William F. and Lula Colton Strasmer
695 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo, NY
On the Explore Buffalo Lafayette Avenue Tour of Homes
September 22, 2018
Research by Judy Tucker
This house was built for William F. Strasmer and his wife Lula Colton Strasmer in 1896. The young newlyweds held their wedding reception in the house on September 28, 1897. William was born and raised in Buffalo and became a very prominent solo practitioner attorney. Lula was active in social circles and was the President of Magazine Club, a weekly woman’s publication that covered topics from latest inventions to gardening. She also headed the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolutions from 1900 through 1920’s. Their daughter, Katherine Strasmer, married Robert C. Graves, Jr. in 1927 and continued to live in the house for another 30 years.
For eighteen years, John Bliss has been caretaker of this home, doing extensive renovations, while maintaining the integrity of the home’s original design. Bliss has turned it into a welcoming gathering place for his children, family, and friends.
The exterior of the home has undergone a 21st century makeover with a new porch, garage, deck, siding, and composite slate/copper roofing. Five steps past the oversized front door and you will be amazed by the massive quarter sawn oak wainscoting/staircase, and the cathedral like stained-glass windows. Nearly all walls/floors have been refinished, double hung windows restored, and modern heating systems added. Most recently, Lula Strasmer’s original safe, labeled with her name, has been integrated into a first floor bathroom restoration. The Strasmer’s may have built this house, but clearly, this house is earning the label “House of Bliss”.
|Facade (North elevation)
July 2017 photos
Colonial Revival frame house.
Colonial Revival style
Hipped roof ... Twin pedimented dormers, swan's neck pediment dormer in center ... Palladian window with keystone ... Twin bay windows
Colonial Revival ... Swan's neck pediment dormer
Colonial Revival pedimented dormer
Dentil molding ... Ionic corner pilaster ... Engaged Ionic columns
Engaged Ionic columns ... Ionic corner pilaster
Palladian window with keystone
Bay window with engaged Ionic columns ... Ionic corner pilaster
Colonial Revival portico
Niches are substitutes for Colonial Revival side lights
Ovals and flutes decorate the frieze ... Twin Ionic capitals ... Shell ... Fluted pilaster ... Fluted engaged column
Balustrade ... Fluted square Tuscan column
Dentil molding ... Fluted square Tuscan column
East and West Elevations
July 2017 photos
East elevation ... Bow bay
West elevation ... Oriel window
West elevation ... Engaged Ionic columns ... Ionic corner pilaster
West elevation ... Oriel window with Tuscan columns