Tag Archives: green and wicks

Study it as you Would a Painting

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Source: Town of Webb Historical Association:

On April 14, 1913, a massive fire destroyed the Adirondack League Club’s Mountain Lodge, the ice house, laundry and storehouse at Little Moose Lake. Local firemen were able to save the Club’s boathouse and several adjacent cottages. The Directors met two days later in New York City and a decision was made to have Augustus D. Shepard design the new clubhouse, known today as the Little Moose Summer House.

mountain-lodge-1894

Mountain Lodge – Green & Wicks

Sketch from the Syracuse Sunday Herald, “Adirondack League Club,” January 8, 1893, p. 2.

Shepard’s Adirondack Architectural Style: An Adirondack Camps National Historical Landmarks Theme Study was submitted to the National Register of Historic Places in March of 2000, later updated in 2007. The study was prepared by Historic Preservation Consultant Wesley Haynes and National Historic Landmarks Program Historian James Jacos. Central to the theme study was the argument that the wilderness camps in the Adirondacks “represented the first and fullest application of a rustic aesthetic in American buildings.” “They appealed to some of the country’s most prominent and wealthy families, who were attracted to the idea of traveling to the mountains to experience nature and outdoor activities in extremely private yet luxurious surroundings.”

This document credits architect William S. Wicks, an Adirondack League Club member and designer of the 1892-1893 clubhouse at Little Moose Lake, as the earliest voice on the subject. Author of Log Cabins: How to Build and Furnish Them (1889), Wicks emphasized the importance of selecting a site with commanding views while cutting as few trees as were necessary for the construction of camps. In Wicks’ words, “Study it as you would a painting.”

wicks 1890

Remembering Wicks …

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.

Previous Post:

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.

(All rights of original material reserved.)

Green & Wicks Pan Am Expo Exhibition Buildings, 1901

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Green & Wicks Pan Am Expo Exhibition Buildings, 1901

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Slide show images courtesy of the Library of Congress

The task of bringing together the number artisans, professionals and planners to essentially build a microcosm of a city that was practical, yet magical within a tight timeframe was a challenge to the Movers & Shakers of Buffalo in 1900 to be sure. To that end, add that the city of Buffalo was slow to respond to the task of adopting the enthusiasm and energy needed to build the Pan American Exposition, and it would seem that best laid plans must have been exasperating at best and disastrous at worst. The weather also proved challenging.

But visionaries consider the details of this nature minutia, and rather predictable. Plans moved forward.

Now enter the architects. Here is information in part from “Doing the Pan” website which is a great resource for details on the scope of the project:

“… The Method Employed in Buffalo

The designing of the Pan-American Exposition was entrusted to a Board of eight architects, who, after examining the site and studying the problem in all of its bearings, decided on the general features of the block plan in joint conference, and determined, in a general way, the character of the Exposition and the underlying principles which should influence its development. The subdivision of the work and the allotment to the individual architects was reserved until all matters of general interest had been determined and agreed upon. The main points decided by the Board, as already stated, were that the Exposition should be formal in plan and picturesque in development, and that the style of the buildings should be of the Free Renaissance; that apparent roofs with overhanging eaves should be used in preference to flat roofs with cornices and balustrades; that color and decorative sculpture should be introduced freely into the treatment of the buildings, and that the character of the Exposition should be as gay and festive as possible, so that it would be a holiday affair.

The work was then subdivided into eight parcels and allotted to the different architects constituting the Board, as follows:

R. S. Peabody, Peabody & Steams, Boston, Mass, Horticultural Building Forestry Building and Graphic Arts Building

James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect United States, ex-officio member of Board, United States Government Building.

George Cary, Buffalo, N. Y., Ethnological Building.

 August Esenwein ,  Esenwein & Johnson, Buffalo, N. Y., Temple of Music.

Edward B. Green, Green & Wicks, Buffalo, N. Y.,  Electricity Building and Machinery Building.

George F. Shepley, Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Boston, Mass., Liberal Arts Building and Agricultural Building

John G. Howard, New York, Electric  Tower

Walter Cook, Babb, Cook & Willard, New York, Treatment of Plaza and the entrance to the Midway, the Propylaea, entrance to the Stadium, and the Stadium. …”

The following photos and descriptions are courtesy of buffalohistoryworks.com:

Green & Wicks . Electricity Building . Pan American Expo . 1901

Northwest of the Court of Fountains, with its eastern end facing the Electric Tower, is the Electricity Building. It was design by architects Green and Wicks of Buffalo, who also designed the Machinery and Transportation Building. In the northwest corner of the building is the Niagara Falls transformer plant, with a capacity of five thousand horse-power, the purpose of which is to transform the power delivered from Niagara Falls to a lower voltage so that it can be used for distribution about the grounds, to operate lights and other electrical appliances. The development of electrical power is illustrated in a very comprehensive manner; working models of many of the great plants are on
exhibition.

Green & Wicks . Machinery and Transportation Building . Pan American Expo . 1901

This building, in the style of Spanish Renaissance, houses an interesting collection of modern agricultural machinery of the last few years. American invention and ingenuity are demonstrated in displays of bicycles, carriages,
boats, automobile manufacturing, heavy machinery, pumps, and steam engines. The Transportation exhibit is no less interesting and includes all of the very latest specimens of road vehicles, locomotives, cars and railroad appliances.

Here are some additional points of interest from this site:

The Grounds

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the Pan-American was the color scheme of its buildings. In previous expositions, the main feature had always been architecture but not color. The Pan-American attempted to appease both. Imagine seeing colossal buildings colored in hues of red, blue, green and gold! The Electric Tower alone was colored deep green, with details of cream white, blue and gold! Now you can see where the name “Rainbow City” came from.

Since the Pan-American Exposition was also a celebration of electricity, it was only fitting that the promoters of the Exposition would attempt to outdo themselves when it came time to see the fair at night. Drawing its power from Niagara Falls, at dusk 240,000 eight watt bulbs came on at once, not in a brilliant flash of light, but in a gradual increase in brightness until every building was adorned in a bath of light. Since the Electric Tower was the focal point of the Exposition, it was studded with 44,000 lights. A powerful searchlight was mounted at the highest point of the tower that allowed it to be seen from Niagara Falls and Canada.

The Architecture

The architecture of the Pan-American was a free treatment of the Spanish Renaissance style as a compliment to the Latin-American countries represented at the fair. Columns were used as decorative rather than architectural effects, and each building is rich with the use of balconies, loggias, towers, and minarets.

One very important architectural note needs to be made clear; none of the buildings at the Pan-American, with the exception of the New York State building, were built to be a permanent structure. Looking closely at the many photographs reveals buildings falling apart at the seams. In order to construct world’s fairs at a quick pace, 95% of the buildings were constructed of wooden frames and chicken wire with a base coat of plaster! Each rainfall caused the buildings to decay more and more so you can imagine the dilemma the directors of the Pan-American faced with the summer of 1901 being one of the wettest in Buffalo’s history.

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I have found an intense amount of information on the Pan Am Expo which has been like finding hidden treasure. The logistics of the event were formidable, until now I had not thought about the orchestration necessary to accommodate the thousands of people who attended … rest rooms, refrigeration, electricity and food preparation had to be an impossible task by todays standards. Normal on a grand scale for the time and place, but something that gives pause.

The Midway, sideshows, hawkers and runaways are quite sensational stories in and of themselves …. oh and Calamity Jane – what a mess!

My Grandmother, Ruth, Wicks daughter was 17 years old at the time of the Expo. Oh, to have been able to talk to her about this would have been magical. But, I was only 8 years old when she died. No souvenirs, trinkets or memorabilia that she might have collected have surfaced …. but, it brings a new perspective on what she must have seen, when electricity was a new amazing element of life lighting the night sky and changing life forever.

ruth

Ruth, Age 6, at the Green & Wicks Firm

(All rights of original content reserved.)

Pan Am Expo 1901 and the Green & Wicks Connection

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pan am logo

PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION, BUFFALO, 1901

PROGRESS MADE VISIBLE

After the great success of the first two American World’s Fairs, the Pan-American Exposition opened in Buffalo in May 1901 with hopes of bringing the economic benefits of an exposition to northern New York state. The organizers hoped to show the benefits of electric light made possible by hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, a lack of local community enthusiasm led to weak financial support and the snowy Great Lakes weather led to building delays.

The Exposition opened to moderate success and continued to generally good reviews. The most unusual aspect of the Pan-American was the color scheme of its buildings. Unlike the pristine design of the “White City,” the architectural plan of the Pan-American was to build a “Rainbow City.” The buildings were done in a Spanish Renaissance style and were colored in hues of red, blue, green, and gold. The Electric Tower, the focal point of the fair, was colored deep green with details of cream white, blue, and gold. At night, thousands of electric lights outlined the buildings.

The theme of the Pan-American Exposition was the linkage between the United States and the other nations of the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, only a handful of Latin-American countries sponsored major displays. Regional and national displays were, however, much in evidence.

A major event of the Pan-American Exposition was to be the September visit of President William McKinley. On September 6, after sightseeing at Niagara Falls, McKinley attended a reception at the Exposition’s Temple of Music. Leon Czolgosz, identified as an anarchist, came through the receiving line with a revolver concealed in a handkerchief and shot the President twice. Eight days later, McKinley died of his wounds and Theodore Roosevelt became President.

The death of President McKinley overshadowed the rest of the Exposition. Buffalo, hoping to be seen as a prosperous, technologically-advanced city, would instead be seen as the city of the assassination.

This above entry is courtesy of  the University of Delaware Library

and the Special Collections Department

The Exposition was an extravaganza of spectacular proportion … history was unfolding. The brilliant effect of electricity illuminating the night sky created a magical vibration and euphoria that had never before been experienced.

Imagine.

But, the phenomena of electricity would never diminish the sad day we experienced when President McKinley was assassinated. That day was one of our darkest days and a place in history that will never be forgotten  … it is almost as if this assault on our innocence was beginning, the unraveling of civility becoming a new normal in young America.

The Green & Wicks firm was at a height of architectural renaissance with many projects underway in Buffalo, including the Albright Art Gallery, and beyond. EB Green was a member of the Pan Am Exposition Board of Architects representing the interests of the firm.

Wicks was a Fellow of The American Institute of Architects, a Charter member of the Adirondack League, President of the Otowega Club and Vice President of the Red Jacket Golf Club, (at one time he had been the amateur golf champion of Buffalo, but I do not know the year(s)).

And now an Exposition of epic proportion became a part of Buffalo’s landscape. Buffalo was the eighth largest city in the United States with a population of 350,000 …. millions of people would now experience the Buffalo effect … Green & Wicks, I presume in the thick of it.

pan am site

Images courtesy of the Wikipedia site.

(All rights of original material reserved)

When Bridges included Hand Carved Elements & We Noticed . 1901

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

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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buffalo 11

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.

(All rights of original material reserved.)

Building Buffalo to be Beautiful . 1897 . Green & Wicks

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Building Buffalo to be Beautiful . 1897 . Green & Wicks

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1897

William Sydney Wicks, a prominent architect and a partner of E.B. Green, built his house on the southwest corner of Jewett and Summit. The third floor of Wicks’ eclectic, Tudor-style house was designed to be a ballroom to entertain his guests. Wicks and Green ultimately designed about a dozen other houses in Parkside, as well as a number of landmark buildings in the City including the Market Arcade Building downtown, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on the west side of Delaware Park, and distinctive gold-domed Buffalo Savings Bank (now a branch of M&T Bank). That year, the bear pits were constructed at the Buffalo Zoo.

The photos shown here include the Market Arcade Building, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Savings Bank and the Parkside Community Wicks house.

Wicks was my Great Grandfather, it is sad to me that he has routinely been written out of history. This history line found on the Parkside Community website states that the architectural design work of Green & Wicks was accomplished as a firm/partnership, not as independent entities.

Of course, I like that.

(Timeline is courtesy of the Parkside Community Association website & photos are courtesy of visitbuffaloniagara.com and the Buffalo as an Architectural Museum and Buffalo rising website.)

Friend . Miss Marguerite Grove & the Thomas Indian School . 1906

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Friend . Miss Marguerite Grove & the Thomas Indian School . 1906

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A Simple Postcard from the Wicks Albright . Parkside . Delaware Park Collection circa 1905-1908 with just a name in delicate script:

Miss Marguerite Grove

Miss Grove was probably a friend of Ruth’s, William S. Wicks, daughter  and I wondered who she might be. Somehow their paths crossed, or they traveled in the same social circles. Ruth was a Unitarian, so I do not expect they met in church as Miss Grove was a Presbyterian.

Recently I found a reference for the Grove family in the “Buffalo Address Book and Family Directory 1901”, Dr. & Mrs. B.H. Grove were neighbors to the Wicks family who also lived on Jewett Avenue. By 1905 the book now lists the girls of both families: Miss Ruth & Miss Grace Wicks, and Miss Marie Grove, which must be Marguerite. That is all I could find, the girls came to know each other as friends and neighbors, and eventually went their own way, as we all do.

Miss Marguerite Grove is mentioned in:

“The Fiftieth Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Thomas Indian School

Located on the Cattaragus Indian Reservation at Iroquois, New York

For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1905

Here is one entry ” … the following organizations sent many Christmas presents for our pupils, Miss Marguerite Grove, Director of Young People’s work of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church was also instrumental in securing presents from ….. which helped to make the Christmas Season joyous ….”

thomas indian

Photo courtesy of the whitebison.org website

Depending on various perspectives found on internet sources, the Thomas Indian School may be interpreted as a historical agency dedicated to the well-being, stability and happiness of little children, or something darker. I believe that Miss Marguerite Grove had nothing but good intention and an altruistic spirit in her interaction with the children of the Thomas Indian Thomas school which is still in operation today.

marguerite

Nineteen years later, Miss Marguerite Grove is still involved with the school …. “Buffalo Courier”, February 1, 1924 … Social Record:

“…Following the dinner, a play ‘One Hundred Years’ will be presented under the direction of Miss Marguerite Grove, by about thirty Seneca reservation Indians.”

Interconnectedness, friendship and the human condition when we were new unravels because of a name on a family postcard. Here is information on the history of the school from the New York State Archives website:

“THOMAS INDIAN SCHOOL RECORDS

The Thomas Asylum for Orphan and Destitute Indian Children was incorporated   in 1855 as a private institution receiving State aid. The asylum was located   within the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation in Erie County and was charged to   receive destitute and orphaned children from all Indian reservations in the   State. It was named for Philip E. Thomas, a benefactor of New York’s Native Americans and early financial backer of the asylum.

In 1875 ownership of the asylum was transferred to the State and it was made subject to the supervision and control of the State Board of Charities. As a   State institution, its purpose was to furnish resident Native American children with “care, moral training and education, and instruction in husbandry   and the arts of civilization.” To reflect its emphasis on education the   asylum’s name was changed in 1905 to Thomas Indian School. The school first   offered Regents Examinations through grade 6 in 1898, and by 1905 eight grades   were available. In 1930, with the addition of one more grade, the school was   classified a junior high school. The school was placed under the supervision   of Department of Charities in 1927. The Department of Charities was renamed   Department of Social Welfare in 1929. Orphaned, destitute, or neglected Native   American children were usually referred to the school from one of these sources:   a parent or guardian unable to care for the child; a county welfare agency seeking   to place a child under foster care; or the Children’s Court. Final determinations   on admissions were made by the superintendent. In 1942, a social worker was   assigned to the school to counsel the residents and to advise the superintendent.   The State closed the Thomas Indian School in 1957. …”

(All rights of original material reserved.)