Craftsman (or Arts and Crafts)
architecture was popular in the early
twentieth century in Western New York, and the style was especially
popular in Buffalo thanks to the Prairie style influences of Frank Lloyd Wright
, furniture designer (and district resident) Charles Rohlfs
, and Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrof
t arts and crafts community in nearby East Aurora.
The Craftsman style was simpler and easier to build in comparison to the earlier Queen Anne
and Colonial Revival
styles. Its design and plan also reflected the new ways of living of
the early twentieth century, as it was no longer affordable for most
families to maintain a large live-in staff. Houses were built smaller
and more economically for purchasers of more modest means.
Architecturally, the Craftsman style in the Elmwood Historic District
is present in two basic forms: the Craftsman Bungalow and the American Foursquar
, typically a one
or two-story side gable
building with a prominent front porch that is
deeply recessed, is less common in the nominated district than in other
areas of the city.
The American Foursquare
characterized by a two or two-and-a-half story form, square or
rectangular massing, generally with a hipped roo
f and front dormer
the more common interpretation of the Craftsman style in the Elmwood
Historic District (East)
. Many examples were constructed in stone,
brick or wood shingle and feature elements such as exposed rafter tails
and simple, battered square columns or posts on porches. Developed in
the first decade of the twentieth century, Argyle Park and Clarendon
Pace both feature many examples of Craftsman style houses from the
1910s and 1920s. ....
examples are more
common in the district, especially in those areas that developed
slightly later, in the early twentieth century, primarily north of West
Ferry Street. The basic massing of an American Foursquare, or ‘Prairie Box,’
house can be seen at 19 Granger Place
(c.1910, contributing), where the
two-and- a-half story frame house is symmetrically oriented under a
hipped roof with hipped dormers.
81 Cleveland Avenue
(c.1910, contributing) displays this basic form
adorned with Craftsman details. The two-and-one-half story hipped roof
frame house exemplifies the Foursquare massing, complete with wood
clapboard siding and a hipped dormer with paired window. The
majority-width hipped roof porch features a spindle balustrade and
paired tapered square supports with triglyphs. The house’s overhanging
roof features open flared eaves and exposed rafter tails, indicative of
66 Clarendon Place
(ca. 1905, contributing) also features flared eaves
and exposed rafter tails, under the hipped roof of this
two-and-a-half-story foursquare frame house.
24 Argyle Park
(c.1916, contributing) offers another variation of the
style, this time in brick rather than clapboard. The two story hipped
roof house features a central wooden door with large sidelights, and a
majority width hipped roof porch with large Tuscan column supports and
iron balustrade. Like many Craftsman style buildings, the main roof,
porch and dormer all have overhanging eaves with exposed rafter tails.
Some Craftsman style houses utilize a stone or pebble finish
on their exterior, drawing on associations with natural, hand-made
architecture. The one and one-half story cross-gable roof house at 32
(1913, contributing) provides one example of this.
siding appears on the exterior walls, with sandstone
pillars supporting the partial width porch with lower pitched front
42 Clarendon Place
(ca. 1905, contributing) also features pebbledash
stucco siding on this two and one-half story flared hipped roof
foursquare frame house. The use of these various stone and stucco
textures lends these buildings a natural, handmade appearance that
aligns with the Craftsman style aesthetic and values.