Buffalo’s oldest house, the Coit House, is reawakening from a long slumber. New owners Tim Boylan and Sue-Jolie Rioux Boylan have brought some life back into the historic home in a number of ways. Not only does the couple operate their very successful interior design business out of the house, they have also embarked on a number of noticeable enhancements that should go a long way towards preserving and identifying the structure.
I caught up with Tim yesterday who was busy overseeing a new paint scheme that was underway. The house is going from primarily burgundy to primarily black (neither original colors). “We used 13 tubes of caulk on the front facade, and restored 2 windowsills,” said Tim. “We’re going with black, with gray trim and off-white dentils. The door will be painted a deep red, with off-white trim again.”
According to Tim, the paint used on the project is made right here in Buffalo. He hooked up with Buffalo Paint and Wallpaper on Hertel Avenue. The business suggested that he use paint from C2 Paint. “The owner of C2 Paint, Tom Hill, was formerly a head chemist at Pratt and Lambert, based in Buffalo,” Tim noted. “When the company was purchased by Sherwin-Williams, Hill decided that he wanted to head out on his own, so he started his own micro paint company, which is fantastic – the colors have some of the most gorgeous pigments that I have ever seen.” See video interview with Tom Hill.
Aside from all of the work that is going into the facade, the Coit House also has a brand new historic marker that is larger than life – very hard to miss. The marker is very important, in that for the first time passersby can read about the history of the house – it’s move from downtown at 53 Pearl Street (around 1867) to its current location at 414 Virginia Street in Allentown. Over the years the Coit House has been threatened with demolition, and many people feel that it is the catalyst for today’s preservation movement. A litany of people have helped to ensure that the house stands to this day, many of whom made an appearance at a marker ceremony on May 21, 2016.
Not only has the Coit House been saved and mostly preserved, today it is essentially open to the public due to the design business that is operating from within – Tres Jolie Maison, Inc. More importantly, the marker will help to serve the mission of all the stewards that helped along the way.
Photos: Seth Amman and queenseyes – Family members from around the country are gathered in Buffalo for the occasion. Joined by Mayor Brown, previous owners and preservationists.