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Tour Inside the Spectacular Inn Buffalo

Buffalo’s newest inn is in one of Buffalo most impressive gilded age mansions.  After decades of neglect, the impressive former home of Buffalo industrialist and inventor H. H. Hewitt, at 619 Lafayette Avenue, is being reborn, as what can now arguably be promoted as the city’s most elegant hotel.  To celebrate its opening, the new hotel, named Inn Buffalo Off Elmwood, will be open to public tours on Saturday and Sunday February 21 and 22 from 11 AM to 3 PM. The Inn is the result of investment with much money and hard work by owners Ellen & Joseph Lettieri.  The Lettieris bought the house 1890s era house at city auction about 3 years ago for just $183,000!  After another $1M in renovation work the house is about as close to its original condition as it can get. Although some renovation work continues, the Inn is now taking guest reservations.

This open house  tour is a rare opportunity to see the impressive interior spaces throughout the house.  Until now, few have seen this glorious interior. Glorious is an appropriate word to describe this house.  While the exterior is impressive in size and architectural expression, it gives only a vague hint of what awaits inside.  I grew up around the corner from this long neglected house and could never have imagined what it held secreted within its walls.  For decades it stood dark and neglected—covered in an odd mint green paint scheme, surrounded by weed trees and overgrown lawn.  I believe it was used as a boarding house; probably serving that function since the 1930’s.  It is nothing short of miraculous that it remains so incredibly intact.  The house is loaded with richly carved wood, intricate stained glass, unique tiles, tapestries, and murals.This one even has a historic early thermostat which has been restored to working order. Although it is large and lavishly decorated, the house is none the less cozy and welcoming and not at all ostentatious. It will be a perfect inn for travelers and stay-cationers alike.

Few of Buffalo’s old mansions remain this close to their original state.  Its renovation is a remarkable gift back to the people of Buffalo. This is really a not-to-be-missed house tour.

For more information on the Inn Buffalo Off Elmwood you can email them at or call them at 716.432.1030.  You can see more on the Inn here.

Again, the tour will be: today and tomorrow, February  21 and 22 from 11-3, 619 Lafayette Ave.


Images are from the Inn Buffalo Off Elmwood Facebook Page


Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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