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Home of the Week: 10 floors up on West Ferry

Robert J. Kochanski, a retired Buffalo English teacher and guidance counselor, lives in a condo at 800 West Ferry that was once part of Darwin R. Martin’s two-floor penthouse.

Darwin R. Martin, the son of Darwin D. Martin, grew up in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway. (You can view a timeline of the Jewett Parkway property and its restoration on the website.)

He designed and built the apartment building at 800 West Ferry and had lived in the penthouse with his first wife, according to an obituary in The Buffalo Evening News. He later relocated to San Francisco and died in 1979 at age 79 while on vacation in Florida.

The 11-floor apartment building was built circa 1929. Duane Lyman was the architect. The apartment building was converted to a condominium association in 1980.

Here is how Kochanski, who has lived in the condo since 1984, described the place for The Buffalo News’ “Home of the Week” online feature:

“An elegant Gothic Revival building on West Ferry Street in Buffalo houses a unique apartment which was once the library of Darwin R. Martin’s penthouse home.

“The three-room condo features fine wooden paneling along with intricately carved frieze and crown molding with an elaborate fireplace and mantle.

“The bedroom/den is situated behind the original leaded-glass windows which act as a see-through divider bringing in light from a former terrace into the high ceilinged living room and dining room.

“The commanding views from the three enormous cathedral windows overlooking West Ferry to the south and west give magnificent views of downtown and Niagara Falls, Ont.

“The small space appears large due to the elegance and grandeur of the architecture,” he said.

The bath. (Photo courtesy Robert J. Kochanski)

Do you love your house enough to show it off? This could be your chance.

The Buffalo News is looking for other beautiful local homes and the stories behind them and their décor. Those chosen will be displayed in a weekly feature at and could be chosen as Home of the Month in a Sunday edition of The Buffalo News.

If you are interested, tell us about your home in 150 words or less, and email 10 images (in .jpg form) of the interior and exterior to

It’s OK to separate the images into several emails.

Those chosen for will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. A phone number is helpful. Single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible.

If you have difficulty submitting images, please email

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