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Richardson Olmsted Complex

Address: 400 Forest Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14213
Phone Number: +1 716-849-4563
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Ranked #25 of 90 Attractions in Buffalo
Type: Architectural Buildings, Landmarks
Owner description: One of Buffalo's most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 140-year-old...
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Attraction details
Type: Architectural Buildings, Landmarks
Owner description: One of Buffalo's most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 140-year-old Richardson Olmsted Complex is being renewed after years of neglect. Designed by one of America's premier architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the famed landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the building was completed in the late 1800s as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. Widely considered to be one of Buffalo's most important and beautiful buildings, it will be adaptively reused as a hospitality and cultural amenity for the city. We invite you to visit the newly restored grounds and sign up for our history-based tours, which explore the Richardson buildings in various states of disrepair and reuse and introduce visitors to the past, present, and future plans for this National Historic Landmark.

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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
East Aurora, New York
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

I visited this building on a Buffalo Preservation tour several years ago, and learned its fantastic history and that of the architect, HH Richardson. This building I slated to become a hotel, which is great, since it was in danger.

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Wesley Chapel, Florida
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

I've always been fascinated by this building/complex. I wish I was able to take the tour of the inside of the building. Tours are not always available. Outside of building and grounds are "haunting" and beautiful. It makes you wonder what went on in the building when it was an active psych center. I hope they complete the renovations and... More 

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Buffalo, New York, United States
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

The architecture is awesome. Not always available for tours but if you get a chance it is a must see of Buffalo's past

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Amherst, New York, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

My friend and I opted for the 2 hour in-depth tour and it was really worth it. We were able to go up into the attic and down into the basement. I would not recommend this tour for young children. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The buildings are 99% not completely renovated. They have a long, long way to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Buffalo, New York
Top Contributor
488 reviews 488 reviews
253 attraction reviews
232 helpful votes 232 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

A fascinating place with very interesting architecture. Well worth a visit. Historically significant. One of those places you can easily overlooked. Sadly, now all the lunatics are in government downstate or in Albany.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

I wasn't fortunate enough to experience the formal tour but did take some time before my flight to spend about 30 minutes walking the grounds. What a beautiful space. Quite impressive.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Mohawk, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Have driven around the grounds and been able to look over the amazing architecture. It is astounding how large this facility was, it took up so much of the Buffalo real estate. I hope the developers do the buildings justice and keep to much of the original design. I have never been in the city when tours have been available,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
edinburgh, uk
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
41 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Historic and severely beautiful, as it slowly is taken over by various state and local institutions. A fine place to be committed.

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Amherst, New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

I recently was able to tour this amazing sandstone structure built in 1870 through the cooperation of two famous architects Henry Hobson Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted. It is now know as the H. H. Richardson complex and is on the historic register due to diligent work of many dedicated people. The complex is currently in the process of being... More 

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East Rochester, New York
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
24 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013 via mobile

While i never have actually made it into the buildings, i have walked on the grounds many a time back in my college day. It is an amazingly beautiful structure. I used to love looking at the towers on a late fall night after rugby practice at buff state. It is without a doubt spooky, as many people believe it... More 

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