This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The most complete and elegant plant houses which we have seen in this country, devoted to commercial cultivation, are those of Messrs. Eaton & Co., of Buffalo, formerly Mason & LoverinG. Every convenience in the way of heat, water, ventilation, etc, has been provided as perfectly as it was possible, without any regard to the expense. They are finely situated on one of the highest localities, near Buffalo, and adjoining a large and costly residence, which Mr. Mason has nearly completed for himself.
The plants are young - the houses having been completed last fall - but all are in a fine, healthy condition, and arranged with great care and taste. We were so much pleased with these houses that we requested Mr. Eaton, who is the managing partner, to give us a diagram and description of them, which he has very kindly done, as follows:
1, Conservatory - octagon, 30 feet in diameter, occupied by a bed of prepared soil; in the center, a rockery, and shelves extending around the house next the glass. Between the shelving and border is a broad walk, paved with marble.
2, rose-House - 20 by 60 feet, furnished with a stage and front shelf; below the stage is an excavation, used for storing Dahlias, etc, and behind it a pit, level with the ground, in which are plants of large size; at the west end is a raised border, in which are plunged Camellias, etc.
5. .Forcing-House - 20 by 50 feet. Pit in center, two feet high, heated below. Shelf each side of the house.
11, Hot-House - opening from Office, 20 by 50 feet; center occupied by a walled pit two feet high, surrounded by a walk, with shelves on the sides next the glass.
8, Office. 9, Entrance. 10, Dwelling-House. a, a, a, Doors. The open space on each side of Hot-House is used for frames. The front is 150 feet.
The Rose, Geranium and Grape-Houses, are constructed with "three-quarter span" roofs, as in the annexed figure, and back walls of hollow brickwork. The two former have a southern, and the latter an eastern aspect. The short span being behind the stages, and directly over the pits in the rear of them, give an abundance of light to plants placed in them.
The Forcing and Hot-Houses are both span-roofed, running nearly north and south.
Roof-sashes all stationary, with ventilators placed at the ridge and below the front sashes, which also open. Partitions between houses are glass. The whole range is heated by a powerful hot-water apparatus, erected by Joseph Nason, of New York; the pipes of which are from four to six inches in diameter, and measure nearly 3,000 feet in length. They are all heated by one furnace, situated in the basement of the office building; and which is capable of warming a still greater extent of surface, if required. In the same basement is a powerful steam pump, which elevates the water for the supply of the houses, from capacious cisterns and a deep well adjacent (as hard or soft water is required), into two reservoirs, containing nearly 600 gallons each, located in the attic, whence it is conveyed in pipes to all parts of the green-houses, wherever needed; also to the stables, Ac, hydrants are placed at convenient distances, to which hose may be attached, as may also be done with the steam pump, which thus becomes a fire engine of considerable power".