The Richardson-Olmsted Complex (ROC) has recently released a rendering as to what the landscape surrounding the front entrance of the historic structure will soon look like. Work is beginning that would see a completely different appearance from what we see today. Rather than a series of parking lots, the front lawn will return to much of the way that Olmsted once envisioned. Not only will this new green-scape add to the overall beauty of the complex, it will do wonders for the entire neighborhood in general. Hopefully, as we see these vast improvements taking place at the ROC, the houses along Forest will join in on the revitalization effort to create a comprehensive Forest Avenue comeback.
By the time this project is complete, the front side of the ROC will be a welcoming destination for people looking to continue on with the Olmstedian experience – there will be landscaped places to walk while taking in the historic beauty of the surroundings. Planned are a pedestrian bridge, rain gardens, curvilinear pedestrian pathways, and treelined scapes surrounding open viewing areas. This is an important part of the longterm plan for the complex, primarily because the front entrance has been dedicated for parking for so long. Soon cars will be parked along the shoulder of the 22′ roadways that will encompass the pedestrian trails, as well as at lots to the west.
While there is no water feature at this point (see skating rink in rendering), there is a chance that one could be added at a later time. I think that that would be an important attribute in order to activate the site during the winter months. Plus, if maintained properly, the water feature would add an entirely different dynamic during the warmer months. I hope that this is considered sooner rather than later (if at all).
^Click to enlarge
The $3,545,000 landscaping project is already underway and paving will be complete in June or July – plantings will take place in August and September. The project is being as sensitive to green planning as possible and managers have set up recycling stations on site that include resources for reusing asphalt, stone and soil, which will help to reduce construction waste in nearby landfills.
What you see here is part of the first phase development. Ultimately the project calls for the design and implementation of the Buffalo Architecture Center, a boutique hotel and an event and conference space (to be located in the Towers Administration Building and two adjacent former ward buildings).
Tour schedule for the ROC can be found here.
Design renderings: Andropogon Associates
^Click on the rendering to see enlarged whimsical detail!