Buffalo News Home of the Week: From ‘Summer House’ to Their House
From the article:
Arno and Susan Tapani bought their home in East Aurora in 2001. They worked with Patricia Bailey of Bailey & Harris Architects to renovate and enlarge it while preserving the home’s historical architectural design.
The couple raised three daughters – now ages 16, 18 and 21 – in this five-bedroom, five-bath home. Arno Tapani is a manufacturing engineer at Hamburg-based K-TECHnologies. Susan Tapani is a marketing manager at M&T Bank.
Here is a brief history and some highlights of their home, as described by the couple for The Buffalo News’ Home of the Week feature.
“Our home was built by a prominent Buffalonian couple, Harlow C. and Ethel Mann Curtiss, as a summer home in 1926, on land purchased from prolific architect and artist Robert North.
“Blueprints show some changes were made in 1934 by subsequent owners, including adding extensive wood paneling and a library in the living room.
“We purchased the home in 2001, and undertook a major renovation to modernize and enlarge it to accommodate our active family and friends. This included adding a fifth bedroom, mudroom and ‘keeping room’ (the family gathering area adjacent to the kitchen); relocating an entrance and connecting to a new three-car garage, and repurposing a staircase and live-in maid’s quarters.
“We appreciate the character of old homes and have worked to preserve our historical architectural design, such as matching the original exterior stucco formula and custom diamond-paned windows. Like Ethel Mann Curtiss, we are avid gardeners and love our relaxing, parklike view.”
A bit more history: Harlow and Ethel Curtiss, who built this house as a summer residence, also lived in a main home at 100 Lincoln Parkway. Their Buffalo home was designed by Esenwein & Johnson and, 100 years after its completion, became Decorators’ Show House 2005: The Century House.
Harlow Curtiss was a prominent lawyer and also involved in real estate. Ethel Curtiss served as director and later president of the Buffalo Council of Camp Fire Girls.