JM Bemis House (1883)
Joseph Lyman Silsbee (1848-1913) the first employer of Frank Lloyd Wright was a Syracuse architect who in 1882 formed a partnership with James H. Marling of Buffalo Maintaining his residence in Syracuse, Silsbee continued the relationship with Marling who was just beginning his career, until 1886 when Silsbee moved to Chicago and teamed up with another Buffalonian, Edward A. Kent.
With Marling Silsbee designed a number of large Queen Anne houses in Buffalo, including two that appeared in L`Architecture Americaine (1886) a French survey of buildings in the United States.
This house is perhaps the best work by Silsbee surviving in the city. Distinguished by inflated volumes plunging rooflines, soaring chimney stacks and aggressive ornament, the dwelling is typical of Silsbee’s productions. The interior is finished with a variety of native woods, for Bemis was one of that varnished bredd of lumber barons who made their fortunes from the rich harvest from inland forests.