The Midway Rowhouses
The Midway at 471-499 Delaware Avenue is a stretch of row houses completed in 1895. While row houses were common throughout the north-east United States, they were quite rare for the city of Buffalo due to the vast amount of open land available in Western New York at this time. Most of the rich preferred to build on large plots of land - see Millionaire's Row further north on Delaware.
By the turn of the century, most of the wealthy moved out of current downtown Buffalo and headed north. As plots of land became harder to find, the need for the Midway Row Houses arrived. In addition, not every wealthy person of Buffalo wanted to maintain vast gardens and landscaping on 1-2 acre lots.
The original Midway row house is unfortunately now a parking lot, which lays at the southern end of the block giving way to the infamous "Resting Lion" mural. At 471 Delaware sits the first building, a three story row house called the Dr. Ernest Wende House. Directly north is the four story John Strootman House at 475 Delaware, boasting a great example of Renaissance Revival style architecture. At 477, you'll find a Georgian Revival style house named after George K. Birge designed by architects Green and Wicks. Another Renaissance Revival style house sits at 479 named the Harlow C. Curtiss, designed by Marling and Johnson.
At 481 Delaware is the Dr. Bernard Bartow House, also designed by Marling and Johnson. Dr. Bartow was an extremely important person in Buffalo at this time, co-founding Children's Hospital and playing a critical role in Buffalo's philanthropic efforts. On the modest side in terms of design and features, the first floor was converted to commercial use in the 1920's and remains as such today. Next door at 483 is the Albert J. Wright House and #493 Herman Hayd House, both showcasing Queen Anne style architecture. Rounding out the northern part of the block is #497 with the Stella Lowry House and #499 Bryant B. Glenny House with Richardsonian Romanesque style.
Numerous local architects participated in building these houses, which were erected one at a time throughout the 1890's. The block is called Midway because it was half-way between Niagara Square and Forest Lawn Cemetery.