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Buffalo's Former Insane Asylum Will Become a Boutique Hotel

September 16, 2013 at 10:17 AM | by | ()

A 140-year-old National Historic Landmark in Buffalo, NY is soon to get a facelift, and it's something to get excited about.

We're not sure if it's the Gothic towers, the history of the building, or because the design will be led by the same team behind the 21c Museum Hotels and The James Chicago , but there's something about this project that has really piqued our interest.

The 1870 Henry Hobson Richardson Complex, which was formerly known as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, was designed by H.H. Richardson in a partnership with Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape design, and is considered one of Buffalo’s most important buildings (its Historic Landmark designation arrived in 1986). Part of the building will be transformed into a boutique hotel, and an event and conference center, with construction expected to begin in early 2014 and last for two years.

The hotel will have 88 guest rooms spread throughout two adjacent buildings. The lobby and event spaces will be on the upper three floors of the main building, while the first floor will house a café and the Buffalo Architecture Center.

Design architect Deborah Berke Partners (who worked on the 21c Museum Hotels) are partnering with executive architect Flynn Battaglia Architects, and have designed a new north-side entry with a sculptural glass entry way.

Respect for historic architecture of the building will guide the design. Says Deborah Berke:

“Working on the rehabilitation of the Richardson Olmsted Complex is an extraordinary design opportunity. We are designing a 21st-century architectural addition to H. H. Richardson’s spectacular 19th-century buildings that is both rooted in history and forward thinking.

[Image: Deborah Berke Partners]

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