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Done Deal: 51 Johnson Park Sold

A historic home at 51 Johnson Park has a new owner.  Rand & Jones Enterprises Co’s 51JohnsonPark LLC purchased the property from Richard and Ivonne Woelfel for $380,000 on Tuesday.  The house has five bedrooms, four baths and 2,802 sq.ft. of living space.

Rand & Jones Enterprises Company, Inc. is a full service general construction firm as well as a building materials supplier.  Founded by Joan Yang in 1985, the company is headquartered at 18 Tracy Street and has a number of apartment buildings in the area.

Some 51 Johnson park history from the Buffalo as an Architectural Museum website:

No. 51 Johnson Park [was originally] a brick Italianate style home built circa 1865.  In April 1868, it became the home of Dr. Horace Briggs who remained in the home until he died in 1913 at the age of 95.  Dr. Briggs was a famous educator.  He moved to Buffalo in 1861 to teach classical languages of Latin and Greek at the Buffalo Central High School, but was lured away in 1863 to become the principal of the new private Boys School, later known as the Buffalo Classical School.  Begun in the gardener’s cottage of Rumsey Park, the school was formed to prepare the boys of Buffalo’s elite families for college, primarily Yale.  Briggs remained at the Buffalo Classical School until he retired in 1885.  The school was shuttered shortly after he retired. 

Briggs enjoyed traveling extensively and was keenly interested in Greek history and culture.  He visited Greece several times. Briggs’s knowledge and interest in Greek culture is reflected in his home at 51 Johnson Park, the façade of which is an imposing Greek Revival temple style.  Its projecting portico has four two-story Doric columns supporting a pediment with a round window, called an oculus.  While the portico of a Greek Revival mansion typically had six columns, when adapted for a smaller house like 51 Johnson Park, it was reduced to four, known as tetrastyle.

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