The Richardson Olmsted Campus is one of three national sites to receive the 2018 Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation National Preservation Award, granted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The prestigious award honors adaptive reuse and innovative preservation efforts to utilize historic buildings in the future. The 145-year-old campus’ recent restoration, including the inception of Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, qualified the campus.
Back in 1872, when the campus was completed, Ulysses S. Grant won his second term in presidential office. Suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted illegally for the first time, advocating for women’s right to vote.
At 145 years old, the campus has witnessed the rust belt city at its population height during the Industrial Revolution, through its post-industry decline to its recent resurgence.
“This Dreihaus award is a tremendous honor as it represents recognition at a national level. It is especially heartening for the recognition of all of the hard work and community support that went into this project. We think it is a huge boost for Buffalo,” Mark Mortenson, executive director of the Richardson Olmsted Campus, said.
The long-dormant 42-acre complex found new life when CityInn Buffalo opened Hotel Henry in 2017.
The project revitalized just over one-third of the entire 463,000 square feet campus. With 10 of the 13 historic buildings remaining to be rehabilitated, there is still much work to be done.
“We are now in active negotiations with two developers and continue to pursue other development interest to bring our vision of a live-work-and-play campus to life, ” Mortenson said. By Francesca Bond and Alexander W. Silvia