Tonawanda News

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July 15, 2012

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



But it was that upstairs dentist office that made Auerbach, a watercolor artist, realize she just had to have that building.

“When my brother wanted to sell it I knew it had to be mine, because of having (an art) studio like this,” she said, gesturing to what was once the dentist office she dreaded.

Another round of renovations took place six years ago, Auerbach said, and other than a few details, not much of the original interior of the building has remained.

The building

Thirty-three Delaware was built at the peak of Lyman’s career as what Walkowski described as one of Buffalo’s top architects. Dubbed the Dean of Western New York Architecture, Lyman’s career spanned some four decades. He and the firms he worked under were responsible for Williamsville South High School, Christ the King Chapel at Canisius College and the Niagara Mohawk Building in Syracuse, which Walkowski called one of the nation’s best examples of art deco architecture.

“He was a master of many different styles, and would work in all sorts of palletes for his customers,” Walkowski said. “He does a lot of nice work especially toward the later period of his career, sort of moving in the modern direction.”

Fellow Western New York architect from a generation earlier, “E.B. Green was never comfortable with modern architecture. Lyman was definitely more comfortable and capable working in the modern style,” she added.

It would not have been unusual for a notable architectural firm like Bley and Lyman to take on a smaller, more residential project like 33 Delaware, particularly during the Depression.

“Architects at that time would not have turned down pretty much any commission,” Walkowski said. “Lyman did work on smaller commissions, like a house in Lockport he designed in the 1950s,” on Berkley Drive.

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