Thomas Day operated the first brick kiln in Buffalo after his arrival
here in the early 1820's. Like other young entrepreneurs, Day put his profit
into land which he rented, first to Louis Allen, later to a man named Alanson
Palmer. Palmer apparently made a few sharp deals of his own to the degree that,
when Thomas Day offered the land to the City of Buffalo it took two years to
quiet the title so that the city could accept Day's gift.
Day subdivided the land along the lanes adjoining the length of the
park, calling the northern lane Clifton Place and the southern lane Norris
after his sons. It is believed that the identical houses he built for his sons
on the park in the early 1850's at No. 25 and No. 33 (which has been remodeled
several times) were constructed of his own brick. They are among the oldest
original structures in the district.
Time has served to blunt the beauty of the park which is shown in the accompanying illustration as it looked in 1905. The fountain was removed as a
result of the public economies imposed on Buffalo by the Great Depression. The great trees were blighted by Dutch Elm disease. Nevertheless, the land has hosted concerts, theater and even public meetings in recent years, and still serves as the neighborhood's largest play yard.
As you stroll around the park, you will note that the work of restoration is in evidence everywhere. In the last few years, renewed interest
in the park has brought investors back to the area and Nos. 25, 56, 57, 58, 60, and 62, have been restored and Nos. 49, 61, 68, 72, and 74 have been purchased for restoration and work is in progress. The neighborhood block club has undertaken
to see the park properly lit and re-forested, and its members are seeking funding for a plan they themselves have developed.
Before you leave the park, take note of No. 74 Days, a five storey apartment building with a, two-storey mansard sloping on its facade and three-storey windowed bays flanking its center entrance. The bays are divided at each floor by raked cornices, dentilated under the eaves. Ionic
pilasters and relief-moulded pilasters separate and define the bay windows. A fourth floor dormer has a semi-circular hood and is decorated with fan
carvings. A delicately proportioned oriel centers the third floor, while the second-storey central window is crowned by a finial and broken scroll pediment, and rides over a simple frieze. The pedimented porch is supported on Doric columns. The building, constructed in 1911 is unique for the Classical and Georgian Revival design elements which dignify its facade.