Richardson Olmsted Campus Honored for Excellence in Historic Preservation

Related Media

Slow Roll Buffalo on the grounds of the Richardson Olmsted Campus. Photo by Clay Davies.

ALBANY, NY (05/01/2018) (readMedia)-- The Preservation League of New York State has selected the restoration of the Richardson Olmsted Campus to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage.

"The towers of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane are visible from many vantage points around the city, and for more than 40 years, were symbolic of deterioration and abandonment," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "Now, thanks to the visionary leadership of the Richardson Center Corporation and years of community activism, this National Historic Landmark is the touchstone of Buffalo's bright future. One of the largest historic preservation projects in the nation, the Richardson Olmsted Campus Core Project addressed the complexities and challenges of a 145-year-old collection of buildings and grounds with professional preservation planning and a dream team of funders, advisors and practitioners. If this first phase of the 3-step plan to restore the entire campus is any indication, the potential is nearly limitless."

The project team included Flynn Battaglia Architects, PC of Buffalo; Deborah Berke Partners of New York City; Goody Clancy of Boston; Andropogon Associates of Philadelphia; LP Ciminelli of Buffalo; and Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center.

Significant project assistance was provided by the State of New York and Save America's Treasures. The project utilized Federal and New York State Historic Tax Credits.

The redevelopment of 13 buildings and 42 acres of grounds seemed an impossible dream for many years. But under the dauntless leadership of the late Stanford Lipsey, longtime publisher of the Buffalo News, the dream is well on its way. The completion of Phase I includes the Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, the 100 Acres restaurant, and the much-anticipated Lipsey Architecture Center of Buffalo. The transformation of the Richardson Olmsted Campus is a linchpin of Buffalo's economic and cultural revival. For the first time, the site is generating tax revenue – more than $1 million a year for the city of Buffalo and Erie County. The success of this first phase is a strong foundation on which to base the redevelopment of the remaining 10 buildings.

"With the support of The State of New York and our elected officials, the vision of our founder, Stanford Lipsey, and the selfless dedication and passion of our Board of Directors, we have achieved what some labeled impossible," said Paul Hojnacki, Board Chairman of the Richardson Center Corporation. "This effort has been a labor of love for our entire board for more than 10 years. The completion of the initial phase of development has become a catalyst for redevelopment efforts on the West side of Buffalo and a testament to the importance and impact of community activism. We knew the preservation of this historic building would provide economic growth for the region."

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, Poughkeepsie; Richardson Olmsted Campus, Buffalo; Hotel Saranac, Saranac Lake; Sibley Square, Rochester; R.E. Dietz Lantern Factory, Syracuse; John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor; Tapestry on the Hudson, Troy. The New York Botanical Garden will be honored for Organizational Excellence.

"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2018 award winners provide valuable examples for others by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and use of Federal and State Historic Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the rebirth of the Richardson Olmsted Campus, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."


Additional Contact:

Mark Mortenson, Executive Director

Richardson Olmsted Campus