762 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY, USA

  • Architectural Style: Second Empire
  • Bathroom: N/A
  • Year Built: 1859
  • National Register of Historic Places: N/A
  • Square Feet: 3,300 sqft
  • National Register of Historic Places Date: N/A
  • Neighborhood: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places Area of Significance: N/A
  • Bedrooms: N/A
  • Architectural Style: Second Empire
  • Year Built: 1859
  • Square Feet: 3,300 sqft
  • Bedrooms: N/A
  • Bathroom: N/A
  • Neighborhood: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places Date: N/A
  • National Register of Historic Places Area of Significance: N/A
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Apr 12, 2023

  • Charmaine Bantugan

Frank H. Goodyear House

Completed in 1906, for Frank H. Goodyear (1849-1907) and his wife Josephine Looney (1852-1915). Situated on the northwest corner of Delaware and Summer Street, it was designed by the famous New York firm of Carrère & Hastings and on completion eclipsed Frank's brother's house at 888 Delaware to become the largest and most spectacular mansion on Buffalo's 'Millionaire's Row'. Frank died just months after moving in and his widow only enjoyed it for less than a decade before she too died here. After their son was killed in a car crash in 1930 his widow, Dorothy, remarried the brother of the man Wallis Simpson had admitted was her "only true love". They did not spend any time here and when it failed to sell they had it demolished in 1938.... From having been a teacher and then a book-keeper on $35 a month, Frank Goodyear - joined in 1887 by his brother Charles - gradually acquired hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin forest in New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Mississippi. Frank became President of the Goodyear Lumber Company, the largest growers of hemlock in the world and they built the largest sawmill in the world that produced over 150-million feet of lumber a year - more lumber than any other business in the country. The brothers branched into iron, coal and railroads and Frank's success and national importance was recognized in 1902 when he was invited to join the exclusive Jekyll Island Club. By the time Frank built this house he had already lived in five houses since arriving in Buffalo. In 1901, he sold 237 North Street to John D. Larkin, founder of the Larkin Soap Company. Larkin felt it would better serve their position in society but his wife thought it, “a monstrosity of a house... What would I do if I had to live under that tower, and those chimneys, and the coxcomb on the roof?” Leasing 267 North Street, the Goodyears waited two years before buying another Gothic-Revival house, the Myron P. Bush House, but this time they commissioned Carrère & Hastings of New York to replace it with a Beaux-Arts gem as well as building them a Florentine Renaissance cottage on Jekyll Island. Principally Parisienne The Buffalo commission was then among Carrère & Hastings' most ambitious city projects and on completion it surpassed Frank's brother's home at 888 Delaware to become the largest in Buffalo. It cost $500,000 and was principally modelled on a house on or near to the Champs-Élysées in Paris, but which one remains a mystery. It was built with Indiana limestone and sat on a plot of 5.75-acres that was enclosed on each of its four sides by an elegant wall that matched the house itself. The gardens were landscaped in the latest French fashion and embellished with fountains and marble statuary. The most comprehensive description of the house appeared in the Buffalo Enquirer just before its demolition: "The main rooms of the house are unusually large and are connected with spacious corridors set in marble. The living room is panelled with carved mahogany and its great fireplace is of marble. Adjoining the living room are a hall with an organ and a reception room only slightly smaller than the living room. On the second floor are six large bedrooms, each with a marble fireplace. The stone, like many of the furnishings, was collected by the elder Mr. Goodyear from all parts of the world". Life After Frank The house was finished at the same time (1906) as their cottage on Jekyll Island. Frank managed to spend one season rubbing shoulders with the American aristocracy and a few months in his Buffalo palais before dropping dead in May, 1907, "worn out with ceaseless activity and worry" - and not helped by his sizeable appetite and waistline. Josephine stayed on here, living quietly with their teenage son, Frank Jr., since her two surviving daughters were married and had left the family home some time ago. She also continued to winter on Jekyll Island and in 1909 she was elected a club member in her own right. Josephine died here in 1915, three years after giving $50,000 to establish the very much still extant Josephine Goodyear Memorial Home for Convalescent Children on 95-acres at Williamsville. However, contrary to popular assumption, it was not named for her, but was in fact established and named in memory of her late daughter, Josephine, the wife of George Sicard. That it was dedicated to "Josephine Goodyear" rather than "Josephine Sicard" may be explained by her and Frank's extreme disapproval of their son-in-law and after Josephine died in 1904 they adopted her children before cutting all ties with Sicard. Life with Frank Jr. On boarding a train for New York City, the charitable Mrs Goodyear collapsed into her son's arms and died a few minutes later in the ambulance that was speeding its way back to No. 762. Her heir, Frank Jr. then barely drew breath as he proceeded to drop out of Yale and then just five days after his mother's demise celebrated his marriage to local heiress Dorothy Knox whose mother built 800 Delaware Avenue. Frank and Dorothy divided their time between here, East Aurora, and Jekyll Island - not to mention their yachts. Aside from adding a bowling alley in the basement, Frank Jr. kept the house as it had been but with a garage full of 12-cars, the stables adjacent to the garage had become redundant. Making use of the defunct space, he installed an indoor tennis court and squash court on the ground floor while transforming the upper floor into a reception room for parties - of which there were many. He also significantly enlarged the gardens, creating one of the largest city estates in Buffalo: In 1919, he and his relatively new neighbor, Stephen Clement, purchased the Gratwick Mansion (H.H. Richardson's last commission) that sat between them and after demolishing it divided the land between themselves. Frank Jr. worked hard and played hard, but like his father his zeal was also his undoing. In October, 1930, he was driving his wife and two friends to dinner when he pulled out to overtake a slow car and had a head-on collision with another car. Dorothy and their guests extricated themselves from the the Rolls-Royce, but Frank Jr.'s injuries were more serious and like his mother almost exactly 15-years before, he died in the ambulance. Goodbye to Good Years Dorothy was not a grieving widow for long and just under a year later she remarried the also widowed Edmund Pendleton Rogers at her mother's home on Delaware Avenue. Her new husband grew up at Crumwold Hall in Hyde Park, New York, and was Franklin D. Roosevelt's "most enduring childhood friend". He was also the elder brother of Herman Livingston Rogers who Wallis Simpson later admitted had been her "only true love". Edmund and Dorothy entertained the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at their winter home in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1938 and again in the 1950s. They lived between Aiken, New York City, and East Aurora on Long Island, but never spent any time in Buffalo. Sometime in the 1930s they placed No.762 on the market but as America was then in the clenched jaws of the Great Depression there was little to no interest in such a gran house. By 1938, Dorothy took the decision to demolish the stately not-so-old pile, but not before removing the marble mantels for herself and selling off everything (marble pillars were available to buy for $100 each) that had once made up its magnificently crafted interior: "Every piece of marble, ornamental iron, rich woodwork and stone which went into the making of (it) has been sold. Every pillar and archway which were fashioned into the famous marble hall of the mansion has been carefully numbered to be removed and delivered to its new owner. Magnificent chandeliers already have been removed, as has the library panelling carved of black walnut, and the beautiful marble mantelpiece. One of the first things to be removed was the electric elevator. Before the day was over, most of the fixtures had been removed, including stately mirrors and massive oak doors". The only remnant left of the estate was the tennis court that the occasional family member used from time to time, but when the Red Cross took over the land in 1950 it was developed into office space. The site on which for a few short years stood Delaware Avenue's largest and most costly mansion is now ingloriously the Red Cross parking lot.

Frank H. Goodyear House

Completed in 1906, for Frank H. Goodyear (1849-1907) and his wife Josephine Looney (1852-1915). Situated on the northwest corner of Delaware and Summer Street, it was designed by the famous New York firm of Carrère & Hastings and on completion eclipsed Frank's brother's house at 888 Delaware to become the largest and most spectacular mansion on Buffalo's 'Millionaire's Row'. Frank died just months after moving in and his widow only enjoyed it for less than a decade before she too died here. After their son was killed in a car crash in 1930 his widow, Dorothy, remarried the brother of the man Wallis Simpson had admitted was her "only true love". They did not spend any time here and when it failed to sell they had it demolished in 1938.... From having been a teacher and then a book-keeper on $35 a month, Frank Goodyear - joined in 1887 by his brother Charles - gradually acquired hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin forest in New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Mississippi. Frank became President of the Goodyear Lumber Company, the largest growers of hemlock in the world and they built the largest sawmill in the world that produced over 150-million feet of lumber a year - more lumber than any other business in the country. The brothers branched into iron, coal and railroads and Frank's success and national importance was recognized in 1902 when he was invited to join the exclusive Jekyll Island Club. By the time Frank built this house he had already lived in five houses since arriving in Buffalo. In 1901, he sold 237 North Street to John D. Larkin, founder of the Larkin Soap Company. Larkin felt it would better serve their position in society but his wife thought it, “a monstrosity of a house... What would I do if I had to live under that tower, and those chimneys, and the coxcomb on the roof?” Leasing 267 North Street, the Goodyears waited two years before buying another Gothic-Revival house, the Myron P. Bush House, but this time they commissioned Carrère & Hastings of New York to replace it with a Beaux-Arts gem as well as building them a Florentine Renaissance cottage on Jekyll Island. Principally Parisienne The Buffalo commission was then among Carrère & Hastings' most ambitious city projects and on completion it surpassed Frank's brother's home at 888 Delaware to become the largest in Buffalo. It cost $500,000 and was principally modelled on a house on or near to the Champs-Élysées in Paris, but which one remains a mystery. It was built with Indiana limestone and sat on a plot of 5.75-acres that was enclosed on each of its four sides by an elegant wall that matched the house itself. The gardens were landscaped in the latest French fashion and embellished with fountains and marble statuary. The most comprehensive description of the house appeared in the Buffalo Enquirer just before its demolition: "The main rooms of the house are unusually large and are connected with spacious corridors set in marble. The living room is panelled with carved mahogany and its great fireplace is of marble. Adjoining the living room are a hall with an organ and a reception room only slightly smaller than the living room. On the second floor are six large bedrooms, each with a marble fireplace. The stone, like many of the furnishings, was collected by the elder Mr. Goodyear from all parts of the world". Life After Frank The house was finished at the same time (1906) as their cottage on Jekyll Island. Frank managed to spend one season rubbing shoulders with the American aristocracy and a few months in his Buffalo palais before dropping dead in May, 1907, "worn out with ceaseless activity and worry" - and not helped by his sizeable appetite and waistline. Josephine stayed on here, living quietly with their teenage son, Frank Jr., since her two surviving daughters were married and had left the family home some time ago. She also continued to winter on Jekyll Island and in 1909 she was elected a club member in her own right. Josephine died here in 1915, three years after giving $50,000 to establish the very much still extant Josephine Goodyear Memorial Home for Convalescent Children on 95-acres at Williamsville. However, contrary to popular assumption, it was not named for her, but was in fact established and named in memory of her late daughter, Josephine, the wife of George Sicard. That it was dedicated to "Josephine Goodyear" rather than "Josephine Sicard" may be explained by her and Frank's extreme disapproval of their son-in-law and after Josephine died in 1904 they adopted her children before cutting all ties with Sicard. Life with Frank Jr. On boarding a train for New York City, the charitable Mrs Goodyear collapsed into her son's arms and died a few minutes later in the ambulance that was speeding its way back to No. 762. Her heir, Frank Jr. then barely drew breath as he proceeded to drop out of Yale and then just five days after his mother's demise celebrated his marriage to local heiress Dorothy Knox whose mother built 800 Delaware Avenue. Frank and Dorothy divided their time between here, East Aurora, and Jekyll Island - not to mention their yachts. Aside from adding a bowling alley in the basement, Frank Jr. kept the house as it had been but with a garage full of 12-cars, the stables adjacent to the garage had become redundant. Making use of the defunct space, he installed an indoor tennis court and squash court on the ground floor while transforming the upper floor into a reception room for parties - of which there were many. He also significantly enlarged the gardens, creating one of the largest city estates in Buffalo: In 1919, he and his relatively new neighbor, Stephen Clement, purchased the Gratwick Mansion (H.H. Richardson's last commission) that sat between them and after demolishing it divided the land between themselves. Frank Jr. worked hard and played hard, but like his father his zeal was also his undoing. In October, 1930, he was driving his wife and two friends to dinner when he pulled out to overtake a slow car and had a head-on collision with another car. Dorothy and their guests extricated themselves from the the Rolls-Royce, but Frank Jr.'s injuries were more serious and like his mother almost exactly 15-years before, he died in the ambulance. Goodbye to Good Years Dorothy was not a grieving widow for long and just under a year later she remarried the also widowed Edmund Pendleton Rogers at her mother's home on Delaware Avenue. Her new husband grew up at Crumwold Hall in Hyde Park, New York, and was Franklin D. Roosevelt's "most enduring childhood friend". He was also the elder brother of Herman Livingston Rogers who Wallis Simpson later admitted had been her "only true love". Edmund and Dorothy entertained the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at their winter home in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1938 and again in the 1950s. They lived between Aiken, New York City, and East Aurora on Long Island, but never spent any time in Buffalo. Sometime in the 1930s they placed No.762 on the market but as America was then in the clenched jaws of the Great Depression there was little to no interest in such a gran house. By 1938, Dorothy took the decision to demolish the stately not-so-old pile, but not before removing the marble mantels for herself and selling off everything (marble pillars were available to buy for $100 each) that had once made up its magnificently crafted interior: "Every piece of marble, ornamental iron, rich woodwork and stone which went into the making of (it) has been sold. Every pillar and archway which were fashioned into the famous marble hall of the mansion has been carefully numbered to be removed and delivered to its new owner. Magnificent chandeliers already have been removed, as has the library panelling carved of black walnut, and the beautiful marble mantelpiece. One of the first things to be removed was the electric elevator. Before the day was over, most of the fixtures had been removed, including stately mirrors and massive oak doors". The only remnant left of the estate was the tennis court that the occasional family member used from time to time, but when the Red Cross took over the land in 1950 it was developed into office space. The site on which for a few short years stood Delaware Avenue's largest and most costly mansion is now ingloriously the Red Cross parking lot.

Apr 12, 2023

  • Charmaine Bantugan

Myron P. Bush House

Built 1859-60, for Myron Philander Bush (1819-1885) and his wife, Margaret Westervelt. Situated on the northwest corner of Delaware and Summer Street, it was surrounded by 5.75-acres of landscaped gardens and was designed by John D. Towle (d.1887), of Newton, Massachusetts. The 'handsome' house was inherited by their eldest son, John Westervelt Bush, who lived here until 1896. Seven years later in 1903, it was demolished to make way for the Frank H. Goodyear House. In the interim, John W. Bush built the still extant Bush House on Lincoln Parkway.

Myron P. Bush House

Built 1859-60, for Myron Philander Bush (1819-1885) and his wife, Margaret Westervelt. Situated on the northwest corner of Delaware and Summer Street, it was surrounded by 5.75-acres of landscaped gardens and was designed by John D. Towle (d.1887), of Newton, Massachusetts. The 'handsome' house was inherited by their eldest son, John Westervelt Bush, who lived here until 1896. Seven years later in 1903, it was demolished to make way for the Frank H. Goodyear House. In the interim, John W. Bush built the still extant Bush House on Lincoln Parkway.

1859

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