Come Explore with us… Buffalo NY 2024

Buffalo, NY
Thursday, August 22 - Sunday, August 25

Preservation NC’s President and CEO Benjamin Briggs and Studio Traveler’s Adeline Talbot have offered excursions to historic cities and places annually since 2013. In 2024 come explore Buffalo, NY with us…


Schedule of events:

Wednesday, August 21st

Tour begins at 2:30 p.m.


We begin with special treat to set the tone for our busy days to come. At 2:30 p.m. we will convene in the lobby of our hotel, where a chartered bus will take us to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House. It is hard to overstate the pleasures to be found while touring this complex—and complex it is, there are three houses on the property, all designed by Wright.  The residences are in pristine condition with each containing numerous and exquisite examples of the hallmarks of Wright’s work—the low and close entrances; massive hearths and Wright-designed furniture to name but a few. We take our time and take it all in one gorgeous room at a time. Our tour concludes with a private cocktail reception where we can relax, get to know our fellow participants–and perhaps dream for just a bit about living in such a house as this.

Thursday, August 22nd


We begin the morning with a leisurely walking tour led by PNC President Benjamin Briggs. He takes us through Buffalo’s history as one of America’s great industrial cities as evidenced by her extraordinary treasury of buildings. A partial but tantalizing list—Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building; D.H. Burnham’s Ellicott Square, Eliel & Eero Saarinen’s Kleinhans Music Hall as well as the outstanding Art Deco style of Buffalo City Hall and the grand Beaux Arts flourish of Fountain Plaza. Prepare to be amazed!


We break for lunch at this popular downtown lunch spot which is run by the culinary arts students at Emerson Public High School.  It doesn’t get more local—or delicious—than this.


Buffalo, like so many of the industrial powerhouses of the 20th century, must now reinvent itself. The city was once the world’s largest grain port and retains as a legacy of that status a mile of concrete grain elevators adjacent to downtown alongside the shores of Lake Erie. Now known as Silo City, these silos have been repurposed as a gathering place for festivals, literary readings, and concerts. Our tour gives us a chance to experience the city’s dynamic reinvention of itself through this creative reimaging.

Our next tour is of Central Terminal, where repurposing has presented special challenges after passenger traffic ceased in 1979. In 1997, the Preservation Coalition of Erie County acquired it from its third erstwhile private developer for $1—such was the state of decay after two decades of neglect—and its dedicated restoration began. While the work continues, tremendous progress has been made and soon the terminal will once again be vibrant asset to the city.


Formerly known as the Albright Knox Gallery, AKG Buffalo has newly reopened after a major renovation and expansion.  The AKG now has three distinct museum buildings–the original 1905 neo-Classical building designed by E.B. Green; a 1962 modernist building designed by Gordon Bunshaft and the newest building designed by OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu and opening just last year, a three story statement of curtained-wall glass. Our tour will be primarily focused on these architectural riches—but lucky us—we will be there on Thursday which is a late closing day at AKG. After our organized tour, there will still be plenty of time to self-guide through the galleries.

Friday, August 23rd


Graycliff, was the country residence of the Darwin Martin family–their 4th Wright-designed house—and, this one is yet another stunner. A mere 30 minutes outside Buffalo, the rural surroundings only add to the serene elegance of the architecture with a view that extends seemingly forever out over Lake Erie.  We will enjoy an extensive private tour of the house and grounds.


We return to town with a stop off in this vibrant downtown neighborhood for a chose-your-own ‘free-range’ lunch—choices abound—and a bit of a wander before hopping back on our bus and heading to our next tour.


Arguably Frederick Law Olmsted’s crowning achievement is not Central Park—as indisputably magnificent as that urban wonder is. Of equal or greater elegance and importance was the park system that Olmsted and partner Calvert Vaux designed for Buffalo–a vast ring-shaped park encircling the city allowing almost every citizen to feel they lived on the edge of parklands. Sadly, some of the original design is no longer extant but much remains and continues to be an invaluable asset. ‘Explore Buffalo’, the dynamic promoter of all things Buffalo, has put together a special bus tour just for us allowing us to make the most of our time as we chart Olmsted’s legacy throughout the city.


For our final visit we are the guests Preservation Buffalo Niagara as they tour us around Eastside, the focus of some of their ongoing work to support revitalization in this once-neglected area of the city. We then return to The Richardson when it will be our turn to host PBN staff members at our celebratory happy hour.

Saturday, August 24th

Tour ends