Arts & Museums
A classic example of Art Deco architectural design, this building ranks as an early 20th Century Americanesque masterpiece and has been considered an enduring symbol of Buffalo's genius and spirit since it was designed in 1929 by John J. Wade. Located in the center of downtown and overlooking Buffalo's main public square, the 32-story building boasts Native American-influenced tile details, friezes showing aspects of city life, and a top-floor observation tower with views of Lake Erie and the city.
Taking up some 400,000 square feet, this central public library in the downtown Lafayette Square area serves as the headquarters for the entire 53-outlet Buffalo and Erie County library system. Built in 1964, the librart houses over two million books, a 324-seat auditorium for lectures and presentations and a photographic collection with more than 200,000 pictures in 600 different subject areas. Rare book aficionados can visit the Mark Twain Room, with its original Adventures of Huckleberry Finn manuscript. There is also a 600-volume collection of anti-slavery books.
Originally constructed in 1849, St Paul's is not only one of Buffalo's most beautiful churches, it's one of the oldest buildings in the whole city. After a fire in 1888, the Cathedral was rebuilt, and is still providing weekly services to its congregation. The peaceful Cathedral Park setting is also a favorite spot for downtown workers seeking a shady spot to eat their lunches.
This French-revival style building, sitting on land once owned by Joseph Ellicott, designer of Buffalo, was the largest office building in the world upon its opening in 1896. Featured is a central atrium with a glass roof, marble stairways, and a beautiful mosaic floor. The elevators on both the Main and Washington Street sides are framed in polished brass. Designed by Charles Atwood of Chicago, the final cost of construction was USD3.5 million. Nearby attractions include Buffalo Place and the Theater District.
This society in downtown Buffalo close to Dunn Tire Park and Erie Basin Marina is dedicated to the preservation of the area's rapidly fading maritime past. Its holdings include hundreds of thousands of documents, photos, oral histories and artifacts. The museum features a library, shop, offices, research labs, photo dark room and display area. The society has loaned its materials to local institutions including the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Their showcases change frequently as they are always acquiring new materials.
Run by the non-profit Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA), this gallery in the Buffalo Theater District features photograph-based exhibits including stills, films and videos. Located in the historic Market Arcade building, the space consists of an upper, underground and passageway gallery. Recent and ongoing exhibits include Irish Republicans: Ireland & America and Buffalo: Portrait of a City, featuring interviews with kids from impoverished areas of the inner city. Apart from exhibits, CEPA also runs a digital lab and darkroom, educational programs and workshops.
Dedicated to the musicians of Buffalo and Western New York, this hall of fame features musical memorabilia, displays and plaques outlining the area's musical history. Situated within the Buffalo Visitors' Center in the heart of the Buffalo Theater District), the hall started out as an off-shoot of the Buffalo Music Awards and has become a tourist attraction of its own.The facility is run by a non-profit group of volunteers who ensure that Buffalo's musicians get their due—and that future stars have a place where they'll be remembered.
This Buffalo landmark, designed by well-known architects Jeremiah O'Rourke, William M. Aiken, and James Knox Taylor and modeled after the Flemish Gothic tradition, opened in 1901 as Buffalo's Main Post Office. The four story main court, with skylights, flows into spectacular arched galleries which make up the bulk of the building's space. It became the city campus of Erie Community College in 1975 after extensive renovation. Nearby attractions include Dunn Tire Park and Buffalo Place.
This studio and gallery, which opened in 2005, features the work of many talented local artists. However, what makes this studio different is that the artists are adults with developmental disabilities. It's the first studio of its kind in Western New York. Established by the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, the studio provides art instruction for the disabled under the direction of professional artists. These artists work in a variety of media, including printmaking, painting, mixed media, fiber, sculpture, drawing, and ceramics. The public gallery is also open to other community artists for exhibits. -Christine A. Smyczynski
Whether you're looking for cutting-edge visual arts, contemporary music, or innovative performance art, this is the place to be. Located in the The Ashbury Delaware Church, this non-profit center offers annual memberships which can be used to get discounts on the admission price of events. It also allows members to exhibit their own work at the annual January Members Show.
The umbrella organization for art activities in Buffalo and Erie County, this council is responsible for the vibrant artistic community here. From the visual arts to theater, from gala film festivals to modern dance marathons, the council provides funding and support. This allows national and international artists to put on shows and perform in a variety of venues—from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Shea's Performing Arts Center to community theaters and galleries. The council also has its own gallery space for hosting exhibitions of upcoming and well-known artists.
The Nash House Museum is located in the old home of Reverend J. Edward Nash, Sr. who was an important leader in Buffalo's African American population in the 20th Century. He greatly helped his community and was respected nationwide, including hosting a meeting with Booker T. Washington. The Nash House Museum features important letters and artifacts from Nash's life. Tours are by appointment.