The Parkside Community Association is Buffalo’s oldest, largest and most active neighborhood association in the City of Buffalo. The Parkside area contains superb examples of such diverse architectural styles such as the American Four Square, Victorian, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and the Arts & Craft bungalow. The 1880 through 1930 building period includes designs by prominent local architects E.B. Green and William Sydney Wicks. Parkside is adjacent to Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park, The Buffalo Zoo and the Main-Amherst business district.
Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) believed in the restorative effects of beauty as expressed in nature and park settings. In 1868, he and Calvert Vaux were commissioned to carve a network of parks and parkways across Buffalo, New York. It was to be the first coordinated system of public parks in America. The crown jewel of their plan was a 350-acre complex of green meadows, tranquil waterways, and curving avenues known as Delaware Park.
Olmsted recognized that abutting farmland on the northeastern perimeter of the park served as a buffer against the burgeoning industrial city, so he expanded his initial proposal to include these several hundred acres. To make this buffer more permanent and to preclude industrialization of the area, he applied his visionary principles to design Buffalo’s first suburb. From its inception, the planned community was named “Parkside,” a neighborhood inseparable from the park.
The area quickly drew the rich and professionals from the city. Over the next 40 years, the development of Parkside was gradually and methodically completed. Major architects such as H.H. Richardson (1838-1886), E.B. Green (1855-1950), William Sydney Wicks (1854-1919), August Esenwein (1856-1926), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designed houses with styles ranging from late Victorian, Queen Anne, Romanesque and Tudor Revival to Shingle, Bungalow, and Prairie Style for the residents.
In 1987, the entire neighborhood of Parkside became an Architectural Landscape District on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, through the efforts of the Parkside Community Association and Parkside residents, the neighborhood (now a part of the City of Buffalo) is unmatched for its stable blend of social, safety, and affordability factors.