Show House History

The Decorators’ Show House is a rich tradition that the Junior League of Buffalo brought to Western New York in 1981 with the Larkin House at 65 Lincoln Parkway.

Show houses had long been synonymous with Junior Leagues in various cities across the country.  One such city was Omaha, NE where Stanford Lipsey, President Emeritus of The Buffalo News, had previously lived before moving to Buffalo.  The concept of a “Show House” was to recruit local designers to transform a large, historic home into an enviable dream home, room by room.  The public would buy tickets to see the house and all money raised would be donated back into the community. Stan brought this idea to former Junior League president, Holly Donaldson, and tasked the League, with the help of The Buffalo News, to make this a signature event in Buffalo.  Thirty-eight years and 20 houses later, the Decorators’ Show House continues to be a cherished community event every other year. Western New Yorkers have been given the chance to walk through historic homes, once home to Buffalo’s most prominent citizens.