Buffalo’s renaissance will reach new heights in 2017, as a series of new developments years in the making will be complete and add to the influx of visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants, breweries and distilleries that have opened in recent years.
Take a look at all there is to look forward to in the coming year:
1. National Historic Landmark Becomes Hotel & Architecture Center
HOTEL HENRY: APRIL 1, BUFFALO ARCHITECTURE CENTER: DECEMBER 1
The 88-room Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center will open this spring within the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the first phase in the $76 million revitalization of a National Historic Landmark. The former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, had been shuttered for 40 years prior to its revitalization. The complex will also be home to the Buffalo Architecture Center, which will be the city’s first exhibit space dedicated to telling the story of its remarkable architectural legacy. A restaurant, 100 Acres: The Kitchen at Hotel Henry, will open with the hotel in the spring.
2. Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday
JUNE 8, 2017 IS THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF WRIGHT’S BIRTH
This year, visitors can see architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest residential design, Buffalo’s Martin House Complex, in its original grandeur following the a 15-year, multimillion dollar restoration of its first floor in time for the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2017. Wright’s lakeside Graycliff Estate is also nearing the completion of a multi-year restoration, and a boathouse, mausoleum and gas station designed by Wright but built posthumously round out his Buffalo designs; all these sites can be seen on an All Wright, All Day Tour.
3. Buffalo’s Historic Colored Musicians Club Marks 100 Years
ANNIVERSARY: FEBRUARY 3, 2017
Buffalo’s historic Colored Musicians Club will reach a major milestone early next year. The musicians union whose members formed the club will mark its 100th anniversary of incorporation in February. A museum dedicated to the history of jazz has opened downstairs, and the upstairs club where legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis once jammed continues to host jazz on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights.
4. RiverWorks Brewery & Beer Garden
EXPECTED BREWERY OPENING: SPRING
RiverWorks wowed visitors with the 2015 debut of a waterside bar and restaurant, roller derby track, concert venue and outdoor hockey and curling rinks in a former grain milling facility on the water’s edge. The progress there continues in 2017 when the grain elevator there will begin brewing its own RiverWorks craft beer. Grain silo ruins next door will house a one-of-a-kind beer garden. Over two dozen breweries and distilleries now call the Buffalo Niagara region home.
5. Curtiss Hotel Opening
EXPECTED HOTEL OPENING: SPRING
When it’s completed, the 68-room Curtiss Hotel, located in a century-old downtown office building on the National Register of Historic Places, will be the most “exclusive hotel in Western New York,” according to developer Mark Croce. Buffalo’s first hotel Roman hot springs, a revolving bar on the first floor, a rooftop patio and a fine dining restaurant will add more luxury to downtown’s hotel offerings than ever before.
6. New Restaurants
The transformation of Larkinville, a former industrial warehouse district now home to food truck rodeos, weekly concerts and thousands of apartment dwellers, continues in 2017 with the addition of the Swan Street Diner. The 80-year-old diner, originally located outside of Rochester, is currently being restored will serve breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. And a series of new restaurants that have opened in recent months have already gained a local following, including Chef Martin Danilowicz’s Roost, set in a converted industrial warehouse on Buffalo’s West Side; Ru’s Pierogi, featuring over a half-dozen pierogi varieties on its menu, and Lait Cru Brasserie, a French bistro that draws heavily from owner Jill Gedra’s other enterprise, Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile.
7. New Roycroft Campus Museum
EXPECTED MUSEUM OPENING: SPRING
The Roycroft Campus in the nearby village of East Aurora was formerly home to one of the leading communities in America’s Arts and Crafts Movement. A restoration effort to bring the campus back to life will pick up momentum in 2017, when a new museum dedicated to the history of that community will open in the campus’ print shop.