St. Johns Place

In 1887, it was written in the Real Estate and Builder’s Monthly that “among the new short streets of the city, St. John’s Place, running out of Wadsworth near the Circle is decidedly one of the prettiest.”  The KCA thinks that it is still a pretty street.

51-st-johns-place51 St. John’s Place on the corner of Orton Place was built in 1887 and when it was being marketed in 1891, it was advertised that “four lines of street‑cars [were] within one square.  The house is in one of the most convenient locations, and on one of the handsomest and most desirable residential streets in Buffalo.”  After being in the same family for nearly 50 years, the house recently sold and is in the process of being restored by its new owner who installed a new roof with copper valleys and down spouts in 2004.

47-st-johns-place47 St. John’s Place was built in 1888 for William S. Tweedy and designed by architect Charles R. Percival.  Tweedy came from an old Buffalo merchant family who were wholesale dealers in hats, caps, furs, etc. with a store at 217 Main Street.  The business was started by his father, William Tweedy about 1828.  Today the Tweedy home is lovingly maintained by its current owner, Broady Richardson who has painted the home in recent years.

39-st-johns-place39 St. John’s Place was an extremely large Queen Anne home that was a victim of demolition by neglect.  At one time it had a large brick carriage house and the front house had a porte corche.  After being used for as much income as the house could produce without reinvesting the profits back into the property, the house was a candidate for demolition in no time.  It came down in August of 1997.  The property was purchased by the owner of 33 St. John’s Place in 2003 and has been turned into gardens.

33-st-johns-place33 St. John’s Place is a lovely Queen Anne Victorian house built in the late 1880s for Mr. and Mrs. Edgar O. Cheney.  Mrs. Cheney was a descendant of a Revolutionary War patriot and their son, Nelson, became a New York State Assemblyman.  By the 1990s, the house had fallen on hard times, but the owners of the home next door at 29 St. John’s Place ‑ Pat and Mike Heaverlo ‑ decided to purchase the house and restore it.  After shoring up the long‑neglected house, 33 St. John’s Place was sold to a young couple who were charmed by the old Victorian house and had a vision of what it would be like with a little tender‑loving‑care and elbow‑grease.  Thanks to the efforts of the Heaverlo’s, the house now has found caring new owners who will restore it to its former grandeur.

32-st-johns-placeAcross the street at 32 St. John’s Place the large dwelling, formerly a rooming house, was victim to a firebomb cocktail in April, 1998.  The house has been vacant since that time and was in great danger of being demolished.  It is owned by the city of Buffalo.  The Preservation Coalition of Erie County has partnered with the KCA to try to market the property to an audience willing to preserve and restore the property through their web site.  After several years of efforts, the house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Ted Flemming and is planned to be restored, converted into 2 townhouses in 2006.

29-st-johns-placeAt 29 St. John’s Place, Pat and Mike Heaverlo are the anchors of St. John’s Place.  Not only have they restored their lovely Queen Anne home, but they are actively concerned about the welfare of their neighbors that share the street with them.  Pat chose the pleasing green color scheme that has been recently applied to the house.  In 2001, Pat and Mike continued to show their commitment to the community by opening a coffee shop called “Morning Glory” at the intersection of Porter and West Avenues.  The Heaverlo’s finely detailed Stick‑style house is distinguished by an extended asymmetrical gable overhanging the angular brackets of the porch.

25-st-johns-place25 St. John’s Place is notable because of its Stick‑style design and original verandah.  It received a fresh coat of paint in 1998 on two sides of the house.

18-st-johns-placePainting was the theme on St. John’s as 18 St. John’s also received a beautiful paint treatment in 1998.  The paint job brings out the intricate details of the Victorian dwelling.  17 St. John’s Place was the first home to be built on the street.  It was constructed in 1884 for Donald Bain and designed by architect George Metzger.  The home sold in 2001 to a resident who rented the property for the last several years.

13-st-johns-placeOn a street of homes all built in the Queen Anne style, 13 St. John’s Place, one of the first houses to be constructed on St. John’s Place in 1885, is distinguished because of its unique mansard style roof line.  This style was more popular in the 1870s than 1880s.

12-st-johns-placeAt number 12 St. John’s Place stands a truly remarkable Queen Anne style home.  It was restored by its owners, Margaret and Dan Gaughan and the restoration is notable for the exacting work that was performed to restore the home’s pebbledash treatment in the gable and the brick verandah.  When it was completely rebuilt a few years ago, each brick was individually numbered for reassembly.  Due to problems with a subsequent owner, the house was abandoned and thieves began to break into the house and strip its interior.  The community rallied to the cause, secured the home and began a vigilant watch on the property.  Thanks to the efforts of the community, the home was able to attract a new owner who has carefully restored the house to its original glory.

The home at 8 St. John’s Place is a near twin to 12 St. John’s Place.  Unfortunately, it was ravaged by fire in January, 1997, although it is in the process of being restored.

The house at number 5 St. John’s Place was sold twice in the last 5 years and appreciated over $20,000.  It’s a good example of the desirability of St. John’s Place.  In 1998 5 St. John’s Place was featured in the Secrets of Allentown, tour of historic homes.

The brick house at 3 St. John’s Place at the corner of Wadsworth Street was most recently a rooming house.  In 1888 it was built as an elegant home for Dr. Hubbard A. Foster and designed by architect Henry H. Little, who designed many fine Buffalo mansions.  A new roof was installed in 2001 and a fire escape which obscured many of the home’s details was removed.  Unfortuantely, the house was owned by an individual who was in the process of restoring it when he was unable to complete the process.  The house sold at public auction in 2004 and is now being renovated by a voice teacher and an architect.

Approaching No. 2 St. John’s Place from the side, you will be struck by the richness of its Queen Anne features, only to be confronted with the perplexing blankness of its face. The horseshoe arch which once surmounted the entry has been boxed in, as has the original fret-and-spindle porch. The accompanying illustration, made from an early photo shows the facade as it originally appeared Interestingly, not even these alterations have been able to obliterate the charm of the house. The wave-like Stick work in the gable, the oriels, and the bracketing and cornice work still proclaim the original beauty of the house.

3-st-johns-placeDirectly across the street the gabled pavillion of No. 3 St. John’s houses a horseshoe truss of excellent design and proportion, the finely drawn Stick elements and terra-cotta relief panels used to accent gables and windows turn the three-storey structure into a free-standing outdoor art gallery to delight the passerby.

No. 8 St. John’s shows unusual pebble relief in its Stick-detailed gable end under a sleek bargeboard. The window-frame in the second-storey bay is decorated in flower design. An unusual grotesque stares down from the porch pediment. The house is identical to that at No. 12 St. John’s.

Further on, No. 25 St. John’s is a Stick style house of Queen Anne constructs which is notable for its wonderful detailing. The Stick-designed vergeboard in the front facing gable is mirrored in the tympanum of the shallow porch pediment, which also incorporates fan carvings and floral medallions. The turned porch posts uphold a Stick-designed frieze and, unique to the area, the sides of the porch are intricately glass panelled. Across the street at No, 29, another finely detailed Stick-styled house is distinguished by an extended asymmetrical gable overhanging the angular brackets of the porch. All these houses appear to have been built in 1888.

No properties were found on this street.