I recently thought to write about the home I grew up in. Our business is about homes and families. It’s all about people. When we talk to clients, the first thing we ask about are your goals and the second thing we ask about is your family. When we talk to potential architect or contractor partners, we talk about what we have created, why we created it and who it is for.
So, I’m sharing a small history of the place that I grew up. This defines home to me. It defines why I started New Avenue and what New Avenue does.
This is a home on Harvard Place in Orchard Park, NY after a Christmas snowstorm. That’s me, and my wife Kristina. Orchard Park is a “southtown” that was absorbed by the suburbs of Buffalo, NY. Buffalo is a Rustbelt city that was the Silicon Valley of 1900, only we relied on the Erie Canal, not the internet. It was fun while it lasted but our prime was over 100 years ago, so we’ve been sustaining ever since. We have the benefit of some great work to sustain too. People like Frank Lloyd Wright and Frederick Olmsted define the city. Olmsted created the first parkway system which is part of Buffalo’s claim as “America’s Best Designed City”.
Back to the point – home sweet home started in a Sears Catalog in 1910.
Not too much had changed by 2015.
We painted it red, and added a dormer off the back for my brother, the oldest of four of us. The home did have an interesting adolescence when it was converted into a duplex “during the war” which means WWII around there. There was a manufacturing boom and housing shortage at that time.
The best parts weren’t advertised in the Sears Catalog. This one came with a sled hill that could handle 10 kids with eash, a basketball court that worked on the day of your first communion and room for a Buffalo News paperbox. Always hire paper carriers is a good rule to live by, but that’s obviously a line of work that’s harder to come by these days.
So without providing too much of a family history, that’s what home is about.
A few stats that are relevant about this home:
- Distance to The Miller’s pool – 100 yards and one 4′ fence that is easily jumped.
- Distance to South Davis Elementary – .5 miles
- Distance to my father’s office: 100 yards
- # Kids aged 5-18 living within one block ca.1988: 25