Noel Sutton is at it again. This time, the real estate enthusiast, who has been scooping up and refurbishing some of the most desirable houses/buildings in Allentown, has purchased the iconic Coatsworth Mansion (recently featured for sale on BRO). Simply viewing the Coatsworth is like stepping back in time, to a period in Buffalo’s history when mighty business magnates wielded limitless power and were able to build structures that reflected their unimaginable wealth.
Sutton picked up the Coatsworth for $431K. He told me that there was quite a bit of interest in the building, and that he feels exceptionally lucky to have added the property to his growing portfolio. “The Coatsworth is an ode to something bigger and better,” said Sutton. “Stepping onto the front porch is magical – the building is larger than life. It was built by Thomas Coatsworth, who made his fortune in coal and lumber. Believe it or not, the Second Empire style mansion is five-storeys tall, making it even taller than the Puritan building on Allen (another one of Sutton’s structures). This was the first house built on the street, and to this day commands the most attention. The cupola at the top offered Coatsworth the ability to view his ships as they came into the Buffalo Harbor – just think about that for a second. To this day, there is an unobstructed 360 degree view of the city of Buffalo, if that puts the size of the mansion into perspective.”
For as long as I can remember, I have been awestruck by the Coatsworth. I even put the property on the cover of Buffalo Rising’s second printed edition years ago – that’s how much I admire the place. Now, Sutton is going to take the building and he’s going to turn it back into a similar opulence as when it was first constructed. “For the most part, the architectural elements are all there,” Sutton stated. “What’s not there I can bring back. I will be creating multiple luxury units that retain the majestic appeal of the house – there are 20 rooms in the building. The Mansion on Delaware Avenue is part of my inspiration. The detail of the Coatsworth is stunning – some of the best around. The doors are ten feet tall. I don’t know how to describe the beauty. I can’t tell you what this means to me to be able to act as a steward for this piece of Buffalo history. When this house was built, Abraham Lincoln was president. Coatsworth built it for his wife, Electra – how incredible is that? When I am in the building, I feel the strength of Buffalo. When I am finished restoring it, the Coatsworth will boast some of the finest rentals around.”
As much as I am happy for Sutton, I am even happier for Buffalo. Just seeing what this guy can do to breathe life back into these beauties (see Orton Place) is just cause to root him on to even bigger and better projects. Sutton is looking out for Buffalo’s best interest, while building a business model that is based on attracting a demographic from as near as the Medical Campus and as far as Solar City. For far too long we let these types of structures sit idly by, without paying due respect to their true grandeur. Times are changing in Buffalo, which is allowing entrepreneurs such as Sutton to reclaim the gifts that were bestowed upon this city. There was a time when this city was a formidable presence in the eyes of the world. You can see that when you step inside the Coatsworth. Sutton is well aware of his monumental role in restoring the mansion, and is prepared to be the architectural steward for this architectural masterpiece.