Historic Structures

William Dorsheimer House, Buffalo New York

Date added: March 12, 2010 Categories: New York House Second Empire

William Dorsheimer was District Attorney, District of Northern New York, 1867 to 1871. He was the Lieutenant-Governor of New York from January 1, 1875, to December 31, 1879. Dorsheimer was also Mayor of Buffalo, and very active in Buffalo's Fine Arts Academy and Board of Park Commissioners. This latter group was established in 1869. On August 25, 1868, a group of Buffalo residents began a movement for the creation of a proper system of public parks, before the further growth of the city made it more difficult and costly to secure desirable lands. Dorsheimer was on the committee--which included Joseph Warren, Pascal Paoli Pratt, Sherman S. Jewett, and Richard Flach--whose members, at their own expense, hired Frederick Law Olmsted to survey the city and to submit a report. Since Olmsted was intimately acquainted with Richardson, it is possible that the many commissions which followed due to Dorsheimer's influence were brought to Richardson through Olmsted. Dorsheimer was responsible for the Buffalo State Hospital commission, and the New York State Capitol. In 1875 Olmsted--along with Richardson and Eidlitz--was a member of the Board of Architects for the Capitol, under the chairmanship of Lieutenant-Governor Dorsheimer. In 1876, Olmsted did the landscape design for the Buffalo State Hospital.

The 2 1/2-story structure has an irregular, L-shaped plan with a large bay to the east.

The interior has been completely remodeled for commercial uses. One main, open-well stairway remains. This extends from the first-floor north entrance to the third floor. However, it appears that the whole stair was moved to the north to provide additional space in the rooms to the south.

According to an early, undated photograph in the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the eastern edge of the property had a finely worked iron fence with cast-iron posts marking the north and south entrance gates.