E.B Green was not a One Man Show . Remembering Wicks

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E.B Green was not a One Man Show . Remembering Wicks

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These postcard images are from the William S. Wicks family archives that timestamp and attribute some of the work of the Green & Wicks Architectural firm in 1908, as well as identify the Delaware Park area, home to the original Albright Art Gallery and national historic district.

Many internet sources credit architectural designs of the firm to just one partner of the Green & Wicks Architectural firm. I have a photo of one of their drafting/drawing rooms showing 22 men on the floor. I think the final design process of the firm was the collaborative effort of Green & Wicks as Designers, with the appropriate staff to assist and bring the building designs to completion.

Is it possible that researchers for the Green & Wicks historical story have not properly documented the work because Wicks retired from the firm in 1917 and died soon after?  The Albright was completed in 1905, Wicks was partner to Green & very much alive…I don’t think he was sitting on his hands. Do the researchers have written evidence to document E.B. Green as the sole designer for the Albright?

The images shown on this slide show also include Delaware Park. This park system was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux between 1968 and 1876, with architectural designs of the Green & Wicks firm incorporated throughout the park system.

The “Parkside Community Association” website includes this information on the formation of the Parkside Community as an evolutionary city planning process:

1876 Olmsted laid out the Parkside neighborhood as a residential buffer  or transition between the jewel of his park system and the City. He  mapped out gently curving streets, none leading directly toward the  city, to encourage leisurely travel. Maturing trees joining boughs over  the streets would quiet the sylvan neighborhood.

The Wicks family resided in a William S. Wicks designed home in the Parkside Community for 30 years (between stays at the Barneveld New York property Rubble Manor, and the Adirondack Cottage, Rabbitwild) located at 124 Jewett Parkway, seen here (photograph is courtesy of the “Buffalo Rising” website):

Wicks-2-Buffalo-NY.jpg

Wicks served as a Buffalo Parks Commissioner from 1897 to 1900 and did much to promote the Parkside Community. The “Olmsted in Buffalo” website has a great deal of relevant information on the subject, including the fact that many of the original files of the Buffalo Board of Parks Commissioners were lost when they were transferred to the Buffalo city departments which succeeded them.

In addition to serving as a Parks Commissioner, Wicks was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Life Member of the Historical Society and the Fine Arts Academy. He was a partner of the Green & Wicks Architectural Firm.

A Partner.

E.B. Green was not a one man show. Green & Wicks worked together as a team, I am certain. They were both men of high moral character and vision dedicated to an ethical standard that is elusive in our patchwork of Americana today.

I am sure they would want to be remembered as partners of an Architectural firm that shaped the very best of what our society should and could be … that takes teamwork.

The “Olmsted in Buffalo” website includes this information and credit for the architectural designs of Green & Wicks within the park system:

Edward Brodhead Green and William Sydney Wicks (Green & Wicks, later E.B. Green and Son)
Designed – New Boat House, Delaware Park (1900-1901)
Albright Knox Art Gallery, Delaware Park (1900-1905)
– Shelter House, Lily Pool, Delaware Park (1900)
– Shelter House, Cazenovia Park (1902)
– Fountain and seating, Gates Circle (1902)

lily pond

Courtesy of the NY Heritage website: This fountain made of rocks was erected in 1905 in a pond that was located on the north side of the meadow in Delaware Park, near Nottingham Terrace. The pond has since been filled in. Park visitors are visible in the background. Delaware Park was the centerpiece of a system of parks and parkwaysdesigned for Buffalo by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1868. Caption on lower right of card: Lily Pond, Delaware Park, Buffalo, N.Y.

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