Explore Buffalo’s Autumn Tour of Homes is heading south this year, to the Village of Hamburg. Co-sponsored by Imagine: Hamburg, the Autumn Tour of Homes will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, 12:30-4:30 PM, and feature the interiors of eleven historic homes in the village.
First known as White’s Corners, after a prosperous store in the early 1800s, the Village of Hamburg was incorporated in 1874. At that time, the village had become a busy commercial center because of its proximity to the many nearby farms south of the village.
In 1868, the Erie County Fair relocated to the site north of the village where it is still located today. Local businesses thrived during this time, and their owners built impressive homes in the village. Some of those homes, many of which remain beautifully maintained or have been lovingly restored, will be featured on the tour on Sept. 23.
The oldest house on the tour was built in 1824, but was moved from its original location at Buffalo and Union Streets to its current location on East Prospect Street in 1955. Built in the Federal Style, this house still retains many of its original details, including exterior corbels and dentil molding that are now almost 200 years old.
Many of the other homes on the tour were built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and were built by some of Hamburg’s prosperous citizens. One was the home of George Biehler, who opened Hamburg’s Palace Theater as well as Biehler’s Tea Room. The home of attorney Horace Boies, who later became governor of Iowa, is now maintained by the Hamburg Antiques Study Group, and will also be open for the tour.
One house on this tour is a Sears catalog home, built in 1927. When it was built, the original owners combined two Sears catalog models into one home. This home, with its detailed molding, wainscoting, and four sets of French doors, has largely remained unchanged since it was built. At least one other home on the tour is also believed to have been built from the Sears catalog.
Throughout this tour, you’ll enjoy leaded and stained-glass windows, outstanding woodwork, and unique details. Homes on this tour display many of the most popular residential styles from the early 1800s through the early 1900s, including Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Colonial, and Arts & Crafts.
Tickets for the tour are $30, or $25 for Explorer Pass Holders or Imagine: Hamburg members. Tickets can be purchased in advance at explorebuffalo.org.
Tickets can be picked up or purchased on the day of the tour at the Memorial Park Bandshell at Lake & Union Streets. Your ticket will list all of the open homes on the tour and include a map to guide you to each one.
Plan on at least two hours to see all of the homes – all of the homes are within moderate walking distance of one another, or you can drive, but be aware of limited parking in the Village. No interior photography is allowed in the homes, and the tour is rain or shine.
(Photos Jim Lesinski.)