16 Harwood Place - Fall 2009 Update

Props to City Hall for sealing the roof here at 16 Harwood Place. I understand that Mayor Brown has recently taken an interest in the Lyth Cottage. I've been profiling here - 16 Harwood Archive - and showing this splendid little small house to prospective buyers for the past three years.

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click image to enlarge

The Lyth Cottage has been in a shambles for the past year with the roof blown out - here - and a recent series of inside pics shows what water does when a roof is compromised. The City has owned the Lyth Cottage of the past decade and the next step is to find someone who would like to make this amazing place home - a place that intersects so well with Buffalo's industrial past and architectural legacy in the City's largest preservation district - in Hamlin Park.

For those of you who might be interested in just such a heritage renovation project, you should know that preservation standards allow for significant design flexibility if you can imagine a more modern addition to this place. For a sensitive and thoughtful project that a spot like this demands, the standards aren't as restrictive as you might have expected.

Here's the 16 Harwood - Lyth Cottage archive - exterior pics & interior pics.
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
Creative ClassShrinking CitiesSaturdays in the Neighborhood


Jackie said...

Thank goodness! My favorite building in the city. I don't know if I believe in reincarnation or not but ever since I saw the building I could vividly see myself happily living there. Too bad my wallet doesn't match my head. I can't wait to see a renovation.

Unknown said...

It's in a war zone, Jackie. When I surveyed this area for the Census, in May, I felt lucky to get out alive. It's more likely that people will arise from their graves in Forest Lawn than this place gets rebuilt.

Jordan said...

How much of the surrounding property comes with this house? The City Website says the city owns 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 24, Harwood and 1587, 1583, and 1579 Jefferson. What would be the possibility of buying all of these properties for $1? It would be an interesting homestead if one could get all of that land to go with it.

Jackie said...

I would rebuild it if I had the money. I have been in the neighborhood and I have seen the house in person, so I do know what I would be getting into. Just saying, people need to make their own individual decisions on what they want.

FixerUpper said...

a group of people ought to decide what buildings are worth saving, put together a plan to save them-
here's the catch-
MOVE THEM to a new, redesigned location, designed as a community.
Then, like-thinkers can live together-
in great homes they restore-
values of the homes will be high-
and a continual flow of people wanting to live in that community will maintain them.
This nice little cottage would be a perfect choice.
ever hear of LeCorbusier?

olcott_beach said...

Hi Jackie,

16 Harwood is a one-block, dead end street that runs perpendicular to Jefferson Avenue not to terribly far from Delavan and Main Street.

There were three other homes on this block the last time I was in the area; two occupied and a craftsman style bungalow, between the two occupied dwellings, that had been boarded-up.

Dan is somewhat correct; the neighborhood is far from ideal but all it takes is one visionary to turn an area around and this would be an ideal location to make such a beginning, especially if the City is willing to include the entire corner block in the sale making for great yard space – unless you hate yard work!

Inner city living has always been a paradox to me and since my own financial income has fluctuated widely throughout my career I tend to shy away from such an undertaking but I will admit if there was more stability in my career, this is one house I would consider bring back from the dead.



Becky said...

Moving them would rip a large chunk of history and character right out of them.

FixerUpper said...

Mark, the east side is full of visionaries, with investment in homes they will never see a penny from, while living in daily terror of vandalism, stray bullets, etc.
Mweanwhile, decay is getting the best of what's left, and bulldozers dream of tomorrow's labor.

Becky, the integrity of buildings can be maintained and improved by relocation. This happens 'where there is money', like Manhattan.
To suggest the heritage of a property would be compromised by removal from what is now urban farmland, decrepid, sparse and a target by locals, is not being realistic.

Just imagine a four or five block sized development- of incredible, aesthetically desirable homes- in a spot where people would feel protected, realize profit from the investments- and have great neighbors during the investment of their lifetime.
I think not.
If you want what I just described- and are not willing to believe it can happen, or wait, I suggest looking into my hometown village to relocate in a safe, aesthetically pleasing place- Silver Creek. I feel safe here. We'd be glad to have you. Have a look at the map of 1890...http://www.thinkofmeever.com/1892FullMap.htm

olcott_beach said...


I cannot dispute what you state and I think it is a touch of class that you are suggesting your hometown to Becky for her to consider relocating but I believe Becky is seeking inner city living.

East Buffalo is a paradox as there is an array of authentic architectural styles waiting to be resurrected from the wreaking-ball and, though, I realize we cannot save all of the 3000-5000 abandoned homes, there are one or two that it would be fabulous to save such as 16 Harwood Place.

This home is small enough to be relocated but, as Becky has already stated, it would result in yet another tear in the fabric of the community – granted, there is no community, but the potential remains as like many other pockets throughout Buffalo; Harwood could be the beginning of yet another.

In fact, this dead end street of four homes would be an idea grass-roots movement for four individuals willing to make a difference as the bungalow across the street is as worthy of renovation as Lyth Cottage.

Perhaps all a pipe dream because I have been warned by many not to drive down Jefferson because of carjacking and to remain out of the east side after dark – sad state of affairs for those who currently reside there if the warnings are true.


FixerUpper said...

Move to Silver Creek.
We have our own Police Department.
That's debated here, but I know them and they know me. Can't say that for Troopers thoughor Sherriffs.
I'm not advocating police- but I do want safety. Above all.
As for moving houses (which ios a topic I like) big houses can be moved too- how about the church going to Georgia?
Yes, work, money- but look at what you get- and what gest saved. And- what could be developed- that there isn't a chance in the world of making any othe way.
The old days of these homes being built are LONG gone.
OPnly certain ones SHOULD be retained. Great example is the horror on Elmwood, Pano's. Hey, bad news- a couple of days ago, I saw an entire porch cut off a gorgeous old house across the street from me- GONE! That same house has original gas lights in it. Rolling hidden pocket Parlor doors. and the barn had 24" wide plank floors. I just got them when the barn floated like a raft- (after 130 years) and hit a tree and collapsed. I'll use them in my soon-to- be-super-cool-carriage house.
Here are photos of my house:
Mark, you'd love it here too.

Michael said...

David - What is the status of this property? How much is the city asking for it? I cannot find any information on the City of Buffalo website.

Do you have pictures of the interior?

I am interested in finding out more about this property and the other houses on the street.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Do you know if this building is still available? I passed it today and still looks empty and boarded up.

Anonymous said...

Please could you let me know how can I find out more about this property ?