Reader Review

I read this book in two days! I couldn't put it down. I loved learning about the different decades through the early immigrant days in Buffalo. This is why we are known as "The City of Good Neighbors". Such a unique perspective, with uplifting messages, although all the tenants struggled in many ways but overcame so much as well. A delightful read, I encourage everyone to read.


~ Elaine H.

Frances R. Schmidt
2022-05-20T17:12:41+00:00

~ Elaine H.

I read this book in two days! I couldn't put it down. I loved learning about the different decades through the early immigrant days in Buffalo. This is why we are known as "The City of Good Neighbors". Such a unique perspective, with uplifting messages, although all the tenants struggled in many ways but overcame so much as well. A delightful read, I encourage everyone to read.
Praise for FRED’S Author
I most appreciated chapter 20, 21 and 22. with arguably one of the most divided presidential elections. I found comfort in your allyship. When someone can understand the root of a social group’s pain, that is when true allyship and compassion manifests. You have made it clear your interests and belief in sharing the story of many people and for this, I am grateful. I am confident other readers will feel the same.

Joshua Charles

Cornell University|College of Agriculture and Life Sciences '20

Interdisciplinary Studies in Economic Development

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T19:03:06+00:00

Joshua Charles

Cornell University|College of Agriculture and Life Sciences '20

Interdisciplinary Studies in Economic Development

I most appreciated chapter 20, 21 and 22. with arguably one of the most divided presidential elections. I found comfort in your allyship. When someone can understand the root of a social group’s pain, that is when true allyship and compassion manifests. You have made it clear your interests and belief in sharing the story of many people and for this, I am grateful. I am confident other readers will feel the same.
Praise for FRED’S Author
With each chapter, I found myself anxiously wondering who was moving in next and what their story was. If every building in Buffalo had a biography such as this, I wonder if we would be so quick to tear so much of our history down, if we may appreciate the lesson each story and each tenant could bring us. I am quickly reminded that we are stewards of our built environment; we should conserve their embodied energy and nurture their stories, saved for generations after we're gone. I wish Fred another 100 years demolition- free and I'm sad I won't be around to read about his next century of tenants, their struggles, hardships, and triumphs. 

Christina Lincoln

Housing Rehab Programs Manager for the Matt Urban Center/Co-Chair of the

Fillmore Forward Design Committee

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T19:01:59+00:00

Christina Lincoln

Housing Rehab Programs Manager for the Matt Urban Center/Co-Chair of the

Fillmore Forward Design Committee

With each chapter, I found myself anxiously wondering who was moving in next and what their story was. If every building in Buffalo had a biography such as this, I wonder if we would be so quick to tear so much of our history down, if we may appreciate the lesson each story and each tenant could bring us. I am quickly reminded that we are stewards of our built environment; we should conserve their embodied energy and nurture their stories, saved for generations after we're gone. I wish Fred another 100 years demolition- free and I'm sad I won't be around to read about his next century of tenants, their struggles, hardships, and triumphs. 
Praise for FRED’S Author
The building of a community emerges with the construction of Fred, a commercial building and our storyteller who shares the lives of his tenants with us.  We learn of the love entanglements of Fred’s builder, Leon, and the societal judgments of out of wedlock children.   Struggles to find employment and jobs that paid a decent rate were shared whether the family name was Murphy, Torres, or Henson.  The reader can feel the joy of the Jablonski family as they move from an apartment and purchase their own homes.  Sunday dinners, a handwritten diary, protests, wars. religious diversity, sponsoring relatives and sending money back home. all bring back memories of my growing up in South Buffalo.  I could smell the aroma of our own family dinners as Fred tells us about the Schiavone’s preparations for their “extra special” Sunday dinner.  Memories of the New York Central Terminal brought back visions of welcoming relatives who had been sponsored and then became part of our immediate family.  There always seemed to be room for one more.

As the building evolves and community changes, we see many recurring themes.  Is this 2021 or 1940?    Has society changed much or are we still dealing with the lack of equality, fairness, respect, and opportunity just as Fred witnessed through his tenants?  The cohesive families of Fred’s early years and their network of support seems to be lost in our time. The stale Irish stereotype of drinking was a disappointment, but the flavor and ethnic diversity Fred enjoyed brought back memories of a time when we knew that we were all part of the tapestry that created our community.

Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams will be enjoyed by all who want to get a better understanding of the immigrant experience or just want to reminisce about growing up in Buffalo.

Mary C. Heneghan, Chairman

Buffalo Irish Center

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T19:00:53+00:00

Mary C. Heneghan, Chairman

Buffalo Irish Center

The building of a community emerges with the construction of Fred, a commercial building and our storyteller who shares the lives of his tenants with us.  We learn of the love entanglements of Fred’s builder, Leon, and the societal judgments of out of wedlock children.   Struggles to find employment and jobs that paid a decent rate were shared whether the family name was Murphy, Torres, or Henson.  The reader can feel the joy of the Jablonski family as they move from an apartment and purchase their own homes.  Sunday dinners, a handwritten diary, protests, wars. religious diversity, sponsoring relatives and sending money back home. all bring back memories of my growing up in South Buffalo.  I could smell the aroma of our own family dinners as Fred tells us about the Schiavone’s preparations for their “extra special” Sunday dinner.  Memories of the New York Central Terminal brought back visions of welcoming relatives who had been sponsored and then became part of our immediate family.  There always seemed to be room for one more. As the building evolves and community changes, we see many recurring themes.  Is this 2021 or 1940?    Has society changed much or are we still dealing with the lack of equality, fairness, respect, and opportunity just as Fred witnessed through his tenants?  The cohesive families of Fred’s early years and their network of support seems to be lost in our time. The stale Irish stereotype of drinking was a disappointment, but the flavor and ethnic diversity Fred enjoyed brought back memories of a time when we knew that we were all part of the tapestry that created our community. Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams will be enjoyed by all who want to get a better understanding of the immigrant experience or just want to reminisce about growing...
Praise for FRED’S Author
It’s not often a building tells a story, and rarer still when that story both spans a city’ history and is told by the building itself. With a unique voice and perspective, Fred provides a romp through Buffalo history through the experiences and stories of the many tenants that have occupied his walls over the years. As the times change, so too do the tenants and residents, and we follow along with births, deaths, marriages, meetings of Suffragettes and professors, all the way to the modern rebirth of Niagara Street and Buffalo’s West Side.

Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time on the West Side is most likely familiar with the building and its many guises throughout the years, and through a detailed and well-researched history of its tenants, the author brings the past to life in a most novel method, centering around a structure of many lives perched on the edge of the Niagara.

Fans of American history, architecture, and Buffalo alike will find joy in sharing the life of a building that has stood through ups and downs and housed dozens of Buffalonians past..

Jason Barone

Manager of IsaisGonzalez-Soto Branch Library

 

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T18:59:39+00:00

Jason Barone

Manager of IsaisGonzalez-Soto Branch Library

 

It’s not often a building tells a story, and rarer still when that story both spans a city’ history and is told by the building itself. With a unique voice and perspective, Fred provides a romp through Buffalo history through the experiences and stories of the many tenants that have occupied his walls over the years. As the times change, so too do the tenants and residents, and we follow along with births, deaths, marriages, meetings of Suffragettes and professors, all the way to the modern rebirth of Niagara Street and Buffalo’s West Side. Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time on the West Side is most likely familiar with the building and its many guises throughout the years, and through a detailed and well-researched history of its tenants, the author brings the past to life in a most novel method, centering around a structure of many lives perched on the edge of the Niagara. Fans of American history, architecture, and Buffalo alike will find joy in sharing the life of a building that has stood through ups and downs and housed dozens of Buffalonians past..
Praise for FRED’S Author
It's fascinating. I was captivated from the beginning. The story of Fred is difficult to stop reading. There is so much history in the life of one building. It really makes you think about so many things. I recommend this as a wonderful read that will broaden your view point  on history and especially the many lives that come into our neighborhoods.

John Brands,  Jr.

Operations Manager, Santasiero's Restaurant

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T18:41:48+00:00

John Brands,  Jr.

Operations Manager, Santasiero's Restaurant

It's fascinating. I was captivated from the beginning. The story of Fred is difficult to stop reading. There is so much history in the life of one building. It really makes you think about so many things. I recommend this as a wonderful read that will broaden your view point  on history and especially the many lives that come into our neighborhoods.
Praise for FRED’S Author
This is a fascinating walk down Buffalo’s past.  The characters are interesting, colorful and historic.  The author has taken memorable moments that highlight the Queen City as seen through the eyes of an aging apartment building.  It is an emotional read as you follow the lives of its tenants.  Full of romance, intrigue, and heartfelt stories.  As you read, you become familiar and attached to the residents. Telling the stories through the eyes of the building’s life is creative and imaginative.  The building actually takes on a life of its own.  If you've never been to Buffalo, you’ll feel as if you’ve lived here your whole life. It truly depicts the spirit of the “City of Good Neighbors.”

Michaelene Karpinski

Administrative Assistant to the President of Villa Maria College

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T18:40:31+00:00

Michaelene Karpinski

Administrative Assistant to the President of Villa Maria College

This is a fascinating walk down Buffalo’s past.  The characters are interesting, colorful and historic.  The author has taken memorable moments that highlight the Queen City as seen through the eyes of an aging apartment building.  It is an emotional read as you follow the lives of its tenants.  Full of romance, intrigue, and heartfelt stories.  As you read, you become familiar and attached to the residents. Telling the stories through the eyes of the building’s life is creative and imaginative.  The building actually takes on a life of its own.  If you've never been to Buffalo, you’ll feel as if you’ve lived here your whole life. It truly depicts the spirit of the “City of Good Neighbors.”
Praise for FRED’S Author
Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams gives new meaning to the expression, “if walls could talk.”  In Schmidt’s novel they actually do, telling the story of Buffalo through the eyes of a 121-year-old building.  Along the way, we learn about the lives of a bevy of characters of all races and creeds, teaching us not only about life on one city block, but of human civilization in a century of immense change and loss.  Bravo to Schmidt for reminding  us just how rich in history Buffalo truly is.”

Rabbi Alexander Lazarus-Klein

Congregation Shir Shalom

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T18:39:11+00:00

Rabbi Alexander Lazarus-Klein

Congregation Shir Shalom

Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams gives new meaning to the expression, “if walls could talk.”  In Schmidt’s novel they actually do, telling the story of Buffalo through the eyes of a 121-year-old building.  Along the way, we learn about the lives of a bevy of characters of all races and creeds, teaching us not only about life on one city block, but of human civilization in a century of immense change and loss.  Bravo to Schmidt for reminding  us just how rich in history Buffalo truly is.”
Praise for FRED’S Author
Through the eyes and ears of “Fred”  we see the hopes and struggles endured by those who came searching for a better life. The novel, beautifully created, by author Frances Schmidt, paints a picture that encompassed  multi ethnic groups and those of color alike.  It’s a reminder to us, their decedents, to reflect on their toils and not cast aside those who come today searching the same dream.

Joseph Di Leo, Publisher

Per Niente Magazine

 

 

Frances R. Schmidt
2020-11-10T18:26:28+00:00

Joseph Di Leo, Publisher

Per Niente Magazine

 

 

Through the eyes and ears of “Fred”  we see the hopes and struggles endured by those who came searching for a better life. The novel, beautifully created, by author Frances Schmidt, paints a picture that encompassed  multi ethnic groups and those of color alike.  It’s a reminder to us, their decedents, to reflect on their toils and not cast aside those who come today searching the same dream.
Reader Review
Fred Building of Dreams, this is one of those books that you can't put down, as I read each Chapter I really felt that I learned a lot about all of the immigrants that passed through or stayed on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.. This book Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams really shows how life should be lived and their is  also a lot of lessons to be learned in this book.

This book teaches us all about how all the nationalities got along, It did not matter what country you came from, or what the  color of your skin was. I cried at the end of the book.

I could read this book again.

~Sue

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-07-06T14:37:57+00:00

~Sue

Fred Building of Dreams, this is one of those books that you can't put down, as I read each Chapter I really felt that I learned a lot about all of the immigrants that passed through or stayed on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.. This book Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams really shows how life should be lived and their is  also a lot of lessons to be learned in this book. This book teaches us all about how all the nationalities got along, It did not matter what country you came from, or what the  color of your skin was. I cried at the end of the book. I could read this book again.
Reader Review
The fact that any building has a story to tell, I find "FRED" to be the one in a dozen, that I have visited or heard from, the most complex story of love, drama, sadness and yet amazing with many mysterious stories,  that perhaps only scratches the surface of "FRED's" history, and maybe with what we know from researchers and the author, allows our minds to wonder, and guess, what this extraordinary people gave to  "FRED'S" walls, and gives us an extended story that takes us to places where our hearts and minds have never been.

~JMO

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-09-28T17:35:14+00:00

~JMO

The fact that any building has a story to tell, I find "FRED" to be the one in a dozen, that I have visited or heard from, the most complex story of love, drama, sadness and yet amazing with many mysterious stories,  that perhaps only scratches the surface of "FRED's" history, and maybe with what we know from researchers and the author, allows our minds to wonder, and guess, what this extraordinary people gave to  "FRED'S" walls, and gives us an extended story that takes us to places where our hearts and minds have never been.
Reader Review
I found the use of Fred as an observer and narrator to be a creative approach in presenting immigration to Buffalo’s West Side. The depiction of a succession of renters was enlightening and informative. It was  also touching in how Fred described their lives, their happiness, their sorrows as they lived in the building and then  moved to their own homes. I appreciated how Fred presented the challenges facing American groups find in the home and Fred. How individuals helped one another and cared for one another was quite touching. Fran presented sufficient historical markers such as the Immigration Act of 1924, the great depression, World War II to give historical reference to your novel’s narrative. The description of individuals was insightful and heartwarming, especially as they acted to assist one another in their effort to become Americans. Fred’s observations of his tenants was an effective tool for the reader to understand the challenges facing both foreign immigrants and migrants from the South to the North. I particularly found effective use of citing familiar landmarks such as Lafayette High School, the Buffalo Library, Bethlehem Steel and many other familiar sites on the West Side and other Buffalo institutions.

As I read, I forgot that I was reading a novel. I thought I was reading an historical account by an astute observer of individuals, often immigrants offering a meal and assistance to others, often of different nationalities and races.

Vincent L. Marando

Professor Emeritus

The University of Maryland, College Park

Forthcoming Book: “When Gertrude Visited, I Wasn’t Home”

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-21T15:26:15+00:00

Vincent L. Marando

Professor Emeritus

The University of Maryland, College Park

Forthcoming Book: “When Gertrude Visited, I Wasn’t Home”

I found the use of Fred as an observer and narrator to be a creative approach in presenting immigration to Buffalo’s West Side. The depiction of a succession of renters was enlightening and informative. It was  also touching in how Fred described their lives, their happiness, their sorrows as they lived in the building and then  moved to their own homes. I appreciated how Fred presented the challenges facing American groups find in the home and Fred. How individuals helped one another and cared for one another was quite touching. Fran presented sufficient historical markers such as the Immigration Act of 1924, the great depression, World War II to give historical reference to your novel’s narrative. The description of individuals was insightful and heartwarming, especially as they acted to assist one another in their effort to become Americans. Fred’s observations of his tenants was an effective tool for the reader to understand the challenges facing both foreign immigrants and migrants from the South to the North. I particularly found effective use of citing familiar landmarks such as Lafayette High School, the Buffalo Library, Bethlehem Steel and many other familiar sites on the West Side and other Buffalo institutions. As I read, I forgot that I was reading a novel. I thought I was reading an historical account by an astute observer of individuals, often immigrants offering a meal and assistance to others, often of different nationalities and races.
Reader Review
The stories of tenants who lived in a building located in Buffalo, New York for the past one hundred and twenty years come alive in Frances R. Schmidt’s heart-warming historical fiction novel, Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams. The novel is told through Fred’s voice who explores Buffalo and America’s history via the experiences of its tenants. Fred is a commercial building completed in 1900. The tenants who make the building their home arrive in New York in the hope of finding freedom from political, economic, and religious oppression. To Abigail, the first owner of the building, and many other tenants to come, Fred is a representation of freedom, financial stability, and hope. Alienated by her family, Abigail pays for the construction of Fred where she lives happily with her partner and child.

The story includes multiple themes. It revisits the past and compares it to the present. Freedom is a predominant theme in the novel. Other themes include tragedy, romance, and resilience. The characters and their backgrounds are fascinating. Patricia and Kathleen Duffy are Irish twins committed to the suffrage movement. Russian Jews Samuel and David work hard to establish a life for their families in America and become activists in the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America after experiencing heartbreaking loss, and Fred learns of the brutal treatment of African slaves through a tenant’s great-great-grandmother’s journals. The families also stand with and support each other through challenging times such as during the Great Depression and during different wars. Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams by Frances R. Schmidt is a uniquely told, well-researched novel that recounts events in American history through the experiences of intriguing and brave characters.

See 5 Star Review

~Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-05-20T21:06:29+00:00

~Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The stories of tenants who lived in a building located in Buffalo, New York for the past one hundred and twenty years come alive in Frances R. Schmidt’s heart-warming historical fiction novel, Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams. The novel is told through Fred’s voice who explores Buffalo and America’s history via the experiences of its tenants. Fred is a commercial building completed in 1900. The tenants who make the building their home arrive in New York in the hope of finding freedom from political, economic, and religious oppression. To Abigail, the first owner of the building, and many other tenants to come, Fred is a representation of freedom, financial stability, and hope. Alienated by her family, Abigail pays for the construction of Fred where she lives happily with her partner and child. The story includes multiple themes. It revisits the past and compares it to the present. Freedom is a predominant theme in the novel. Other themes include tragedy, romance, and resilience. The characters and their backgrounds are fascinating. Patricia and Kathleen Duffy are Irish twins committed to the suffrage movement. Russian Jews Samuel and David work hard to establish a life for their families in America and become activists in the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America after experiencing heartbreaking loss, and Fred learns of the brutal treatment of African slaves through a tenant’s great-great-grandmother’s journals. The families also stand with and support each other through challenging times such as during the Great Depression and during different wars. Fred: Buffalo Building of Dreams by Frances R. Schmidt is a uniquely told, well-researched novel that recounts events in American history through the experiences of intriguing and brave characters. See 5 Star Review
Reader Review
“Fred” certainly is a voice needed now. The zeitgeist of our country at this present time is so negative we need to be reminded of what it is to be human. Thank you “Fred” for reminding me on each page of the human elements of kindness, understanding, hope, forgiveness, and love. Most importantly is the guidance and inspiration provided by our parents, family members, and friends. It is through them we gain the virtues of human beings. So many lessons to be learned from “Fred” sharing his stories. I look forward to seeing this book on the cinematic screen one day. Enough of robots and automatons---time to get back to real life. Thank you Fran for your story.

~Teresa

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-21T15:42:26+00:00

~Teresa

“Fred” certainly is a voice needed now. The zeitgeist of our country at this present time is so negative we need to be reminded of what it is to be human. Thank you “Fred” for reminding me on each page of the human elements of kindness, understanding, hope, forgiveness, and love. Most importantly is the guidance and inspiration provided by our parents, family members, and friends. It is through them we gain the virtues of human beings. So many lessons to be learned from “Fred” sharing his stories. I look forward to seeing this book on the cinematic screen one day. Enough of robots and automatons---time to get back to real life. Thank you Fran for your story.
Reader Review
This book is wonderful, I couldn't put it down. Fran did a fantastic job of writing and researching Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

~Kathy T.

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-23T19:41:40+00:00

~Kathy T.

This book is wonderful, I couldn't put it down. Fran did a fantastic job of writing and researching Fred Buffalo Building of Dreams. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Reader Review
This book was amazing!   I enjoyed catching glimpses into the lives of so many people spanning so many decades, but having something in common, Fred.

We forget the roots of Buffalo and why it is the way it is today.  It is because of these people who came to this area looking for a new start and a new life.   Fred provided some stability for them all.

The story reminds me of my experiences at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC.  There, you are able to walk through buildings where countless families have lived and learn their stories.  As I read Fred, I was transported back to those old buildings.

I am looking forward to driving by Fred one day and giving him my best.

Thank you  Fred!

PS....It should be made into a play!

~Tiffany M.

Frances R. Schmidt
2021-04-30T14:31:48+00:00

~Tiffany M.

This book was amazing!   I enjoyed catching glimpses into the lives of so many people spanning so many decades, but having something in common, Fred. We forget the roots of Buffalo and why it is the way it is today.  It is because of these people who came to this area looking for a new start and a new life.   Fred provided some stability for them all. The story reminds me of my experiences at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC.  There, you are able to walk through buildings where countless families have lived and learn their stories.  As I read Fred, I was transported back to those old buildings. I am looking forward to driving by Fred one day and giving him my best. Thank you  Fred! PS....It should be made into a play!
Reader Review

Hello! My friend Sue K. had recommended FRED to me. I read it last year and LOVED IT! My cousin just read it and loved it too. Actually, my favorite book of the year. I spent a lot of time on West side in my childhood. I have always loved that building and the sister building. I was thinking that you would do a great job of writing a book about the Central Train Terminal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If anyone could do it, it would be you! Have you considered this? Would you consider it? I loved FRED, such a touching story. I had Sicilian immigrants in the neighborhood. BUT I loved the stories of the tenants mingling and eating together and such a stranger experience for them. I never thought of that! You are a wonderful writer. I look forward to more "FREDS".


~ Laurie G.

Frances R. Schmidt
2022-03-24T19:09:23+00:00

~ Laurie G.

Hello! My friend Sue K. had recommended FRED to me. I read it last year and LOVED IT! My cousin just read it and loved it too. Actually, my favorite book of the year. I spent a lot of time on West side in my childhood. I have always loved that building and the sister building. I was thinking that you would do a great job of writing a book about the Central Train Terminal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If anyone could do it, it would be you! Have you considered this? Would you consider it? I loved FRED, such a touching story. I had Sicilian immigrants in the neighborhood. BUT I loved the stories of the tenants mingling and eating together and such a stranger experience for them. I never thought of that! You are a wonderful writer. I look forward to more "FREDS".
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