Gratwick, William H.

William H Gratwick, portrait.jpg
Gratwick, William H.jpg
William H Gratwick residence, Buffalo, photo.jpg

Dublin Core


Gratwick, William H..jpg


From Buffalo as an Architectural Museum:
[William H.] Gratwick was born in Albany, NY. After he learned the lumber trade, he came to Buffalo in 1877 and founded the lumber firm of Gratwick, Smith & Fryer Lumber Co. with offices in Buffalo, Tonawanda, and Detroit. He was also the managing owner of six lake vessels and president of the YMCA.

The William H. Gratwick House stood at 776 Delaware Avenue at the northwest corner of Delaware and Summer. It was Richardson's last commission, according to his biographer Mariana Van Rensselaer, before he died in 1886. A heavy, brownstone Richardsonian Romanesque building, it was finished by the firm that continued Richardson's practice --Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
From History of Niagara County 1821-1878 (1878):
Extensive, as are the other yards and docks, astonishment is still further excited upon the premises of W. H. Gratwick & Co., one and a half miles down the river on the Central railroad. The office for the transaction of their business could not be more conveniently and comfortably arranged for employees and customers. W. H. Gratwick, formerly residing in Albany, is now a resident of Buffalo, acting as the local representative of the firm at that point ; the other members associated are Robert S. Fryer, in Albany, under the name of Gratwick, Fryer & Co., and Edward Smith, in Michigan, representing the firm of Smith, Gratwick & Co. The capital they employ in the prosecution of their business is $500,000 ; in the various localities and departments they employ four hundred and fifty men. They own a tract of 31,000 acres of pine land in the northern part of Michigan, where they have two mills that annually turn out 28,000,000 feet which is transported inbarges to Tonawanda and forwarded by rail and canal to eastern markets ; they deal exclusively in their own production. Their docks have a river frontage of 803 feet, with a water slip, doubling the means of storage, and an additional dock in the rear, 600 feet long; in all, 2,200 feet. Tramways have been built for wagon roads, and tracks to receive the cars from the Central and Erie railroads, to be loaded directly from vessels or piles on the docks. The docks, 300 feet out in the river, reach thirteen feet depth of water, sufficient to float the largest craft on the lakes. The cost of land, docks and buildings was $25,000. The stock on hand of planed and dressed lumber averages from 4,000,000 to 8,000,000 feet, with a proportionately large supply of shingles and laths. About four years since, Gratwick & Co. became the pioneers in occupying lots far down the river, an example that others have thought worthy of imitation.


Photo: A History of Buffalo, Delineating the Evolution of the City By Josephus Nelson Larned, Charles Elliott Fitch, Ellis Henry Roberts, Progress of the Empire state company, New York, pub Published by The Progress of the Empire state company, 1911 (page 228).