St. Louis Place was once the home of Buffalo’s first high school, the Literary and Scientifick Academy, begun by a Board of Trustees among whom Millard Fillmore and General Peter B. Porter were numbered as members. Today the street is in danger of extinction.
Nos. 14-20 St. Louis are buildings whose history was once in dispute but is no longer. Nos. 14 and 18 St. Louis were built in 1829 to house the Academy. Sometime between 1829 and 1848, when the Sisters of Charily Hospital was founded on the site, two wings exactly mimicking the original structures were added: No. 10 St. Louis (demolished in the early 1980’s) and No. 20, which is in the process of rehabiliation by private owners. In 1876, the hospital needed more space and the buildings were sold to one M. Steffans, who could convert them to tenement use without much alteration.
It was probably at this time that the two wings at No. 10 and No. 14 got their face-lift. A one-brick-deep veneer converted the appearance of the two wings to a more fashionable Italianate facade, which had recently led historians to believe that these were newer buildings. However, research done in an effort to save No. 14 and No. 18 from demolition demonstrates conclusively that these two were built in 1829, making them the oldest original structures in Allentown, and among the oldest in Buffalo.
Efforts are being made to defend these structures against demolition. If they are still in front of you, you will know that we are making headway.
The prevention of their demolition has a purpose aside from saving historical treasure. Look to the other side of the street and you will find four charming cottages, all built in the Second Empire style and heavily imposed with Queen Anne-style elements. There once were seven such cottages, but three were demolished to provide parking. The little cottages provide a streetscape unique in the City of Buffalo. It is difficult to imagine the long-term viability of these cottages or the street as a whole if one side of the street literally disappears. Vacant land is an invitation to debris and crime. Keep your fingers crossed.
No properties were found on this street.