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Updated book explores the history of the Delaware Avenue mansions

WBFO file photo

Wednesday evening, the Buffalo History Museum is celebrating the launch of an updated book that celebrates some of the Queen City's vintage mansions.

The first edition of Buffalo's Delaware Avenue Mansions and Families, according to museum officials, proved popular enough to sell out. The second edition to be released adds an index, which was missing from the original edition, to provide users quicker access to the information desired.

The book spotlights many of the buildings still used on Delaware Avenue today that were previously homes to Buffalo's wealthy and business elite. They lived in what was unofficially known as "Millionaires' Row," according to museum officials, and they include the Butler Mansion, where Buffalo Evening News founder Edward Butler resided.

"The Butler Mansion is now the University at Buffalo's Jacobs Executive Development Center," said Cynthia VanNess, the Buffalo History Museum's director of library and archives. "A lot of people know the Butler mansion as one of those fortunes." 

What is now known as The Mansion on Delaware was lived in by Charles Sternberg, who made a fortune in grain. What is now the Buffalo Club was once home to Stephen Van Rensselaer Watson, who owned a grain elevator and founded Erie Savings Bank. The Clement Mansion is now the headquarters of the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross, donated to the organization by the late Carolyn Tripp Clement.

VanNess says Western New Yorkers remain fascinated with the region's past. Just last weekend, the museum helped roll out a new pictorial book on Buffalo's baseball history.

"I don't know how to measure this, but it seems like Buffalo publishes a lot more local history material in the way of magazines, books, than a lot of cities our size," she said. "We seem to have our own little publishing industry here."

VanNess will deliver a presentation as part of the book launch, which begins at 6 p.m. at the museum. Non-members will be charged $7 for admission but the event is free of charge to members.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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