Donate today to join the Richardson Renaissance
Donate today to join the Richardson Renaissance
Call in for an exploratory look at the past, present, and future of the Richardson Olmsted Complex! (Image Credit: Kellie Powell)
Call in for an exploratory look at the past, present, and future of the Richardson Olmsted Complex! (Image Credit: Kellie Powell)
Closed for the season - join our mailing list for the 2017 tour schedule announcement! (Photo Credit: Joe Cascio)
Closed for the season - join our mailing list for the 2017 tour schedule announcement! (Photo Credit: Joe Cascio)

    Rebirth of a Buffalo Architectural Treasure

    One of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 140-year-old Richardson Olmsted Complex, is being renewed after years of neglect. Designed by one of America's premier architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the famed landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the building was completed in the late 1800s as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane.

    It incorporated a system of enlightened treatment for people with mental illness developed by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, in part by providing pleasing surroundings. Over the years, as mental health treatment changed and resources were diverted, the buildings and grounds began a slow deterioration.  In 2006, the Richardson Center Corporation was formed with a mandate to save the buildings and bring the Complex back to life through a State appropriation for this architectural treasure.

    Today, the Richardson Olmsted Complex is being transformed into a cultural amenity for the city, beginning with Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center and the Buffalo Architecture Center in the iconic Towers Building and two flanking buildings (about one third of the Complex).  The remaining buildings have been stabilized pending future opportunities. 

    A Historic Structures Report and Cultural Landscape Report serve as guides for the rehabilitation.  At every stage of planning, the Richardson Center Corporation has used an active public process, which has helped to inform the Master Plan and all phases of redevelopment for the Complex.  

     

    Upcoming Events

    • Gain access to the interior of the Richardson Olmsted Complex on one of our public tours!  Offered May through September, public tours feature an experience docent leading visitors through untouched spaces still in disrepair. Visitors will also witness the National Historic Landmark’s transformation firsthand as 1/3 of the Complex is adaptively reused as a hospitality venue and cultural amenity for the city, beginning with Hotel Henry and the Buffalo Architecture Center.

      Pre-registration is required.

      Tickets for our 2017 Tour Season will go on sale this spring with tours starting in May. Be the first to know when public tour tickets become available in 2017: join our e-list!

     

    News

    • 600 windows down, 1600 to go

      Friday, February 17, 2017

      The Richardson Olmsted Complex is famous for its iconic two towers, but take a closer look – the 140-year-old National Historic Landmark also features thousands of windows.

    • Restoration of Richardson Complex is a triumph of determination

      Thursday, February 16, 2017 | Editorial

      A good portion of the 140-year-old complex designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson, along with legendary landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux, will soon be open for business.

    More News +