Park Lake Bridge . Buffalo Park System & the (forgotten) Wicks Connection

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The centerpiece of the Buffalo park system was Delaware Park, which was originally known simply as “The Park”. This postcard is from my collection documenting the design of this bridge as that of Green & Wicks Architects, written and signed bt W.S.W – William Sydney Wicks to his daughter Ruth (my Grandmother), Rubble Manor, the summer home in Barneveld, New York  in  August, 1908.

Here is an entry from the visitBuffaloNiagara website:

William Sydney Wicks House

124 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 12412

This imposing half-timber dwelling was the home of William Sydney Wicks (1854-1919), partner of Edward B. Green (1855-1950) in the firm of Green and Wicks, Buffalo’s foremost architectural office at the turn of the century. The firm was in business from 1880-1917 when Wicks retired. Wicks, who was born in Oneida Country in central New York in 1854, trained at MIT and Cornell, where he later designed several campus buildings. In 1881 he went into partnership with Green at Auburn, New York; two years later they both moved to Buffalo, where the firm endured until 1917 when Wicks retired.

Wicks served as Park Commissioner from 1897 to 1900 and did much to promote the Parkside community, where he lived for thirty years.

Somehow, it stands to reason that Wicks’ investment in this community combined with the fact that he was partner to E.B. Green of Green & Wicks, that the work credited to Green only is in error.

Green & Wicks were partners and worked together as a team, the work that was produced by the firm should be credited to the firm not one individual.

Is there a documented resource indicating otherwise? I am curious.

(All rights of original material reserved.)

 

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About Stories, Old & New

My background is in Public Relations with a B.S. from Syracuse University. I would like to publish "Rabbitwild - A Shelter in the Wilderness", written by my Great Grandfather, William S. Wicks, a gifted early American Architect and Naturalist. Wicks, a member of the first group to purchase 100,000 acres of Adirondack Wilderness with the idea that it should remain a "forever wild" preserve, in fact designed and built "Rabbitwild" within the Adirondack League Club. And so, this blog isn't about me at all, but about remembering Wicks, his legacy, love and loyalty to natural design. By happenstance, he created the same appreciation in me for all that is beautiful, by nature.

One response »

  1. My research of Green and Wicks, the firm and the individuals, is that generally everything they did was attributed to the firm, as a matter of agreed-upon policy. There is extensive documentation of G&W designs between 1893-1935 at the Buffalo Historical Society – (where Wicks was an an active member and officer, by the way.) But this material certainly is not the whole body of G&W works. For example, there is nothing there from Chautauqua Institution. Adirondack camps, perhaps penned by Wicks, but not supervised by the firm during construction are not included. And, there is approximately a two-year period spanning from somewhere in 1916 or 1917 until Wick’s death in 1919, when he might have been still active in designing, but had left the firm. (which became EB Green & Sons). Further, at some point, for at least several years, there was a separate office in Erie, Pa – part of G&W, but I only know of one hospital in northeastern Pa that could be attributed to this office, and there must be more.

    I do think that Wicks, was the outdoorsy, more organic partner, whose skill set complimented Green’s, who had a more neo-classical orientation, was the partner behind the Albright connection, which was huge for the firm, beyond just the Albright home and industrial commissions. I think that Wicks struck out on his own a bit too, in small commissions where the firm was not responsible as superintendent – as hobby or for the sake of friendship.

    A full list of G&W designs and commissions, is not yet compiled. A good example is the house built in “central park” dated 1893 – it is actually two houses, exact same interior design, down to the interior woodwork, yet the exterior ‘facades’ are different. One being a virtual copy of Wick’s own Tudor-style home on Jewett (with cheaper materials) and the other being a Georgian-style. They are located respectively on the northeast corners of Woodbridge Avenue at Voohrhees and Parker, respectively.

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