Black Rock - Table of Contents

218 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, NY


C. 1880


Worker's cottage


Listed on the State Register for Historic Properties Nomination (National  Register listing pending as of July 2011)

TEXT  Beneath Illustrations

Italianate rounded top  floor-to-ceiling sash windows.
Porch is a late
Victorian add-on c. 1890 and features Eastlake spindles and posts.

Eastlake spindles, spandrels and posts

Shoulders flank rounded Iataliante transom window ..... Side lights ..... Screen door may be original to the porch

Italianate rounded top  floor-to-ceiling sash windows.


Eastlake style  balustrade

The house at 218 Dearborn is a post-Civil War era shotgun worker’s cottage located in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo, NY.

Constructed c.1880, the home was built as the area became a thriving working class neighborhood, with many members of its immigrant population working for the nearby waterfront and rail industries.

The house is eligible for the National Register as a surviving example of the worker’s cottage type, which during the last half of the 19th century dominated much of the landscape of the Black Rock neighborhood. Significant in the local context, a period of significance has been set from c.1880, the era in which the initial home was constructed, to c.1890, when the house’s porch received a fashionable late-Victorian era remodel.

Based on the extensive survey completed in 2010, there are as few as four shotgun workers’ cottages remaining in the Black Rock neighborhood that maintain enough exterior integrity to be considered eligible for the National Register. Of the four examples documented, 218 Dearborn is the only example known to have an intact interior plan and an intact late-Victorian era porch.


What is known about its residents is consistent with the German settlement of the neighborhood. The first documented occupancy dates to 1900 and lists the owner as Isador Keller, who was born in Germany in 1833 and migrated to the United States with his parents in 1836. After living a lengthy life as a farmer outside of Buffalo, Isador Keller and his wife, Catherine Keller, moved into 218 Dearborn Street in order to retire, away from their farm. They remained at the residence until 1920, when the next occupancy is listed as Jacob and Mary Sommer, both German immigrants, and a daughter, Caroline. The Sommer family retains the longest tenancy in the home’s history, with Caroline living at the residence through the 1970’s.

Photos and their arrangement 2011 Chuck LaChiusa
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