Buffalo celebrates a new green space

October 31, 2013 by  

On Saturday, September 28, Buffalo residents enjoyed the unveiling of the Richardson Olmsted Complex’s new south lawn, a project that has been ongoing for approximately eight years.

The lawn, which is nine acres in size, was once two parking lots that lay between Forest Avenue and the complex. Now, the green space can be used by the public for picnics, walks, or just to enjoy being outside. So far, reaction to the new lawn has been very positive.

The buildings forming the complex date from 1870 and were designed by two famous architects: Frederick Law Olmsted and Henry Hobson Richardson. For decades, the structure was used as a psychiatric hospital run by the state, but was left vacant in the 1970s. Many lawmakers have spent years trying to protect and restore the complex, which is considered an architectural treasure.

With the lawn construction finished, the next part of the plan is to build a conference center, boutique hotel, and architectural venue. Sam Hoyt, who once served in the state assembly and is now Regional President of Empire State Development, saws the new project will improve not only the economy, but also the quality of life enjoyed by Buffalo residents. The final parts of the project will cost approximately $56m, with construction slated to begin in early 2014.

Buffalo officials might consider working with a poster printing company to create posters that show the new lawn and the building complex behind it. They could be sold as a way to create interest in the green space, as well as raising funds to help maintain it.