Last year, the doors of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane were opened for the first time in over 10 years for the National Preservation Conference. Over 2,000 guests visited the site over a 10-day period, and demand to see the Richardson Olmsted Complex has amplified ever since.
Eager to continue showcasing its progress on the first phase of development, the Richardson Olmsted Complex Core Project, is offering a South Lawn Landscape tour July 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The tour offers a unique opportunity to discover how the Richardson Olmsted Complex grounds will be transformed into a nine-acre distinctive gateway and a welcoming, innovative public space. The 90-minute tour is hosted by Chris Mendel, registered landscape architect of Andropogon Associates, and designer of the rehabilitation of the South Lawn. The tour will highlight the historical significance of the grounds of the Complex, originally
developed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to integrate the landscape with the medical treatment of patients. Olmsted is known for designing Central Park, as well as the park system in Buffalo, and the South Lawn is one of the few therapeutic asylum landscapes still existing today.
The Richardson Center Corporation, appointed to rehabilitate the Complex by then-Governer Pataki in 2006, begun with the rehabilitation of the South Lawn and the initial phases of developing the Buffalo Architecture Center, which includes a boutique hotel, and an event and conference space. A full summer tour schedule was developed to accommodate 300 people, and the tours sold out within weeks, with one guided tour still open to experience the Complex this year.
The tour is $35 and for an additional fee, this tour can be used for ASLA continuing education credits.