C. D. Arnold House
123 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo, NY

C. D. Arnold, official photographer for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition
Architect: J. L. Silsbee
Style: Tudor Revival / Richardsonian Romanesque
Contributing member in the Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West)
Bidwell Parkway

Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of Olmsted’s Buffalo parks and parkways system, cutting diagonally through the Elmwood Historic District (West) from Richmond Avenue and Colonial Circle through Elmwood Avenue near Potomac Avenue further on to Soldier’s Circle in the north-east.

The street and parkway itself were previously listed on the State and National Registers as a contributing element to the Delaware Park-Front Park system in the Olmsted Parks and Parkways Thematic Resources.

A divided roadway with grassy median, Bidwell Parkway is an excellent example of the type of road-as-park that Olmsted envisioned; linking pre- existing settlement at Black Rock and Cold Spring with ribbons of trees and landscape to Delaware Park.

The entire street measures approximately 200-feet in width, creating a broad roadway. The median is planted with numerous elm trees on a grid layout, helping give this area a shady, forest-like orderly appearance. Streetlights on Bidwell Parkway are cast iron decorative luminares on poles with Art Nouveau

Houses on Bidwell Parkway date from approximately the 1890s to 1900s, and many feature more high-style examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival styles. The street also contains several apartment buildings, compatibly scaled to the neighboring 2 1⁄2 or 3-story houses.

Notable buildings on Bidwell Parkway include the George L. Thorne House at 50 Bidwell Parkway, designed for one of Buffalo’s most prominent real estate moguls by Bethune, Bethune and Fuchs around 1885. The house at 123 Bidwell Parkway dates to 1895 and was designed by Joseph Lyman Silsbee, a nationally-significant architect and early mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built for Charles Dudley Arnold, official photographer of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition in 1901.

- Elmwood Historic Preservation District (West)

Built in 1895 for CD Arnold, this may have been one of [J. L.] Silsbee's last Buffalo Commissions. And I think the reason for this later commission is that CD Arnold photographed the Chicago World Fair in 1893 where Silsbee was prominent. Silsbee exhibited many of his inventions there such as the moving sidewalk, and Arnold being an architectural photographer, no doubt had interaction with Silsbee.

An early book by Arnold shows the influence his trip to France and Europe had on him as he drew and sketched the Renaissance influenced homes of the local people. That Arnold commissioned Silsbee, who was still very active in Chicago, for a special Tudor Revival design with Richardsonian Romanesque elements for his dream home is not surprising.

- Joe Dettelis, 2011 owner of 123 Bidwell Parkway

Historic Photos
Source: Thomas G. Yanul, Charles Dudley Arnold: Photographer 1844-1927 (online June 2015)
Used with permission.

 Note empty corner lot to left. House has been modified at some time, now has porch across front and other minor changes.

2015 Photo   ...    Looking west

2017 Photo  

2017 Photo   ...    Tower

2021 Photo


2015 Photo   ...    Voussoirs ... Carved shell in tympanum

2015 Photo   ...    Battered pillar

2015 Photo

2015 Photo 

2015 Photo   ...    Half-timbering

2015 Photo   ...    Dormer

2015 Photo   ...    Copper finials

Color photos and their arrangement 2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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