The George Roos House
143 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY
By Earl Robinson
In1867 George Roos inherited Roos Brewery from his father Jacob, a German immigrant who started one of Buffalo’s first breweries in 1830.
In 1887 the Roos family moved into their new home at 143 Linwood Avenue. The brewery continued to prosper and grow into what became Iroquois Brewing Company, Buffalo’s largest post prohibition brewery.
The house was sold to Dr. Cornelius Carr sometime in the early 1900’s and his widow lived in the home until the 1950’s when Dr. Francis Kenney bought the home for conversion into medical offices, a common practice on Linwood at the time.
The current owners have converted the offices back into a single family home which has undergone a complete renovation.
The architect is not known but the builder was Alfred Berrick who also built the E.B. Green designed home next door. The two homes have similar floor plans including details such as the location of the second floor bay windows, staircases, and dining room extensions.
The style is a combination of Queen Anne and Shingle Style with the architectural details done in Greek Revival. The Classical elements of the front porch are carried into the interior.
As you approach the house from the side walk you will notice the third floor windows surrounded by classical columns, the second floor bay windows with art glass side lites, and the recently renovated front porch with its Italic columns and pilasters.
The carved mouldings on the entrance have been gilded to preserve the detail that was revealed when dozens of coats of paint were removed from the entire porch including the balustrade.
The front door, which is quarter sawn Golden Oak with egg and dart trim, opens onto the inner front door which was replicated after the door was removed during the conversion to offices.
The Front Hall, with its curved quarter sawn oak staircase, magnificent leaded glass window, and carved pediment with garlands, is the architectural focal point of the house.
Note the doubled curved banister and the fleur de lis motif in the windows and even the door knob on the closet.
The Billiard Room was formerly the Outer Parlour where guests were received. Note that each room has its own moulding style and individual parquet floor pattern. Guests would then proceed into the Inner Parlour through an entrance where the sideboard is now located, and if fortunate would be invited to dinner with the family which undoubtedly included Roos beer and good German cooking.
The Parlour, with its carved pillars and marble faced fireplace, in done in satin wood.
The Dining Room features raised quarter sawn, raised oak panels, egg and dart mouldings, a built in china cabinet, and coffered ceiling with panels painted by a local artist commissioned by the current owners.
The original kitchen was removed during office renovations. A new kitchen and home theater space was created when the installation of a fourteen foot I beam allowed the removal of a load bearing wall. The windows, cherry trim, and the leaded art glass windows were recreated by local craftsmen.
The lavatory and sunroom have been restored to original. The rear stair case and entrance were added to comply with code during office conversion but have been extensively modified with the addition of brass rails, leaded glass windows, and cherry paneling.
The reproduction rear entrance was designed using architectural components from the front entrance, and all of the hand cut shingles, clapboard and art glass windows are new.
The three car garage, built in 1920, replaces the original carriage house where the servants lived.
In the summer, the flower beds bloom and the canopy provides an outdoor location to enjoy Buffalo’s beautiful weather.