Historic Resources of the Hydraulics Larkin Neighborhood

Pioneering Multiple Property Documentation Form of Historic and Up-and-Coming Larkin Neighborhood


  • NYSHPO Contact: Daniel McEneny, National Register Unit, 518-237-8643, ext 3257

Project Scope

  • State and National Register of Historic Places
  • Multiple Property Documentation Form

Key Personnel

  • Clinton E. Brown, FAIA, President
  • Jennifer Walkowski, MAH, Architectural Historian (former)
  • Alma O’Connell Brown, Project Manager


cbca-larkin-historic-photoCBCA has pioneered the use of the Multiple Resource Survey for several communities in Western New York. CBCA has successfully completed several Multiple Property Documentation Forms (MPDFs) and accompanying individual registration forms. Our work is being looked at by the National Park Service as a model for updating their “How to Complete the National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form” Bulletin 16B.

CBCA created the MPDF covering the Hydraulics Neighborhood, an early industrial and manufacturing center in the City of Buffalo. Founded in the 1820s with the creation of the Hydraulic Canal, this highly industrial area later housed numerous industrial and manufacturing business, laced by numerous railroad lines. The area was home to the fabled Larkin Soap Company, a client of Frank Lloyd Wright for the design of its headquarters. For this project, CBCA extensively researched the history and architecture in this neighborhood, documenting the major industries, cultural and religious institutions, commercial retailers and prominent residents. The cover document highlighted 37 National Register-eligible properties and was submitted along with an individual nomination for the Kamman Building, a former butcher shop, that became National Register listed in 2010.