Buffalo's 'Hamilton Ward House'

Chris Hawley and Stevan Stipanovich, two of Buffalo's best and brightest urban planners have been doing a remarkable job detailing the City's newest hotspot for arts, education and residential development. Known now as Midtown, the area around Artspace, located at 1219 Main Street, stretches from Best Street to East Utica and Main to the increasingly more developed Michigan Avenue - see January, December and October.

Most readers of this Masten neighborhood blog already know about my fascination with Coe Place. Chris Hawley has just completed the research on one of Buffalo's emerging historical land marks, the 'Hamilton Ward House' formerly known as 19 Coe Place.
Introducing the...'Hamilton Ward House'
Hamilton Ward House - 19 Coe Place
photo credit - Aaron Ingrao
Hamilton Ward House - 19 Coe Place Hamilton Ward House - 19 Coe Place Hamilton Ward House - 19 Coe Place 'Hamilton Ward House' - 19 Coe Place - Buffalo, NY
Here's what Chris has discovered about Coe Place's most famous resident, Hamilton Ward Jr. a Coe Place history maker. He lived a significant portion of early Buffalo life at 19 Coe Place, the Hamilton Ward House.
So, who is Hamilton Ward Jr?

  • New York State Attorney General from 1928 to 1930, only Republican elected statewide same year that Franklin D. Roosevelt elected Governor
  • Founder of Allegany State Park, longtime chairman of Allegany State Park Commission and considered one of New York's leading nature conservationist
  • Founder of Erie County Parks Commission, key leader in forming first four county parks after 1924: Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Emery, Chestnut Ridge
  • Largely designed Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park, NY and bequeathed several hundred acre portion of his property to county for Chestnut Ridge in his living will and testament
  • Was formidable candidate for governor in 1930, backed out early at urging of party
  • Founder and first National Commander of Spanish War Veterans, war hero Captain in Spanish-American War, single handedly oversaw construction of a 30 mile rail line in Havana Cuba at a young age
  • Made the address at Millard Fillmore's Buffalo memorial service in 1902
  • His father, Hamilton Ward also a prominent lawyer, wrote the letters of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson as congressman
The Republican Ladies Club of Erie County wrote this song in his honor, anticipating his run for Governor, published on June 9, 1930 in the Buffalo Courier Express:

There'sa place in our hearts no other can fill,
There's a chair in our state which is only yours still,
There's a spot in our mem'ry forever your own,
For dearer and dearer you daily have grown.

Sure, we love the dear bright light that shines in your eyes,
And the clever good nature we've all learned to prize;
We hope all the blessings sent down by the Lord
Will come to you and help you, our Hamilton Ward.

When he's not singing this tune - he actually called me last week and sang it over the phone.  Chris drafted a comprehensive report detailing the housing opportunities and planning that he's proposed for the City's near East Side. He writes:

Coe Place is the most historically and urbanistically significant street in the Midtown neighborhood. At one time a brick pedestrian pathway, converted to a residential street by a quixotic nineteenth-century skating rink operator, Coe Place is a charming, very narrow street, originally no more than fifteen feet wide, lined with a collection of close-knit Queen Anne-style houses whose singular attributes are unmatched anywhere else in Buffalo.

I've placed the bulk of Chris's work about Coe Place in a separate report here: Coe Place. It's taken from his larger work Midtown - Poised for Renaissance, which is a definitive article about housing, planning and smart urban design for the City's near East Side. It's a comprehensive document that we'll be adding hyperlinks and pictures to in the near future.

We wanted to make it available now as a major preservation struggle involving the "Hamilton Ward House" is ready to unfold.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

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