Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the design of the new north entry and landscape for the Richardson Olmsted Complex, a National Historic Landmark. The 140-year-old former state hospital facility, designed by H.H. Richardson and widely considered to be one of Buffalo's most important and beautiful buildings, will be rehabilitated by the Richardson Center Corporation and adaptively reused as a hospitality venue and cultural amenity for the city. Construction will begin in early in 2014 and will continue for approximately two years. The hotel, the event and conference spaces, as well as a Buffalo Architecture Center, are all expected to open in spring 2016.
"The Richardson Olmsted Complex is a perfect example of the successful public private partnerships that are paving the way for the revitalization of the Western New York economy," said Governor Cuomo. "In addition to being one of the many architectural jewels that attract tourists to Buffalo, this project will create hundreds of construction jobs as well as permanent employment opportunities in the region. The Richardson Center Corporation had been a true partner to New York State and I applaud them for their continued commitment to Buffalo."
"I want to thank the Governor and our Western New York Delegation for their steadfast support of this ambitious rehabilitation and I want to thank Stan Lipsey and the Richardson Center Corporation board for their extraordinary volunteerism during the past seven years," said Richardson Center Corporation President Howard Zemsky. "This project falls right in the center of Buffalo's sweet spot of great historic American Architecture and the tourism it attracts to our region."
Reuse and rehabilitation of the National Historic Landmark Richardson Olmsted Complex is funded with state support and will leverage private investment. The design builds upon the concepts developed during the Master Planning process, created with community input gathered through nine public meetings and with the active participation of the Richardson Center Corporation Community Advisory Group. This first phase of development creates a boutique hotel, event and conference spaces and an architecture center. It also includes re-greening the site with new landscape and designing new circulation patterns. The project will create more than 500 construction jobs, up to 90 full time jobs, and will contribute to growing tourism in Buffalo and the region.
The design team is comprised of executive architect Flynn Battaglia Architects of Buffalo and design architect Deborah Berke Partners of New York. Additional members of the team include Boston-based historic preservation firm Goody Clancy; Andropogon Associates, a Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm; LP Ciminelli, a construction management firm from Buffalo; and INNVest Lodging, also headquartered in Buffalo, the preferred operator of the boutique hotel and event and conference space.
Flynn Battaglia Architects Design Principal Peter Flynn said, "It is an honor and highly rewarding to rehabilitate a National Landmark with an interior that has long been hidden from public view and designed by Richardson and Olmsted, fathers of American architecture and landscape design."
Deborah Berke Partners Founding Partner Deborah Berke said, "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."