Allen St (400 & 500 blocks)
- Built: 1890s-1920s
- Architect: James Pennock (developer), Archimedes Russell (architect)
Allen Street developed from the north to the south. It was named for A. H. Allen, father-in-law of James L. Hill, who was Alderman of Syracuse’s Eight Ward in 1875. There were just a few residences listed on the street in the 1893-94 city directory, and no street numbers were assigned. This was still wide-open land; one house was near East Fayette Street, but two others are noted near Phelps Place, now Harvard Place. One of these belonged to Thomas J. Knapp and is clearly recognizable at the northeast corner of Allen and Harvard; now the Gustafson house at 557 Allen.
Allen Street between Harvard Place and East Genesee Street (today’s 400 and 500 blocks) was developed in the late 19th century by James Pennock (1842-1929). Pennock was born in Yorkshire and came to America with his family in 1854. He was in the shoe business for many years in Boston and Kansas City, where he began to deal in real estate. He moved to Rochester in 1888, and soon thereafter bought eight acres on East Genesee Street in Syracuse and laid out Allen Street following the most modern principles. He developed and built impressive houses designed by prominent architect Archimedes Russell’s firm. Pennock sold these new houses ready-built beginning around 1902 .
Pennock served for six years as the first president of the Syracuse Park Commission and also was chairman of the building committee of Central High School. He built two homes in 1910-12 at the intersection of Allen and East Genesee. For himself he built the large gray brick house on the comer, designed by noted local Albert Brockway. On Allen Street he built what newspapers at the time called an “English cottage” for his daughter, Mrs. Charles B. Gould. Previously, Mrs. Gould lived at what is now 470 Allen Street, a house with unusual Gothic detailing. Pennock’s own house built in the American Renaissance style now serves, much altered after a fire, as the offices of Dr. Philip Falcone. It was described at the time of its erection as “an American home.”
“The Roads of the City of Syracuse, Number 64, “Streets Named After Colvin Brothers – How Peat Street Came to be Called so – Walton Street and why so Named – In memory of Thomas T. Davis” The Sunday Herald Syracuse, (January 1, 1882)