Assemblyman Sam Hoyt and Senator Mark Grisanti have announced that a bill important to the restoration of the H.H. Richardson Complex has been passed after a unanimous vote.
The bill allows the transfer of 42 acres from the State Office of Mental Health to the Richardson Corporation. The former psychiatric facility has sat dormant for years but it still holds a great deal of architectural integrity. In 2006, Governor Pataki created a board that would oversee the reuse of the complex with an allocation of funds.
A core plan has been developed and the first phase of the plan will have the building providing a number of uses. A Buffalo Architecture Center, regional Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau Center, boutique hotel and event/conference space will all be in the Towers building and two flanking former wards. They will also begin landscaping to create a more welcoming environment for visitors.
“We are doing a great deal of stabilization work, getting ready for public access, preparing an event space for the National Preservation Conference in the Towers Building, preparing for the Core Project future development and designing the South Lawn landscape. We are working on obtaining the funds for construction this year,” said Monica Pellegrino Faix, Project Manager for the Richardson Center Corporation.
The project also has the potential to create a tourist attraction in the city of Buffalo. The architecture and the visitor’s center will act as a gateway for tourists and generate some significant economic boost for the city according to Hoyt.
The three future phases of the project will advance complementary arts and cultural uses and Buffalo State programs.
“The remaining historic buildings will be stabilized and mothballed pending these future uses,” Hoyt said. “The north and northwest portion of the site will be substantially devoted to landscape but economic circumstances may result in some future development. Any new development will continue to provide major landscaped open space and complement the historic buildings in form and use.”
For more information on the project you can visit www.richardson-olmsted.com where you will be able to find the Master Plan and a brochure.