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444 Forest Avenue (enter at Richmond Avenue)
Buffalo, NY 14213
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Richardson Olmsted Complex

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 and 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.

Tours of the complex are offered, and can be booked through our website.

Events

Richardson Olmsted Campus In Depth Tour

Date
May 13

Visitors will be immersed into the philosophies integrated into the site by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and mental health advocate Dr. Thomas Kirkbride.  During the tour, visitors will experience multiple floors of the site’s original structures as well as the healing landscape designed to serve as a…

Richardson Olmsted Campus Welcome Tour

Date
May 16

Explore the past of the Richardson Olmsted Campus during this one-hour guided tour. Visitors will be introduced to the genius of architect Henry Hobson Richardson, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and mental health advocate Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, whose work collectively built the 140-year-old former state hospital facility.  An experienced docent will lead…

Richardson Olmsted Campus In Depth Tour

Date
May 20

Visitors will be immersed into the philosophies integrated into the site by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and mental health advocate Dr. Thomas Kirkbride.  During the tour, visitors will experience multiple floors of the site’s original structures as well as the healing landscape designed to serve as a…

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