I want to visit the Richardson! What kinds of tours can I take?
We offer a variety of public and private tours, ranging in length from one hour to two hours. You can see our current schedule on our Public Tours page and learn more about arranging a private tour on our Private Tours page.
You can also check out our Free Audio Tour, which you can take from your phone anytime.
What’s the difference between a one-hour and a two-hour tour?
Both tours offer access to multiple buildings on-site, but the two-hour In Depth Tour offers access to additional untouched buildings and multiple floors within the Richardson. The one-hour Welcome Tour is an excellent introduction to the site with access to 2-3 untouched buildings.
On one of your tours, do I get to see Hotel Henry?
Our tours are historical and focus on the untouched spaces at the Richardson. Our tours do not go into the redeveloped Hotel Henry.
I'm staying at Hotel Henry. Can I take a historical tour during my stay?
We love welcoming guests of Hotel Henry on our historical tours of the Richardson. Tours are not included in your hotel stay, however, so make sure to book your tour ahead of time. Our tours often sell out, so make sure you pre-register. You can register for the tours by purchasing tickets online or by calling us at 716-601-1153.
I'm not staying at Hotel Henry. Can I still see the inside of the hotel?
Probably! Stop by the Hotel Henry Reception Desk on the second floor to request a walk-through.
Can I tour the site by myself?
While access to the interior of the untouched spaces is limited to official tours, you can enjoy the redeveloped spaces and the exterior of the site anytime! The South Lawn of the Richardson Olmsted Campus is a beautiful green space that is free and open to the public. And you can always enjoy a free audio tour of the site to learn more as you explore.
Can I take pictures of the Richardson?
It depends! Exterior photography of the Richardson is allowed (and encouraged!) at any time. Interior photography within Hotel Henry and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center is also encouraged, but photography inside the untouched, historical buildings is not permitted at this time except on our photography tours.
How do I pre-register?
You can pre-register for the tours by purchasing tickets online or by calling us at 716-601-1153.
How far in advance do I have to register?
Since our tours sell out every year, we strongly recommend you register and purchase your tour tickets as far in advance as possible.
Why don't you offer more tours?
All of our tours are given by our wonderful group of 100% volunteer tour guides and chaperones. At this time, we do not have the capacity to offer more tours.
The tour I want to take is sold out! Is there a wait list?
Some of our more popular tours do offer a wait list, so e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you missed out on tickets.
I want to bring my whole family/visiting friends/my classmates to the Richardson.
Great idea! We offer private tours for groups of up to 20 people and can schedule around your needs, so visit our Private Tours page to learn more.
Is the interior of the Richardson dirty?
Many spaces within the Richardson Olmsted Campus have been untouched for more than years. This often means there's a lot of dirt and dust! We’ll provide hardhats, but 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. Bottled water is also strongly encouraged.
Does it get hot or cold inside?
The buildings are not heated or air conditioned, so expect variable temperatures depending on the time of year. We recommend wearing layers and bringing bottled water on all tours.
Can I wear sneakers?
Sneakers are perfect! Many spaces on-site are in disrepair, so close-toed shoes are a must for safety reasons. Sandals and high-heeled shoes will not be permitted, so remember to pack a pair of sturdy shoes before joining a tour.
Will the tour be scary? / Will I see ghosts on my tour?
Tours of the Richardson Olmsted Campus focus on the history of the site and are not meant to provide a scary experience. Our goal is to explain and interpret the multifaceted history of the site, to honor its intent as a place of hope and healing for people with mental illness, and to be as inclusive as possible to all patrons. While local urban legend claims supernatural sightings at the site and the exterior can seem foreboding, most visitors find the interior to be peaceful and surprisingly beautiful, as designed!