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One of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 140-year-old Richardson Olmsted Campus, has been 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 Campus back to life through a State appropriation for this architectural treasure.
Today, the Richardson Olmsted Campus has been 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 Campus). The remaining buildings have been stabilized pending future opportunities.
Tours of the campus are offered, and can be booked through our website.