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Buffalo History Museum – Restore, Reactivate, Reconnect

There’s big news underway at the Buffalo History Museum. The museum is 80% of the way towards reaching its $1.43 million goal, which will allow the Buffalo landmark to move forward with significant infrastructure upgrades. The first of those upgrades is to restore 2600 square feet of space under the building’s portico that has not been open to the public for nearly three decades.

Photo: History Museum

Not only will this be valuable space for exhibits and events, it will also help to reconnect the museum to the Olmsted park. Doors and windows will be replaced, revealing natural light and an additional access point. The project is being called Restore, Reactivate, Reconnect.

The capital campaign, launched in fall 2016 has reached 80 percent of its $1.43 million goal.

“Since 1862, The Buffalo History Museum serves as a ready-made social network,” Melissa Brown said. “Our future success requires focused efforts to foster our intrinsic connectivity. We are reclaiming two prime spaces – totaling 6,000 square feet – within the 1901 Pan Am building. Restore, Reactivate, Reconnect invites the community to experience history in new, exciting ways.”

Two guest-centered restoration projects reactivate 30 percent of the National Historic Landmark.

“The restoration, supported by our friends, donors, and members, is sustained through diverse exhibits, programing and community events, continuing the museum’s tradition of honoring and sharing Western New York stories,” said Steven McCarville, president of the Board of Managers. “This campaign was considered with great care in maximizing the museum’s impact, expanding its role as a history hub, and connecting people from all walks. Can you imagine how great The Buffalo History Museum will be when 100% of our space is utilized?”

The second part of the initiative will be to take the ‘Bflo Made!’ exhibit and create a flexible space that can be used for various reasons on the fly. Came fall, the museum anticipates featuring a show dedicated Buffalo sports called Icons: The Makers & Moments of Buffalo Sports.

Carmina Wood Morris is proud to be providing pro-bono the architectural, planning and preservation guidance for this project.

“The Buffalo History Museum, which itself is an iconic architectural artifact, dating back to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, needs to fully function as a 21st Century museum to tell Buffalo’s story,”said Mayor Brown. “My administration has invested more than $1.5 million for infrastructure upgrades at the Museum and see the “Restore, Reactivate, Reconnect” effort as the pathway to enhancing the facility’s connection between Buffalo’s past, present and future.” 

The project will:

  • Restore our park and lake side entryway for generations to come
  • Reactivate and transform one-third of space within our National Historic Landmark building into state of the art exhibitions and flexible use space for public programs, education and events
  • Reconnect your history museum with the Olmsted Park system

“Our history is full of larger-than-life figures and events, and with the Restore, Reactivate, Reconnect effort the History Museum is preparing to showcase more of these stories in an expanded and more accessible space,” said, County Executive Poloncarz. “Together, we are protecting and investing in our rich historical legacy and making it more available to future generations.”

Image: Joe Cascio

Altogether, the space in question is approximately one third of the entire museum, or 6000 square feet. The space under the portico has been sealed off due to water damage.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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