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Erie County 
477 Delaware Ave. 
Buffalo, NY 14202

Historical Significance:

"This house was built for Henry M. Birge (died 1904) and his wife, the former Fanny King (died 1930) whom he married in 1878. Henry was the second son of Martin H. Birge (1806-1900), who came to Buffalo during the 1830's and opened a dry goods store. His focus eventually shifted to selling wallpaper, and finally to manufacturing it. Martin Birge took in Henry and his brother George as partners in the 1870's (after both had graduated from Harvard), the firm becoming M. H. Birge & Sons, and they built a new plant at Niagara and Maryland Streets on Buffalo's lower west side. The company grew to become one of the largest wallpaper concerns in the nation, internationally known for quality, and eventually opened offices in Europe. The firm became a branch of the National Wall Paper Co. in 1890, with the brothers becoming managers at the Buffalo plant, but returned to Birge family control in 1900. (M. H. Birge & Sons prospered through most of the twentieth century, under the control of George and his descendants, but eventually fell victim to changing fashion. The firm moved out of the plant at 390 Niagara Street in 1976, which was subsequently demolished, and went out of business in 1982.)

In the spring of 1895, Henry Birge commissioned a row house from Green & Wicks, perhaps the most prominent architectural office in the city at the time. By 1895 Green & Wicks had become the architects of choice for the Birge family: they had remodeled the Birge Building on Main Street in 1894; in 1895 they were remodeling George's summer home at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and were designing an entirely newspaper factory for the Birge firm at Niagara and Maryland Streets, to replace the one destroyed by fire the year before. (wording from: Birge-Horton House Henry and Fanny King Birge - Katherine Pratt Horton Katherine Pratt Horton Chapter, DAR House 477 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY." (By Martin Wachadlo An excerpt from the National Register Nomination (National Register - Basic Criteria: Erie; Results)

 

Acknowledgements: The Katharine Pratt Horton Chapter owns, operates, and maintains this as a chapter house and museum. It is open to the public by appointment.
Form Submitted By: Katharine Pratt Horton Chapter, NSDAR 5/30/2011