scores of late 19th century houses.

Called Stabilizing Force

Members of the public who attended a hearing on the proposal at City Hall Tuesday unanimously supported the designation, expressing confidence that it would help preserve the stability of the area and serve as an incentive to further physical improvements.

Under the city's Landmark and Preservation Code, owners of structures within an historic preservation district are required to seek approval from the Landmark and Preservation Board before undertaking any exterior alterations which could be considered to detract from the historic or esthetic value of the property.

Edward Janulionis, a developer who has undertaken several rehabilitation projects in both the Linwood Avenue area and the West Village on the lower West Side, explained to the committee that the preservation district designation can also helo owners of buildings of a particular historic or architectural significance to obtain tax benefits for improving their property.

Area's Appeal

Several residents and businessmen from the area spoke at length of the particular appeal the neighborhood has for them.

Richard Baer, president of Schuele Paints at 12 Summer St., said his company recently decided against a move to the suburbs, choosing instead to acquire and remodel a Victorian house on Linwood Avenue as its new corporate headquarters.

Dr. Benjamin Townsend, professor of English at the University of Buffalo, told how he and his wife, in quest of a retirement home, searched several areas in New England and eastern New York State, but decided ultimately to purchase and renovate a house at 879 W. Ferry St., just two blocks from the larger house where they had raised their family.

"We found nothing that could compare in quality, attractiveness and interest -- let alone in price -- to what we found here," Townsend said.

No Detractors

Many of the speakers, including Townsend, noted that they were not native Buffalonians. As transplants from other parts of the country, they said they were delighted with the aminities they found in Buffalo and amazed by the tendency of natives to belittle the city.

The first preservation district designated by the city was the Delaware Avenue "special preservation district," set up to include the last of the great mansions on the West Side of Delaware Avenue.

Since the creation of that special preservation district Allentown and the West Village also have been designated historic preservation districts.