Tag Archives: Buffalo New York

and so the hope & process of publication begins …

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I am very happy to be in communication with Syracuse University Press and the offer to submit the story of “Rabbitwild” & personal introduction for consideration. 

Remembering Wicks,

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The Firm

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For Rick – the Green & Wicks Firm was housed in an old Unitarian Church in Buffalo for sometime. I haven’t taken the time today to check times, place and dates, or have even tried to guess. But, for now here are some photos that have somehow survived! (All rights reserved, duplication of content is strictly forbidden without consent of author, owner.)

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Cleaning House at the Albright

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Albright-Knox Art Gallery …. Published on Facebook today …So glad both Architects were named by the Albright … Hats off to timeless architecture & those who created it, and now to all who embrace timeless beauty and necessity of preserving it …  On August 14, 1961, the 1905 Albright building, designed by Buffalo architects, E. B. Green and William Sydney Wicks, was cleaned for the first time by Gallery staff. The process restored the building to its original appearance when its opened 56 years prior. ‪#‎throwbackthursday

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Remembering my Great Grandfather, William S Wicks

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A Victorian Summer Portrait . Wicks’ & Nicholsons’ . Barneveld . 1880’s

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We are family . on the steps . on a summer’s day . Rubble Manor . Barneveld . New York

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The Nicholson’s are cousins of Ruth and Emma through the marriage of their Aunt Ione M. Wicks to Charles Nicholson. I can’t make out Grandma and she may have been on the Nicholson side. Cousin Harriet was born in 1874 and died in 1915, she is buried in the Barneveld Evergreen cemetery with many, many of the Nicholson, Wicks & McCartney (Ruth’s husband) families. I also found Frances Nicholson, born in 1869 who died in 1953 also buried at the Evergreen cemetery. So far, I have not found Cousin Nat, baby Henrietta or cousin Mable. The photo is undated, I would guess that it would date to the mid to late 1880’s.

Mother Emma died the same year as Harriet. Harriet was 41 years old. Emma was 54 years old. The privileged country life must have been more difficult than what can be seen in photos and biographies. Still, I love this photo & the picture of who we once were.

Photos are courtesy of Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann, Great Granddaughter of William S. Wicks.

Remembering Wicks, my Great Grandfather, Author & Architect and the man behind the scene. In Buffalo a partner of the Green & Wicks architectural firm or somewhere beyond creating a new architectural vision, busy providing his family with a beautiful life, and too involved in that process, I am sure to be in this picture, on a fine summer’s day.

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Details, Details, Nephew W. Sidney was the Unknown Family Stone Carver . 1901

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The Delaware Park Bridge . Photos courtesy of “Buffalo as an Architectural Museum” website.

This post was written a few weeks ago and while looking for more information on the Wicks family, I found William Sidney Nicholson, who was referred to in the postcard written by Wicks as the person responsible for the carvings on this bridge. (Postcard was sent to daughter Ruth)

William Sidney Nicholson was Ruth’s cousin and the son of Wicks sister, Ione and her husband Charles A. Nicholson who introduced the first phone and phone company to the Oneida County region. Charles spent his own money to run the first four phone wires in the area. The event caused quite a sensation. The Wicks & extended family have some rather fascinating and trailblazing qualities as they embbraced new ideas  and successfully employed them. I believe the Nicholsons lived in Utica, New York by the references found on the Oneida County New York biographies website.

Ione and Inez married prominent and successful men. I am puzzled at the repetition of names though as Inez married Howard Nicholson Brown. Was he a relative of Charles Nicholson? Also, the Wicks name as a middle name seems to come up every now and then, and I am not sure of the family connection. Just how did everyone come to know each other? It was a small world.

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Delaware Park Bridge Page

As I am reading about the push to prepare the City of Buffalo for the Pan Am Exhibition in 1901, I am finding that a great deal was accomplished in record time with thoughtful, cohesive vision by teams of talented individuals, among them Architects. The Board consisted of eight Architects, E.B. Green sat on the Board representing the Green & Wicks firm.

Although it seems modest in comparison to the very “important” buildings of the day, the Delaware Park Bridge was a rather critical element to the logistics of moving people to and from the exposition. By the end of the event, it has been calculated that 11 million people had visited the site.

There is vague and conflicting information available on the architectural firm responsible for the design of the Delaware Park Bridge, the “Buffalo as an Architectural Museum” site has some concise information. I also have a postcard from my family archives written by Wicks in August of 1908 for daughter Ruth, while she was at the summer home Rubble Manor, in Barneveld. Ruth would be 24 years old at this time.

Here is the card and note:

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Here is the message: Park Lake Bridge. G&W Architects The (?) heads are keystones to arches were cut by your Uncle Sidney. look at same through a glass. WSW

As I have been researching various sources for information, I have found an extended Wicks family in Buffalo between 1901 and 1910. It would only be natural for family members to be involved in the process of constructing and building, so I find this interesting. The work is that of a true artisan, and after over 110 years holding up rather well. I am still unfamiliar with all of the details of the family tree … I will look for the Uncle Sidney, with an i.

I think this card and note verifies this bridge as the design of the Green & Wicks Architectural firm, for posterity’s sake if for nothing else..

Here is more information on this practical, yet elegant bridge from the “Buffalo as an Architectural Museum” website:

Erected:

1901, in time for the Pan-Am Expostion. Built by the City of Buffalo to replace a wood and iron bridge. The city also rebuilt the Casino and boathouse.
See also: Highlights of Buffalo’s History, 1901

Original name:

Bridge of the Three Americas

Style:

Venetian. The casino was also rebuilt in the same style. The Pan-Am featured a “Venetian lagoon,” i.e., Hoyt Lake (formerly named Delaware Park Lake) which was dredged to make it suitable for canoes and, of course, gondolas.

Ornamentation:

Two white lions at each bridge entrance were temporary, like all the buildings except the New York State Building (now the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum).
There are 6 stone heads that function as keystones on either side of the three arches.
On the side facing the Casino, the two outer heads represent Native Americans, and the middle one an idealized head representing Buffalo.
On the other side, the heads represent the three doges (grand dukes) of Venice: Dandolo, Michaeli, and Morosini.

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Wicks . the Canadian Connection & the lost Swiss Chalets

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Wicks . the Canadian Connection & the lost Swiss Chalets

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Postcards from Canada . Wicks collection . Summer & Fall of 1906 to Ruth . Grand Trunk Railway System Series . Lake Temagami . Lady Evelyn River. Muskoka Lakes District . St. Lawrence River . 1000 Islands the Admiralty Group.

I have been looking for the three-story swiss chalets designed by Wicks in the Georgian Bay region of Canada as referenced in the article written by Russel Roberts  … not even a smidge of a hint. I am guessing that the series of postcards above are the result of the trip either to or from Canada as Wicks would have traveled to see the site for the project.

Three postcards are addressed to Ruth’s Buffalo address (Fall) and two are addressed to the Adirondack League Club in care of the Lashers (Mr. Hazard Lasher died 3 years earlier, at just 48 years old). Mrs. Lasher and her two sons continued to stay at the Cottage for the summer. Ruth was 26 years old, the boys may have been about the same age, I am not sure.

One postcard is written by Ruth’s mother so Wicks was traveling with his wife on the excursion. I recognize Wicks handwriting on the others, he rarely sends a message. Emma is staying with Walter, having delightful rides on the river in his launch., and that is the end of the chapter on the Canadian connection.

And so the story of the Canadian Swiss chalets remain a mystery.

The Adirondack camps were closed and secured for the winter, buttoned up with the promise of Spring nothing more than that of an elusive lover with wet spring snow hugging the ground incessantly. Emma returned to Rubble Manor in Barneveld, running the household, holding down the fort, I know so little about her. Wicks returned to the city continuing his work with EB Green, the plethora of commissions keeping  the firm humming. My Grandmother, Ruth. Ruth’s occupation seems to be travel, tennis and  attending conscientious social clubs. But, that is what I surmise. After all of the Ivy League education, I am not aware of a “paid”position that she held in her lifetime, however, she managed the family property beutifully when her father died.

It looks like this postcard was sent from the Green & Wicks New York State Fairgrounds right after Ruth left the Adirondacks. It was sent by  Ruth to her mother in Barneveld and it is rather sweet. She is attending the Fair in Syracuse with friends and may be there for a while. The card is signed Al & Ruth and I wonder if Al might have been one of the Lasher boys, and if the two had traveled to the fair from camp together. There was word that someone had killed a buck  – she is asking her mother to please send her some venison, even if it is just a small amount… having a fine old time…gay and festive town ….wish you were here.

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Remembering Ruth, I think of her as a sophisticated and smart young woman walking in a society of the very accomplished, her soul and heart firmly entrenched in the natural earthy beauty and spirit of the country, and the honesty it brings forth….every girl needs a father like Wicks.

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Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann, Great Granddaughter of Wicks

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The Wildly Beautiful Adirondack Lifestyle Designed by Wicks . 1892-1908

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The Wildly Beautiful Adirondack Lifestyle Designed by Wicks . 1892-1908

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Postcards of the Adirondack Region from the Wicks Collection . 1908 & 1909

Between 1892 and about 1908 or 1909 William S. Wicks was fully engaged with the design of camps in the Adirondacks, the majority within the Adirondack League Club. As one of the first land owners of the preserve in 1892, Wicks was naturally attuned and devoted to land preservation and management with natural design in mind. Wicks loved life in the woods, the rugged landscape, fresh cold streams, pristine lakes and the design of well planned buildings ready to take shape. The woodland community of naturally conscientious trailblazers spoke to his inner natural voice and spirit, far from the hustle of a city taking shape in Buffalo, with many commissions of Green & Wicks architecture in process.

According to the article written by Russel Roberts shown below, Wicks designed 23 cabins, cottages, lodges, and hunting camps during this time frame which have been verified including the Adirondack League Club’s Mountain Lodge. Somehow, the number of references and books I have seen are not aware of the extent of his work, which is something to think about since he loved the environment enough to be a Charter Member of the Adirondack League Club for 30 years. It would be interesting to find out if records from the Adirondack League Club for this time period have been saved, but they are a rather closed community, and not easy to contact.

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Photos of the structures are rare. They are not as well-known or publicized as the Buffalo buildings. I found the three images below on the Adirondack Museum website which are quite good. I was so happy to see the interior of the Wardell camp, I think it is even nicer than I what I had imagined:

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Interior D.W. Wardell Camp, Honnedaga Lake, 1910, Wicks Camp Interior

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D.W Wardell camp, View from Honnedaga Lake, Wicks Camp, 1910

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Wicks Camp, Photo Postcard, on second Stillwater of West Canada Creek, Adirondack League Club, Log Cabin with porch, 1940

Remembering Wicks and wondering – when did he sleep?

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