Richardson Olmsted Complex
RICHARDSON OLMSTED COMPLEX, the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane
Buffalo, New York
National Historic Landmark
Buffalo’s National Historic Landmark multi-building historic asylum was designed by H. H. Richardson and Olmsted & Vaux on 200 acres at the edge of the city from 1871-1895. Barbara was the designer and project manager for the restoration and reuse of Building 10, one of the original hospital ward buildings, which was adapted for office use in 1990 and served as a prototype for the restoration of the complex.
Changes in hospital management kept the rest of the complex from being restored until the State of New York allocated $70 million in 2006 towards the development of the site, and created a new nonprofit to manage the program. Barbara was appointed by the Governor in 2007 as one of five national board members to oversee the site’s development and create an Architecture Center, boutique hotel and conference center in the famous Richardson towers and the two wards on either side of the towers. She is managing the institutional development of the new Buffalo Architecture Center which includes creating a tour of the site, designing and developing the content for exhibits and writing a new film on the past, present and future of the site.
Owner: Richardson Center Corporation
Original design drawing of the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, 1871, architect H. H. Richardson.
Building 10, typical corridor, before restoration.
Building 10, typical patient room, before restoration.
Building 10, main corridor and new reception space, after restoration.
Building 10, typical window during restoration.
Building 10, detail of plaster ceiling, after restoration.
Building 10, typical corridor, before restoration. Photographer, Patricia Bazelon.
Building 10, typical patient room, before restoration. Photographer, Patricia Bazelon.
Building 10, plaster detail, after restoration.
Birdseye view of the Richardson Olmsted Complex and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, from Gates Circle.
Building 45 (the Towers), main lobby, after restoration. Detail of new exhibit panel.
Detail of new exhibit panel inside Building 45 (the Towers).
Tour of Richardson Olmsted Complex, exterior.
Tour of Richardson Olmsted Complex, interior of Building 10.
South facade of Buildings 45 and 10, 2012.
South facade, Building 45, 2012.
Detail of Building 45 towers, 2012.