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Richardson Olmsted Complex, Buffalo
(4.9/5 based on 40 reviews on the web)
The Richardson Olmsted Complex is a former insane asylum in Buffalo, New York, United States. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The Olmstead Complex has undergone renovation and remodeling to function as a hotel and conference center for the city.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 mental 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.The complex, the largest commission of Richardson's career, marks the advent of his characteristic Romanesque Revival style. When emulated by later architects, this style is referred to as Richardsonian Romanesque. It has been the subject of a long-term preservation campaign. Nevertheless, three pavilions on the east side were demolished in the 1970s to make way for newer psychiatric facilities. The grounds north of the building have been occupied by Buffalo State College since the 1960s. Some extant buildings had been allowed to deteriorate.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Comprehensive tours featuring history, architecture, public health. Engaging docent staff, historic setting, pleasant park, adjacent to two art galleries, public parks, and eateries. New hotel, restau...  more »
  • After decades of neglect, and uproar from neighbors and preservationists, millions of NY State dollars have been dedicated to this incredible example of collaboration between renowned architect Richar...  more »
  • Very informative and interesting tour. Beautiful architecture and grounds with explanations such as why the bldg is at a slight angle and the "staircase that goes nowhere" Love that they let u go thro...  more »