Kirkbride Buildings Blog

September 9th, 2011

Buffalo Kirkbride Tours

Buffalo State Hospital
Public tours of the Buffalo Kirkbride building have been scheduled for this fall! The one hour guided tours will take place on Saturday, October 15th; Sunday, October 16th; and Sunday, October 23rd. Email info@richardson-olmsted.com to make reservations and for payment and parking instructions.

I was lucky enough to take a semi-public tour of the Buffalo Kirkbride back in July. We were shown the basement and first floor of the admin, one floor each of two wing sections, plus a bit of the attic. I’m not sure, but from the description on the Richardson Center Corporation’s Facebook page, I gather that these upcoming tours will more or less cover the same area.

The interior is pretty much as impressive as you’d guess by looking at the exterior. I’m sure, like me, you’ve seen pictures of the inside before, but actually being in that space is something pictures can’t really prepare you for.  Most everything is on a massive scale and exudes a sort of robust energy, except for the main staircase in the admin curiously. It’s a really nice staircase, but it’s surprisingly modest compared to everything else. It was interesting too to see some of the interior preservation work the Richardson Center Corporation has been doing. It looked really good and in keeping with the building’s spirit. They still have a lot to do though.

Since taking the tour is a way to contribute to their preservation work, I really recommend it to any Kirkbride enthusiast who can make it to Buffalo in October. I’ll write a bit more about my own experience touring the Kirkbride on a later date, after I finally sit down and process all the pictures I took.

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Discussion

  1. M-Explorer September 10, 2011, 6:12 am

    I’m glad to hear you were able to get into that July tour. They offered it to me also, but I was too busy with another event to attend.

    I also whole heartily agree that that more people should go on those tours, not only to see that beautiful Kirkbride, but also to help them raise money.

  2. Ethan September 10, 2011, 10:13 am

    Too busy??? I suppose there might be things more important than touring the Buffalo Kirkbride, but I’m having a hard time thinking of any :)

  3. sean September 11, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Hi, thanks for the heads-up on the tours. its a very worthwile trip for sure, an amazing building. i got to see it a few years back, still blown away by it.

    i know what you mean about the main stair… i have it in my notes that it was originally a centrally located stair (i guess the tour guide mentioned it). i too was a little disapointed by it! i think there must have been a lot of other changes to this area of the building, perhaps even during the construction phase. One of the washrooms has a set of three windows that look suspiciously like they should be lighting a stair well! if you see them, you`ll know what i mean!

    cheers, sean
    cheers, sean

  4. WSH September 12, 2011, 11:39 am

    Are you guys sure the stairs are original? I know that in A LOT of asylums the original admin. stair were modified per state fire code to make them less hazardous.

  5. M-Explorer September 15, 2011, 6:34 am

    Too busy???

    Heh, I was at the Syracuse Nationals, a hot rod show, (Another passion of mine) with my father all weekend if you must know! :)

    Now the question is did you get and good shots and if so, gonna post ’em?

  6. Teresa Bailey November 30, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Back in 1964, I was at St. E’s for 3 months for a psychiatric affiliation during my nursing education. I only remember being in the nurses’ dorm, dining building and 2 buildings that housed patients(can’t remember the names as it has been so long ago).The most impressive part was the iron fence around the facility. The gates locked at specific times and we had to be inside the gates or we were locked out. I have alot of good memories while there and loved psych nursing.

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