Tonawanda News

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July 15, 2012

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

(Continued)

KENMORE —

“He had to go to great lengths all the way up to Albany to get a variance on the design in this community and it was approved,” she said

Adamczyk said that in order for Stedem to comply with building regulations in the neighborhood, it had to include a residential space, which is found in an apartment in the back of the building.

During this time “it was typical to have a doctor or dentist office in the same place where the doctor lives,” Adamczyk said.

Stedem didn’t live at the medical offices, but at one point rented out the apartment to his son, Auerbach said.

The basement held X-ray facilities, including a dark room to print the images on film, while the second story was home to a dentist office.

Auerbach, who grew up in Kenmore and as an elementary student went to Washington School, said she very clearly remembers that dentist’s office ... and not fondly.

The man who practiced here “was my dentist and I actually came here and I hated it,” she said. “I remember sitting behind that door,” she said, pointing to an entryway with a laugh, “hoping he wouldn’t see I was here.”

By about 1960, 33 Delaware went up for sale as Stedem ended his practice. Dr. Ralph Argen, Auerbach’s brother, bought the offices and practiced there for about five or six years, Auerbach said, after which he moved into offices on Sheridan Drive and their parents used the building solely as a residence.

“My parents moved in here and my mother was a decorator ... she started to knock around some walls,” Auerbach said. “The place had five bathrooms and two bedrooms.”

The Argens moved out of the home in 1990 and Auerbach and her husband purchased the building from her brother in 1990. The Auerbachs made even more renovations, making a building full of bathrooms and small exam rooms into a habitable space. The living room was once a waiting room, a hall closet was once a receptionist’s counter and one large bathroom and laundry room was once two smaller bathrooms.

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