Patient Life Tour
Length: 2 hours
Untouched Buildings Accessed: 2
What was it like to live at the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane (now known as the Richardson Olmsted Campus)? Go behind-the-scenes and back in time to when the Richardson was home to thousands of people: patients, doctors, nurses, attendants, and staff.
The 145-year-old former state hospital facility consists of purpose-built structures and a healing landscape that created a therapeutic environment then considered the most progressive treatment available for mental illness.
This two-hour tour, led by a knowledgeable docent, provides access to multiple untouched spaces on-site, including some not available on other tours, and explores the lives of the men and women who lived and worked at the Richardson from its earliest days until the last patient moved out in the 1970s.
Please Note: This is a historical tour of abandoned buildings yet to be redeveloped by the Richardson. This is not a tour of Hotel Henry. For information about seeing the hotel, stop by the Front Desk or call 716-882-1970.
What to Expect:
- Ages 16 and up. (Join our mailing list to be notified of youth programming in future seasons.)
- For your safety, sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. We reserve the right to turn away anyone without appropriate shoes. Under no condition will sandals or high heels be allowed.
- Photography is not allowed inside the historical buildings on this tour. For those interested in taking photographs, please check out our photography tours.
- Hard hats will be provided. It is imperative that you stay with the tour group in the designated areas – there are very unsafe areas within the Richardson.
- This tour requires the ability to walk for the full duration of the tour as well as climb multiple flights of stairs.
- Prepare to get a little dusty during your time on-site. If you’re concerned about having an adverse reaction to the dust because of asthma or allergies, we recommend bringing a face mask or scarf.
- You are strongly encouraged to bring bottled water as it can get warm inside the building in the summer.
- Please bring flashlights if possible!
- Tours are rain or shine.