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French Revival Tudor on Agassiz open for first time on Parkside tour

Mark Pagano has been asked for years to include his ornate French Revival Tudor home at 40 Agassiz Circle on the annual Parkside Community Association home tour.

Today, he's opening his doors.

The house, built in 1918 by Roycroft architect Robert North, offers lavish grounds and period-specific architectural features that include terrazzo floors, original woodwork, crown molding, slate roof, brick driveway, cement pond and leaded stained-glass windows.

There's also a swimming pool where Cher and Greg Allman swam during the mid-1970s. The house was owned by the Barnabite Fathers, an order of priests, that was two doors down from a psychologist Allman was seeing for drug treatment.

"I'm a big supporter of Buffalo, and our treasures and histories within the Olmsted Park system," said Pagano, who lives alone in the 5,000-square-foot house with two rescued bichons. "I've had many years of pleasant restoration experiences within the house, and I'm now looking forward to sharing them with fellow Western New Yorkers."

Pagano's home is one of 10 on the tour that will showcase such architectural styles as Victorian, Colonial Revival, Arts & Crafts, Craftsman and American Four Square.

They include 117 Parkside Ave., designed by E.B. Green; 65 Colvin Ave., boasting numerous Craftsman features, and extensive chestnut and hickory woodwork on the first floor; and 51 Jewett Parkway, former rectory of Central Presbyterian Church.

The tour will include a walk-through of three buildings in the Darwin Martin House Complex -- the Barton House, Gardener's Cottage and Visitor's Center -- also located in the Parkside neighborhood.

"Parkside is one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city, with connections between Frank Lloyd Wright and Frederick Law Olmsted, and we hope to show the diversity of architectural styles that are in this neighborhood," said Ben Johnson, Parkside Community Association's executive director.

"The tour also celebrates the energy and efforts of our homeowners to preserve what we have. We get a large number of visitors from the suburbs who are pleasantly surprised that this is what city living looks like."

The date was chosen in part because Monday is Victoria Day, a Canadian holiday that traditionally brings many people across the border, Johnson said.

Last year, the tour raised $20,000, the most yet, to support the association, whose efforts include operating a summer arts camp and serving as a Housing Court liaison.

The tour begins at the corner of Jewett Parkway and Summit Avenue, outside the Martin House Complex. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today. Ticket prices are $20 today, and can be purchased at the Martin House Complex.