Explore Buffalo, the city’s premier historic and architecture tour group, has just released its exciting roster of March tours, starting with a unique opportunity to explore the St. Mary’s School for the Deaf.
Each of these tours is a firsthand informative way to get familiar with Buffalo’s fabulous cherished architecture. From First Presbyterian Church, during a critical time when the community is coming to the rescue to save the bell tower, to a Brewing Buffalo Bus Tour, there’s something for everyone in this heavy hitting line-up:
Explore Buffalo lists exciting March tours
Explore Buffalo, offering fascinating tours of Buffalo’s interesting architecture and neighborhoods, has announced an extensive list of March events.
Inside St. Mary’s School for the Deaf
March 2, 6 to 8 p.m.
2253 Main St., Buffalo
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 Explorer Pass holders, $5 students
St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, established in Buffalo in 1853 as the first academic school for the deaf in the country, was relocated from Edward Street to its current location on Main Street in 1898. This two-hour walking tour highlights the beautiful architecture of this historic building and offers fascinating information about the history and culture of deaf people in the Buffalo area. The tour also offers a glimpse into the current world of educating deaf and hard of hearing students in the 21st century.
Highlights of the tour include original woodwork from 1898, stained glass windows in the former chapel, the school’s cherished museum which houses a wealth of artifacts and photographs from throughout the decades at St. Mary’s, and a brief meet and greet with a few of the school’s residential students, which comprise approximately 30 percent of the current school population. This is a one-of-a-kind tour in one of Buffalo’s iconic buildings!
This tour meets at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, 2253 Main St., Buffalo. Enter the driveway from Main Street to use the parking lot which is behind the buildings. The main entrance faces the parking lot and is up a flight of stairs.
Adventures in Buffalo History
March 3, 7 to 9 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo
Tickets: $10 adults, Explorer Pass holders free
Irish Sinners and Saints: Explore Buffalo’s “Green Pride” as we discuss notable Irishmen who have had a strong impact on Buffalo’s history. Learn about Bishop John Timon and his quest to build a cathedral and become “Savior of the Irish.” Did you know one of the First Ward’s finest young men became the most decorated soldier in American history? And let’s not forget colorful characters like “Fingy” Connors and Jimmy Griffin. Join us for a fun evening remembering some of Buffalo’s famous, or infamous, Irish ancestors.
Art’s Up: The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy (BFAA) and Its Impact Near and Far: The parent organization of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is the BFAA which was established in 1862 and for over 150 years has been an ambassador for Buffalo — locally, nationally and globally.
Review BFAA’s history, including key events and “firsts” such as being the first major art museum to have a woman director. The event will also focus on a selection of people throughout the years who’ve had significant influence, such as our own “Monuments Men,” who helped recover Nazi-looted art during World War II.
The fascinating facts you learn may help you in a trivia contest and will offer a better understanding of the BFAA’s role yesterday, today and tomorrow as it sets its goals to continue to serve a diverse community and remain a leading promoter of the Buffalo area.
Brewing Buffalo Bus Tour
March 5, 1 to 5 p.m.
73 Hamburg St., Buffalo
Tickets: $60 adults, $55 Explorer Pass holders
Brewing in Buffalo has continually evolved from its beginnings in the early 1800s to its present day revival. At its peak in the early 1900s before Prohibition, Buffalo’s brewing industry included nearly 30 independent breweries producing millions of gallons of beer each year. Today, Buffalo’s brewing culture is returning, with the opening of numerous craft breweries around the city.
Join Explore Buffalo for a four-hour bus tour to learn about the history of brewing in the Queen City, and visit four craft breweries for interior tours and product samples. Samples are included at each of the brewery stops on the tour, and light appetizers will be provided at the final stop. Tour participant must be 21 or older and reservations are required.
City of Light Bus Tour
March 12, 1 to 4 p.m.
205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo
Tickets: $40 adults, $35 Explorer Pass holders
At the end of the 19th century, Buffalo was a major American city in the forefront of technological progress. It was a busy inland port and a railroad hub with heavy industry and state-of-the-art electricity – all of which brought great wealth to the city. These economic and technological developments culminated in 1901 when Buffalo hosted a spectacular world’s fair, the Pan-American Exposition!
Experience Buffalo through the eyes of the narrator of Lauren Belfer’s historical novel, City of Light, which is set in Buffalo at the dawn of the 20th century. Reservations required.
UB History of Health Sciences Collection Behind-the-Scenes Tour
March 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Abbott Hall, UB South Campus
3435 Main St., Buffalo
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 Explorer Pass holders and students
Come to the behind-the-scenes tour of the UB History Health Sciences Collection in Abbott Hall to spend an evening with the curator and find medicinal whiskey, a foot-powered dental drill, early training models of the human body that bear a certain resemblance to Operation, and more curiosities in the History of the Health Sciences Collection!
Plus, check out the closed stacks, where 17th and 19th century books on “medical monstrosities” from Renaissance Europe can be found in company with the earliest records of the UB Medical School.
Originally built as the Lockwood Library, the library was designed by E.B. Green and named in honor of benefactor Thomas Lockwood. Green modeled the exterior of the building on the Villa La Rotonda in Vicenza, Italy, designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The interior of the main reading room is modeled from a room in Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England.
Access to the Rare Book Room, originally built to house Thomas Lockwood’s prized collection, is also included in the tour. Located on the top floor at one of the highest points in the city of Buffalo, the marvelous view of Buffalo from the Rare Book Room is not to be missed!
The tour will end with light refreshments and the opportunity to discuss the collection with the curator.
Parking for this tour is available in the Diefendorf Lot; the entrance to Abbott Hall is at the back of the building facing the parking lot.
Electric Tower and Big Ditch Brewery Behind-the-Scenes Tour
March 24, 6 to 9 p.m.
535 Washington St., Buffalo
Tickets: $35 adults, $30 Explorer Pass holders
The Electric Tower is one of Buffalo’s most recognizable landmarks, symbolizing the City of Light as it shines both day and night. Join Explore Buffalo for a unique tour and an exclusive opportunity to tour areas of the Electric Tower that are normally off limits to the public, in combination with a tour of Big Ditch Brewery. This tour will include the historic seventh floor, where the former executive offices and boardroom are found, as well as the auditorium inside the top of this distinctive tower. Big Ditch Brewery, located across the street, is an exciting recent addition to Buffalo’s brewing scene that opened in 2014.
Included at the end of this tour is a flight of beer and appetizers at Big Ditch Brewery. Space on this tour is limited, and reservations are required.
For more information and to make reservations for any of these tours, please visit www.explorebuffalo.org or call 245-3032.