Back to Buffalo . Now & Then . Remembering Wicks

Back to Buffalo . Now & Then . Remembering Wicks

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Now & Then . Buffalo’s Gate’s Circle

Well, at least it has been saved. That’s all I can say.

The postcard of Gate’s Circle included here is among my collection saved by William S. Wicks and his daughter Ruth Wicks, my Grandmother.

The postcard is stamped August, 1908. The note I believe is in Wicks hand and states simply: Green & Wicks Architects. It is addressed to my Grandmother at the summer home in Barneveld.

The historical information included here credits EB Green solely for the work which I believe is an oversight.  A partnership is a collaborative effort … Green and Wicks were partners until 1917.

“The first business considered was Mrs. Pardee’s offer, which was made by E.B. Green of Green & Wicks, the architects engaged to carry out Mrs. Pardee’s plan.” … As noted below in the Western New York Heritage Press, I think establishes this fact.

How often do you find a 105 year old postcard written by the hand of the architect, to document, stamp & claim the work of the firm?

Interesting, no?

(All rights reserved)

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From the Buffalo as an Architectural Museum website:

Chapin Parkway originates at Gates Circle, originally known as Chapin Place.

Gates Circle, named in 1902, was completed under the generosity of Mrs. Charles W. Pardee, a member of the Gates family, who was a resident of nearby 938 Delaware Avenue. Mrs. Pardee underwrote the extensive work, done by E.B. Green, to upgrade this public space. Fountains, stairways and greenery were added to the circle and created an appropriate venue for the grand homes along Chapin Parkway.

Photos and history of Gate’s Circle courtesy of Western New York Heritage Press:

gates_circle1_2004[1] gates_circle_2004[1]

2004  . The circle was restored to full seasonal functionality with additional safety features (such as this caution signal)
to protect it from errant motorists who periodically strike the circle.

Mrs. Pardee’s Splendid Gift to the City

Buffalo Evening News, February 19, 1902

With the first meeting of the new Park Board yesterday, a new method of beautifying the city’s parks was brought forward. Mrs. Charles W. Pardee offered to build at her own expense, without conditions, a beautiful fountain and resting nook on Chapin Place, a circular piece of park at the junction of Lafayette and Delaware Avenues and Chapin Parkway. The offer was accepted.

Four of the five commissioners were present at the meeting yesterday. They were William Hengerer, William A. Joyce, George C. Ginther and Charles Mosier. President Hengerer called the meeting to order at 4 o’clock. The first business considered was Mrs. Pardee’s offer, which was made by E.B. Green of Green & Wicks, the architects engaged to carry out Mrs. Pardee’s plan.

The plan is to make a true circle of the little oval park, which is about 150 feet in diameter, and after rearranging the trees to beautify it by the erection of a granite fountain. The proposed fountain is to be of quietly flowing water, not a gush, which will fall into a pool about 40 feet in diameter in the center of the park. Around the central pool will be a pathway surrounded by grass and flowers. Another path will be laid out around the grass and flower pots and on the outer side of this second pathway a row of benches will be placed. Behind these a hedge will enclose the whole.

There will be three entrances to the park, one on Delaware Avenue, one on Chapin Parkway and another on Lafayette Avenue. The stone work will be of granite and will be highly ornamental.

Massive granite steps about 16 feet wide will lead from the outer path down to the central pool. These will have balustrades on which will be placed large flower vases. Each of these entrances will be flanked by bronze lamps instead of the present unornamental electric lights.

The commissioners, after hearing Mr. Green’s explanation of the plans, accepted the gift, passed a resolution of thanks to Mrs. Pardee, and approved the general plan of the fountain. The board will be shown a detailed plan as soon as the architects prepare a model. It was decided to change the name of the park to Gates Circle in honor of Mrs. Pardee’s mother. Mrs. Pardee’s gift is made absolutely, and when the fountain is finished the commissioners alone will manage it. It is expected that the beautifying of the circle will be finished next summer.


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