The most famous and influential of American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), designed a residence for wealthy Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin around the turn of the 20th century. The Martin House is not only a testament to the wealth and grandeur in Buffalo’s history as an economic and cultural powerhouse of that period, but also a coherent and affecting work of art. Group tours are available.
Building on more than 150 years of extraordinary tradition, the collections of the Albright-Knox in modern and contemporary art make it the equal or superior of much more famous institutions such as the MoMA. While its main campus on Elmwood Avenue is currently closed for a multi-million-dollar renovation until 2022, its Northland location is hosting numerous exhibits of contemporary art as well as special events. Group tours are available.
The only brick-and-mortar museum of its kind in the United States, this tremendously valuable resource for research, preservation, and education is, as their website states, “dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities.” Their website includes information on exhibits and events, lesson plans, and programming.
The third oldest zoo in the US, the Buffalo Zoo has grown from its beginnings as a pair of deer gifted to the city in 1875 to a major regional and national attraction. As their website says: “no longer are animals housed at the Buffalo Zoo solely for the amusement and entertainment of visitors, but rather, are presented to increase awareness for the importance of conservation for the benefit of both the animal kingdom and the human race.”
Another jewel of fin-de-siècle landscape design and architecture brought to Buffalo by the genius of Frederick Law Olmsted and others, the conservatory at the Gardens was based on the famous Crystal Palace in London. The gardens offer their vivid sights, sounds, and smells to more than 140,000 visitors annually, offering a variety of special programs for young people and many exhibits and events.
From its origins as a humble bicycle manufacturing company, the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company became an emblem of Buffalo’s opulence in the early 20th century, producing luxury vehicles for the nation’s elite and seeing the height of its success during the years of the First World War. Many experts consider certain Pierce-Arrow models to be among the finest cars ever produced. Today, the Pierce-Arrow Museum keeps the memory of this period alive.
The museum at this site - a former social club affiliated with the racially segregated Buffalo Local 533 Union of the American Federation of Musicians - is a testament to the unique, valuable, and enduring contribution to both local and national cultural history made by Buffalonian musicians of color in the 20th century, made against extraordinary odds and with style to spare. The website hosts a trove of information, images, and historical narrative, an events calendar, and information on renting the space or using it for recording.
As the sole National Park Service location in Western New York, the Inaugural Site preserves the house and grounds of 641 Delaware Avenue, where Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated as the President of the United States following the assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in September 1901. Restored to its erstwhile glory, the site today preserves the memory of these events in grand style and contributes to discussion of Roosevelt’s legacy.
Named by the American Planning Association as one of the country’s ten best neighborhoods, the Elmwood Village neighborhood is home to Buffalo’s most popular bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops of all kinds. From comic books to records to spices to microbreweries, Elmwood delivers the goods with an upbeat and contemporary style.
The shops and eateries of Hertel Avenue offer the clearest and most vibrant sign of Buffalo’s recent resurgence. The venerable North Park Theater, an old-fashioned movie-house fast approaching its centennial, has been fully restored to its glittering twentieth-century glory, while an influx of halal and Latinx eateries has added a diverse, contemporary, and inclusive allure to the street’s thoroughly old-Buffalo attractions, including Italian and Greek food.
One of Buffalo’s most remarkable and enduring landmarks, the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane and its grounds on Forest Avenue were designed by famed American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and landscape designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The vast, rambling complex once housed a then-progressive treatment center for the mentally ill, but was abandoned in the 1970s. Recent efforts to renovate portions of the old structure have resulted in three new additions to Buffalo’s cultural scene: the Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, 100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry, and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Center.
One of the classic American travel attractions visited by tourists the world over through many generations, the State Park now features a multitude of points of interest, including restaurants, tours, shopping, interactive exhibits, fireworks displays, a theater, and an aquarium. There's a regular schedule of special events, and all-inclusive passes as well as ordinary tickets to individual sites are available for purchase.