Esenwein, August Carl - Erie County

AUGUST CARL ESENWEIN, senior member of the firm of Esenwein & Johnson, as an architect and designer stands in the front rank of his profession.

Mr. Esenwein comes of a German house of great antiquity, the Esenwein family-, which belonged to the knightly order, having lived for more than 500 years on its ancestral estates called Esenwein-Virnsberg, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, South Germany. The last of the race to use the antique von Esenwein- Virnsberg name was Carl August Esenwein- Virnsberg, grandfather of August Carl Esenwein of Buffalo. His only son was August Carl Esenwein, the father of the subject of this sketch. He was born in 1819, and as a young man lived on the family estate. In 1861 he came to America, and after spending ten years in this country, returned to Germany, where he died in 1869. He married Caroline Glessing of Weinsberg, who died in Vienna in 1884.

August Carl Esenwein was born November 7, 1856, at Eseuwein-Virnsberg, near Weinsberg, in Württemberg, Germany. His rudimentary education was obtained at private schools, and later he entered the Gymnasium at Stuttgart, and was there prepared for the University of Stuttgart. In 1874 he became a student in the Stuttgart Polytechnic University, where he remained for five years, also serving a year in the German army. While at Stuttgart he pursued courses in architecture and engineering, graduating in 1879. He then went to Paris, where for two years he worked in an architect's studio as a draughtsman.

In 1880 Mr. Esenwein came to America, and settled in Buffalo, where he first found employment as a draughtsman, afterward spending two years in the engineering office of the Delaware & Lackawanna Railroad. While there he won the first prize for a design for the first Music Hall, which was built under his supervision. On leaving the employ of the railroad he began the practice of his profession for himself, and seven years ago formed a partnership with John Addison Johnson, with whom he has ever since been associated. Among the buildings designed by Mr. Esenwein are the Buffalo Public Library, the Gowanda State Hospital, the Iroquois Hotel, as remodeled, the Tower Hotel at Niagara Falls, the Gluck office building and the German-American Brewery and Hall. The firm of Esenwein & Johnson designed the Temple of Music, the Administration Building and Alt Nurnberg at the Pan-American, the Providence Retreat, the West Side and Lafayette High Schools, the Statler and Tourajne Hotels, six Buffalo grammar-schools, some of the Buffalo State Hospital buildings, the Saturn Club, the Teck Theater and Cafe, St. Agnes Church in East Buffalo, and many fine residences. In the erection of the fireproof store building at Main and Mohawk streets, Buffalo, in 120 days, the firm made a world's record for a building of this size and construction.

Mr. Esenwein is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Buffalo Chapter of Architects, and the Buffalo Society of Artists. He belongs to the Historical Society, the German Young Men's Association; is a life member of the Turn Verein and of the Buffalo Library, and a member of the Buffalo Orpheus, and is also a member of the Buffalo, Ellicott, Park and Country clubs. He is a 32d degree Mason, and belongs to Ancient Landmarks Lodge, F. & A. M., and to Buffalo Consistory.

In May, 1892, Mr. Esenwein married Katherine Haberstro, daughter of Philip L. Haberstro and Barbara Scheu of Buffalo. The issue of the union is one child, August Carl, born July 28, 1906.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I