48 Freeman Road
Williamsville, NY 14221
Phone: (716) 634-2700
Fax: (716) 634-1644
Arts & Museums
This is the place to come if you want to know all about America's favorite powdered gelatin. In 1897, Mr. Pearle Bixby Wait developed the wiggly dessert in LeRoy, NY, and later sold the idea to Mr. Orator Woodward, who successfully promoted it. The museum has exhibits of gelatin products from all over the world, along with how Jell-O grew to be a popular dessert in this country. There is even a video showing commercials made about Jell-O gelatin and puddings, many featuring Bill Cosby who has been the Jell-O spokesperson since 1974. The museum’s gift shop has all sorts of Jell-O related merchandise, even a Jell-O mold to make a replica of a human brain. - Christine A. Smyczynski
Once home to Dr. Samuel Potter, this elegant building now houses the Lancaster Historical Society. Originally built along Broadway in 1895, it was moved to Clark Street in the 1940s and used as the town library until 1973. One of the many architecturally significant buildings in the village, the structure features a round porch and widow's walk. The museum's collection includes artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to the town of Lancaster, including a collection of items made at the old Lancaster glass factory. The historical society also operates a one-room schoolhouse, located at William Street and Bowen Road. – Christine A. Smyczynski
This stone building, built in 1843 as a church meeting house, houses the collection of the Clarence Historical Society. Items include WWI and WWII artifacts, memorabilia from area churches and an automotive display, as the building once housed the local auto club. The technology wing, added in the mid-1990's, features the original red barn where Clarence resident, Wilson Greatbach, invented the implantable heart pacemaker in the 1950's. On the grounds of the museum is an 1825 log cabin, one of the oldest buildings in Clarence, which was moved here from the northern part of the town. – Christine A. Smyczynski
This one-of-a-kind museum, operated by the human service agency, People, Inc., focuses on how people with disabilities were treated throughout the ages. While the words moron, idiot and cretin are considered insults today, back in the 1800s these were acceptable medical terms to describe people with mental disabilities. Some exhibits explain early asylum care, as well as other negative aspects like forced sterilization of the "feeble-minded." Other exhibits focus on the positive changes that have taken place in the way those with disabilities are treated, such as programs like the Special Olympics. This museum hopes to advance the understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities. - Christine A. Smyczynski
Hailed for its world-class art collection by ArtNews, this prestigious gallery is located in University Heights less than one mile from The University at Buffalo's South Campus. The gallery, which features sculptures, paintings, drawings and other graphics media from the Second World War to the present day, has long been recognized as a top-drawer art space—both in the U.S. and around the world. Just as spectacular is the space itself, an award-winning building with two large floors of exhibit rooms, crowned by a sculpture atrium that seems to soar to the sky.
For decades, equipment used by firefighters from the early 1800s gathered rust in musty rooms until it was decided in 1981 that these brave men should have more significance than just dusty memories. Included is an 1831 hand pump, an parade carriage from 1893, and an early 20th-century street-corner fire alarm. Throughout the museum visitors will see what it takes to make it as a firefighter and the obstacles they face on the job. One display honors a group of firefighters who lost their lives when a propane tank exploded. The museum is run by volunteers with no admission fee and it is a great place to take the kids as well as anyone interested in what real heroes do.
Iron Island is not some piece of land you'll find in the middle of Lake Erie, this 'island' is actually in the Lovejoy Neighborhood of Buffalo. The oddly named museum is run under the auspices of the Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy and the society's aim is to preserve the historical record of the area. Inside the museum, guests will find memorabilia, artistic renderings of buildings and photos of war veterans who lived in the area to an authentic, wooden altar from an 1896 church that once stood on the site. One other side note, it is said that the building is haunted by a ghost named 'Edgar', a war veteran who never had his remains buried.
Originally a windshield wiper factory, this gallery provides space for local artists to practice their craft. There's also an art gallery that features exhibitions from local and regional artists, both those just starting out and mid-careerists, in its 3,000 square-foot space. The studio also offers workshops for both adults and children in everything from photography to pottery. You'll find it relatively close to Delaware Park in the Tri-Main Center.
This gallery has come a long way from 1993 when a group of women met in an apartment owned by one of the founders. Even though it moved to a larger space in the Tri-Main Center in 1998, it still managed to maintain the warmth of those early days. Today, the group presents about a dozen shows a year featuring mostly female artists. Located close to Delaware Park, the gallery has Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center and the Buffalo Arts Studio among its neighbors.
This museum is dedicated to all things science, from cosmology and natural history to archaeology and zoology, the museum's collection surely has something to entice the visitor. One of the highlights is the ephemeral Tibetan Sand Mandala that appears and disappears in accordance with the Buddhist axiom of impermanence. The museum also has one of the largest known Kodiak bear specimens in North America and its perfect for posing pictures. If you visit at night, you can visit the Kellogg observatory and take a look into the heavens (weather permitting). The museum also promotes science in the community among citizens as well as educators and researchers, with its various programs for children, families and schools held throughout the year. Check website for completer list of exhibits and event schedule.
When this railway terminal was built in 1929 west of Buffalo's Lovejoy Neighborhood, the Great Depression was about to hit. Despite its art deco majesty, the station never caught on with travelers. It began a slow decline, halted temporarily only by the World War II business boom. The Central Terminal Restoration Corporation took it over in 1997, and the station is re-discovering its splendor, symbolized by the re-lighting of its 9-foot diameter clocks. A photographic history of the station can be found at the Iron Island Museum.
Founded in 1862 by former President Millard Fillmore (also a Buffalo native) and housed in the last remaining building from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, the Society has exhibits on Western New York history from the first explorers to the present. Included in the over 80,000 artifacts are items such as the pistol used to assassinate President William McKinley in Buffalo in 1901. The building and the Delaware Park setting alone are worth the visit.