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Coatsworth Cut in Half

I am not sure who I received this intriguing historic image from, so I start out with an apology to the unknown source.  The image shows the Coatsworth House on Soldiers Circle in Buffalo in its original form and then cut in half as depicted in a 1954 Courier Express story.  I first wrote about this house  back in 2006 highlighting the fact that it was a close replica of a the H.H. Richardson designed Stoughton House in Cambridge Massachusetts.  That house is one of the most revered of Richardson’s many masterpieces.

The Coatsworth house originally sat directly on the circle but was moved back to the rear of the estate so that a set of small new houses could be constructed in its place.  The paper indicates that the entire development project cost $450,000, a big sum back then. To move the quite large house, it had to be cut in half.  With close examination you can see the tell-tale signs of this architectural surgery to this day.  The house was only slightly more than 50 years old when it was moved, but the Courier Express story refers to it as the “old” Coatsworth house, suggesting its halcyon days as a seat of  power and wealth were done.  I wrote again about the house when I came across an image of the house just before it was moved.  It is so very interesting to find connections to the past like this that explain how we got here.  These images are like ghosts lingering around, waiting to tell a story, letting us know that something happened here.

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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