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July 15, 2012

Kenmore residence an art deco one-of-a-kind

KENMORE — The residence at 33 Delaware Road in Kenmore is a bit of an anomaly. It at once is hard to find and unique to the other homes surrounding it.

“One thing that strikes me is how well it fits into the block,” said Kenmore Historian Ed Adamczyk. “It is distincitive, on the other hand it is the same size as the houses next to it. In some ways you almost have to look for this place and once you find it, it’s hard to miss.”

Jennifer Walkowski, architectural historian for Clinton Brow Architecture in Buffalo said the art deco structure — designed by Buffalo architect Duane Lyman — would have been quite a shock to people when it was built.

“This would have been the height of modern style. It would be now like getting a glass box built,” as a residence, she said. “It would have been very cutting edge and definitely would have raised some eyebrows in a Colonial revival neighborhood like this.”

“This is not your traditional, cozy (home),” she said. “You need someone interested in interesting spaces and with an imagination” as the owner.

Which is where Rita Auerbach comes in. As a retired art teacher who now spends her days as a watercolor artist, the owner of the residence is perhaps uniquely situated to appreciate the beauty — and sometime quirky nature — of the building.

The history

Thirty-three Delaware was built in 1933 for the medical offices of Dr. Daniel E. Stedem. It is situated directly across the street from another notable building with hints art deco design, the Kenmore Municipal Building, which was constructed in the same year.

Auerbach said it was quite an ordeal for Stedem to obtain permission to even build the building ... it didn’t exactly look like every other structure on the street.

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