Village of Kenmore: Kenmore, New York

Summary

Buffalo's first bedroom community and streetcar suburb, Kenmore is a quaint village with its own mayor, trustees, and police and fire departments. Here you'll find tree-lined streets and exceptional views of the Queen City's skyline. Sidewalks line both sides of every street making this compact neighborhood — one of the 100 most dense incorporated places in the U.S. (2000 Census) — a pedestrian's delight. Nearly every residence is within a quarter-mile walk of a bus stop and low traffic volumes bring bicyclists to neighborhood streets.

Designated Area

Bounded to the south by the City of Buffalo and on three other sides by the Town of Tonawanda, of which it is a part, the Village of Kenmore consists of more than 100 city blocks within approximately 1.44 square miles.

The village's mile-long main street, Delaware Avenue, is lined with small shops, boutiques, and eateries. Numerous civic organizations engage residents in neighborhood improvement activities and serve as community advocates.

Planning Excellence

Kenmore is a place where a warm summer night beckons neighbors to their front porches and a deep winter snow brings them to the street, shovels at the ready, to lend a helping hand.

Village of Kenmore is rich in architectural styles, from more ornate Victorian homes to this bungalow-style Craftsman house. Photo courtesy of Fred Frank.

Pedestrian Orientation

  • Kenmore's commercial streets feature short blocks and wide sidewalks. While 20th-century buildings dominate the streetscape, it's the combination of architectural styles and current uses that encourage people to walk, gather, and socialize. Building facades are human in scale and frequent doorways and windows capture the attention of shoppers.
  • Known as the horse path, this mile-long non-vehicular corridor runs perpendicular to the east-west oriented residential streets connecting residences in the western portion of the village with Mang Park.
  • Recently completed $1.6 million Delaware Avenue streetscape project addressed both aesthetic and pedestrian safety concerns. In addition to new curbs and sidewalks, the project included enhanced lighting and street furnishings.
  • Virtually every residence is within walking distance of stores, which provide basic goods and services, and bus service.

Housing Options

  • First house dates to 1889, 10 years before the village's incorporation; majority of residential structures were built through 1925; in 1983 neighborhood's third house, a Richardsonian Romanesque-style mansion of Medina sandstone, added to National Register of Historic Places
  • Neighborhood boasts Victorian, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and American Foursquare architecture; many two-story homes feature stunning leaded and stained-glass windows, natural hardwood accents and floors, and welcoming front porches
  • From small 900-square-foot single-story houses to stately homes with carriage houses, Kenmore accommodates singles, couples, and large families; more than half of village's 7,500 housing units are single family, 30 percent are two-family, and 12.5 percent are within multi-unit buildings
  • Median single-family home price is $111,049; duplexes sell for a median price of $108,850; median rent is $667 per month; three buildings provide affordable housing under the federal Section 8 housing voucher program

Every Saturday morning during the summer, the Kenmore Farmer's Market is held at the Village Green in front of the Municipal Building. This market offers residents the opportunity to support their local farmers and to socialize and mingle. Photo courtesy of Melissa Foster.

Open Space and Recreation

  • Rapid growth at turn of 20th century leaves little in way of open space; Mang family, after selling portions of its farm for development, donated 10 acres of deed-restricted land to the village for use as a park. Mang Park, a year-round recreational facility, is home to tennis courts, baseball diamonds, two municipal pools, one wading pool, basketball courts, and outdoor ice rink; community and cultural centers also at park
  • Mile-long linear park connects Kenmore Middle School with Charles Lindbergh Elementary; has basketball and tennis courts; also football, baseball, and soccer fields
  • Triangular Village Green outside Kenmore's Art Deco Municipal Building is a central gathering place and bustles with activity; purchased in 1913 by village for $55, the parcel is a community focal point and site of numerous events and activities, including farmers market and several war memorials

Commitment to Planning and Revitalization

  • To preserve "The Village Beautiful," Kenmore adopted zoning code in 1922; Kenmore Planning Board, established in 1964, developed first master plan when village faced competition from newer suburban communities
  • Kenmore Commercial and Industrial Development Authority encourages reinvestment in specific zones; allows tax assessment increases to be phased in over 10 years, not one
  • Incentive zoning allows higher-density and more permissive development in exchange for community amenities
  • Revised zoning ordinance promotes mixed-use development to enhance character and generate additional street activity; proposed redevelopment of two-block vacated car dealership to add nearly 21,000 square feet of retail storefront and office space

Engaged Citizenry

  • Established in 1916, the Kenmore Civic Association helped bring a public library to the village; today, Friends of the Kenmore Library fighting to keep the library open
  • Ken-Ton Historic Preservation Committee formed in 1977, responding to demolition of Louis P.A. Eberhardt mansion, a twin to the building now on the National Register; committee continues to strengthen community support for preservation
  • Several groups, including Commission to Enhance the Environment and Kenmore Garden Club, enhance business districts with plantings; year-old Kenmore Village Improvement Society has replaced more than 160 street trees and instituted a Brokers Day to showcase available commercial properties
  • Annual Kenmore Days at Mang Park, Memorial Day Parade along Delaware Avenue, and Ken-Ton Garden Tour are among events that draw neighbors together

Among the events taking place in Kenmore is the Children's Concert Series, a free summer evening event in July and August organized by the Kenmore Village Improvement Society. Photo courtesy of Melissa Foster.