Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speculative Home for E. B. Smith

In 1886, real estate developer, Edward B. Smith completed at least two homes on the same stretch of Linwood Avenue in Buffalo.  I previously blogged about one of them.  This one stands two doors south of that one and a portion of it can be seen depicted in the published rendering of that home.  

The plans for this home are similar and the styling, a mixture of Queen Anne and Shingle Style elements are also the same.  The detailing on this home is more complex than its neighbor.  
The home has been significantly altered though.  Evidence suggests that Silsbee's successor firm, Silsbee & Marling may have overseen construction of the stable and additions to the south and west of the home.  An examination of a photograph of the home from the 1890's depicts other changes: the removal of a recessed porch at the second floor, an arched window at the ground floor, and an elaborately carved pediment over the entry.  The overall composition of the facade is organized under a large single gable with compound gables and the pediment organized beneath it.  Open spindle work at the second floor balcony is shaped above a flat arch and related to the brick arched window on the first floor. 

Yet another image of the home, just after construction, can be found here.  In this photo by C. D. Arnold, the depiction of lush plantings within the recessed areas of the home is evident.  The neighboring home, by Silsbee, is also shown in that photo and the integration of planters was given much thought in the composition of that home as well. 
As stated earlier, these shingle style homes in Buffalo are the best surviving examples of the kinds of homes that famous architects George Maher and Frank Lloyd Wright would have drawn while working in Silsbee's Chicago office.  


Ariane Pita said...

Hi Chris,
My name is Ariane Pita. I'm working on a research about the Linwood District and I was wondering you you have any of the floor plans of Silsbee projects in Linwood Av. It would be so helpful if you do have them!!!



Chris said...

Hi Ariane, unfortunately, there are no original plans of these homes. I have measured drawings that I have done of a few of the homes. Feel free to drop me an e-mail and we can figure out if what I have helps or not. topherpay at