BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Western New Yorkers have watched new life come to the old Richardson Olmsted Complex as the Hotel Henry opened and started accepting guests there this year.
Now, the Hotel Henry is opening all its doors to the public to showcase local artists’ work on permanent display and the renovations that have transformed the building to its current use as an 88-room urban resort and conference center.
The Hotel Henry’s first Art Walk will be Thursday, July 13, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. The event is free and no tickets are required. Free parking is available near the main entrance on the north side of the building, located at the Corner of Rockwell Road and Cleveland Circle.
Everyone will be able to explore the building, both the private areas like the guest rooms, and the areas like the 100 Acres restaurant that are open to the public all the time.
“The restaurant will be open for dinner, there will be cash bars along the way, and it will be a really fun event,” explained Jessica Mancini, a member of the Hotel Henry’s curatorial programming team. “The artists will be here. They’ll have pop up space as well to sell their prints.”
More artists will be able to have their work on display in the building in the future, as the Hotel Henry continues to expand its art program.
“We’re working with a lot of different local artists and local galleries to really see what kind of revolving pop up art installations we can really have,” Mancini said. “There’s so much space and it’s such a unique space that it really calls for art and it really fits.”
The Richardson Olmsted Complex was originally built as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane around 140 years ago. Later, it became the Buffalo Psych Center, but then was left empty for decades, leading to serious deterioration before restoration work started.
Earlier this year, the ribbon was cut on phase one of the renovation work, which covers about one-third of the buildings in the complex designed by renowned architect H.H. Richardson and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
The Hotel Henry’s first guests were invited to stay in the renovated space in late April 2015. The decor blends contemporary comfort with the historical architectural features that make the building such an iconic place.
The high ceilings and expansive walls in the former patient rooms-turned guest rooms and the one-time day-use areas that are now hotel hallways act really as a blank canvas for the curatorial team at the Hotel Henry to highlight fine art from around Western New York.
“There’s a lot to see when you come in here and that’s what makes even the first art walk so exciting, not to mention the many more that are to follow,” Mancini said.
If you’d like to attend the first Art Walk, you can find more information on the Hotel Henry website: https://www.hotelhenry.com/events/#first-art-walk
News 4’s Katie Alexander got a sneak peak of some of the art and spaces that will be showcased during the Art Walk. Watch the videos below.
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