Trevor Corp, an artist originally hailing from East Aurora, has moved back to Buffalo with his family - he left Buffalo to attend an art school in Maine and ended up staying for a number of years. Trevor, along with his wife Anna and daughter Katalina has recently moved into a Victorian home on the Richmond-West Ferry circle. The house had been neglected for some time, and Trevor has made it his goal to painstakingly restore it in hopes to regain the original luster that is hidden behind the carpeting, the wallpaper, etc.
"Preserving the character without going to extremes," is the goal according to Anna.
Trevor's goal is to begin with this house and revamp it, but in the long run he is considered starting a business that would involve similar projects throughout the West Side of the city. It doesn't hurt that Trevor is a wood craftsman and understands the hardships that lay ahead.
The house has a fascinating history and Trevor and his family want to make sure none of that is compromised during the restoration. The rooms are filled with all sorts architectural treasures including seven unique fireplaces, colorful interior window luminaries, hidden storage units and original wood flooring throughout.
There is much evidence that the basement of the building was once a speakeasy in the 1920's. Upon hearing rumors to that end, Trevor set out to explore the bowels of the house and found many unusual artifacts that confirmed what he suspected (above). He knocked down a wall and discovered a crawlspace that led up to an entrance on the porch. At the entrance was a hollow pipe that snaked its way into a downstairs room. "I believe that was the way to communicate with people who were looking to gain entrance," Trevor pondered. Other interesting finds included writing on the walls which Trevor and Anna believe were the "house rules" and a barrel where the drinks may have come from.
A house that has such history and character as this one is the type that Trevor truly loves to be around. Buffalo is home to many buildings that have been butchered and redone time and time again. However, not all houses in the city have suffered the same fate... ones such as this are still fairly priced due to the need for proper restoration - it takes just the right buyer, with just the right vision to pull off a restoration of this magnitude.
"I love the architecture here; It's still affordable in Buffalo unlike a lot of other cities that we looked at. We also like the pace of Buffalo - we weren't looking to live in a big city," Trevor said.
The work that needs to be performed ranges from leaded glass windows to furniture to painting. "If this house, even in its current condition, was plunked down in Portland Maine, it would be $500,000," he continued. "We were living over an hour away from Portland and we got bored. I still have family here and it felt like the right place at the right time."
The process of bringing back the beauty of this historical building will be a long one. However, Trevor and his family are up to the task of creating a home that suits their needs.
"The house was built a certain way and was always meant to be that way," Trevor said.
When the work is complete, we'll take another look at the house to document the transformation. Until that time, we wish Trevor and Anna all the luck in the world.