Pioneering Multiple Property Documentation Form of Historic and Up-and-Coming Larkin Neighborhood
- Contact: Kenneth Rogers, Chair, Richmond Ashland National Register Historic District Initiative, 560 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo, NY, 14222, 716-881-0753
- NYSHPO Contact: Kathleen LaFrank, National Register Coordinator, 518-237-8643, ext 3261 and Daniel McEneny, National Register Unit, 518-237-8643, ext 3257
- State and National Register of Historic Places Nomination (1,988)
- Clinton E. Brown, FAIA, President
- Jennifer Walkowski, MAH, Architectural Historian (former)
- Alma O’Connell Brown, Project Manager
The Elmwood Historic District project has its roots in the findings of an Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey that Clinton Brown Company prepared for the City of Buffalo and which identified a potential district.
After the state residential tax credit program took effect in 2010, Elmwood residents Alma and Clinton Brown and a group of neighbors organized the Richmond Ashland National Register Historic District Initiative (RANHDI) under the aegis of St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church. They enlisted business owners, community groups, civic leaders and others in the effort to establish a National Register of Historic Places Historic District that would celebrate the history and the significance of their community and allow owners of more than 1,600 properties to benefit from new state and existing federal rehabilitation tax credits.
As the neighborhood initiaitve raised funds and community consensus, CBCA went to work reviewing more than 2,400 resources, creating a website as a community resource, and preparing the nomination in close collaboration with the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. The result: a 500-page Elmwood Historic District (West) nomination that the State Board for Historic Preservation unanimously supported at its September 2012 meeting, and the creation of construction jobs on tax credit-supported home improvements.
The Elmwood Historic District developed as a street car suburb in the late 19th century from the tremendous growth in Buffalo’s population and wealth and the creation of Olmsted’s parks and parkways in what had been farmland. The West portion includes a highly intact collection of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and other popular residential styles from the period. The thriving commercial corridor of Elmwood Avenue, which transitioned from residential into a mixed commercial street, is the region’s most desirable shopping and dining destination.