Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo

4.9
#30 of 54 in Things to do in Buffalo
The Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York, United States was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The site was designed by the American architect, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the famed landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the late 1800s, incorporating a system of enlightened treatment for people with mental illness developed by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride. 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.ArchitectureThe large Medina red sandstone and brick hospital buildings were designed in 1870 in the Kirkbride Plan by architect Henry Hobson Richardson with grounds by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The complex consists of a central administrative tower and five pavilions or wards progressively set back on each side, for eleven buildings total, all connected by short curved two-story corridors. Patients were segregated by sex, males on the east side, females on the west. The wards housed patients until the mid-1970s. The central administration building was used for offices until 1994. In 1973, the Asylum was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1986, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
46 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • July 24, 2017
    Took the guided tour on the first day which was very informative, with excellent tour guides. Then the photo tour on the following day in the non renovated areas was awesome! Geoffrey is an excellent ...  more »
  • July 17, 2017
    I have always been fascinated by the ROC. I was so excited for this tour and it did not disappoint! We were able to go into buildings and spaces not open to the public. Our guide was very knowledgeabl...  more »
  • July 11, 2017
    Truly enjoyed a very well presented tour on the History and Patient Life in this historical Psychiatric Facility. Hotel Henry is a stellar example of the Rebirth of Buffalo as a destination as it was ...  more »
Google
  • March 31, 2017
    Awesome and iconic building with unique features preserved along with a new fresh look.....spent almost a year a half here re-modling for a new hotel. Great experience. Hope they do more eventually.
  • May 5, 2017
    Saw a big fat dude at the main entrance and he threw me. This place is too much.+
  • January 20, 2017
    So cool,like OUTLAST™
  • February 17, 2017
    The Front Part is 100% Outlast
  • April 28, 2017
    Because you make when you go to travel and I like your pictures
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