A local doctor and history buff has purchased one of five houses built by John D. Larkin. 176 Windsor Avenue barely made it onto the market before it was snapped up. The new owner plans on restoring the house, which Larkin built for his wife and children in the early 1900’s. According to Hunt realtor Adele Cloutier, “…the house was part of the family compound known as Larkland, formed when Mr. Larkin purchased the entire block of land known as Rumsey Wood, bordered by Rumsey Road, Forest and Windsor Avenues with frontage on Lincoln Parkway.”
The new owner plans on restoring the house according to its original plans, which were found in the basement. Apparently, the structure is about as sound as it gets, even to the point of being referred to as “fortress-like”. From furnaces encased in fire-proof rooms to an escape route from the basement, the plans were over thought to ensure that the family was safe, secure and lived a happy and lavish life.
In a statement from the buyers, who envision this as their “vintage dream home,” they stated their plan is “to preserve the home’s exquisite historical detail while refreshing it, with a caring touch, for the 21st century.” They continued, “We can’t wait to embrace our role as ambassadors of this historic Buffalo residence.”
176 Windsor, designed by architect H. Osgood-Holland, was built in 1916 for Mr. Larkin’s daughter, Frances Larkin (Daisy) Esty and her husband, Harold M. Esty. The home was next owned from 1963 until 1986 by their daughter, Elberta Larkin Esty. The late William H. Zacher purchased the property from Ms. Esty in 1986. It has stayed in the Zacher family until the recent sale.
Along with the architectural plans, a number of other notable historic articles were found, including original samples of Larkin soap products, intercom system with labels of rooms in which to locate the Larkin family occupants, aerial photo of the original Larkland compound, old Jewett refrigeration/ice box system, hand-rubbed mahogany doors and other woodwork, cabinets and specially sized shelving used to store old steamer trunks, a speak-easy in the basement of the carriage house, hitching post for horses, etc.
“I’m so pleased that we were able to get immediate results for the family and even more excited that the buyers are going to restore this wonderful, historic home to perfection,” said Cloutier. “It will once again be one of the crown jewels of Buffalo real estate.”
The compound sold for $999,900.
Side note: Queenseyes was in the speakeasy when Scott Norwood missed wide right against the Giants. It was the last time that he ever visited the speakeasy – a place that he frequented when he was younger.