Updated - Aug 21st, 2013
Master Plan and Generic Environmental Impact Statement
Taking place throughout 2008 and concluding with the final report in the Summer of 2009, the Master Plan assessed the Richardson Olmsted buildings and site, adjacent neighborhoods and, with a public process, created a plan for long term development of the historic buildings and grounds.
The Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) assessed the potential for significant environmental effects of the Master Plan (such as land use, traffic, air quality, noise, and cultural and historic resources), and identifies potential mitigation measures. The Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement was approved by Empire State Development, the lead agency, on May 23, 2011.
A mixed use campus will start with a core set of integrated uses - a boutique hotel and event and conference space and an architecture center – in the iconic Towers Building and two flanking buildings to the east and west. The Buffalo Architecture Center will focus on interactive exhibits and programming to showcase the architecture and landscape of the region and the site, including the history of mental health care. Priority activities have directed limited resources to achieve the broadest impact in the near term and be a catalyst for future investment. Phase I and phase II stabilization activities are complete to prevent further deterioration and prepare for future development.
The South Lawn landscape and circulation re-greening project is nearly complete. Rehabilitation of the South Lawn between the historic buildings and Forest Avenue will recapture the space for gathering and recreation, relocate parking, construct paths and reinstate the once pervasive tree canopy. The north side of the towers administration building will become the main entry for tours and visitors with a new northern entry via an east-west road, preserving the bucolic character of the South Lawn and allowing for a greater intensity of use and access to the complex from the north without diminishing the importance of the historic south entrance.
Chan Krieger Sieniewicz prepared the Richardson Olmsted Complex Master Plan. Based in Cambridge MA, Chan Krieger Sieniewicz combines planning and urban design work with experience as architects, which results in a keen understanding of the technical aspects required for successful implementation of planning ideas. Familiar with Buffalo through the widely recognized innovative and practical plan for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Chan Krieger Sieniewicz has completed master plans for historic campuses at Rhode Island School of Design, which helped win a 1997 Preservation Award from the Providence Preservation Society, Harvard Medical School and UMASS Dartmouth.
Members of Master Planning team were Alex Krieger and David Gamble of Chan Krieger Sieniewicz (architecture and urban design), Robert Shibley from the University at Buffalo Urban Design Project (public precess), Mark Tytka and Nick Raczyk of Parsons Brinckerhoff (GEIS and permitting), Gary Papke of Clarion Associates (economic modeling), Bill Weyland adn Barry Alberts of City Visions/City Properties (real estate development), Douglas Reed and John Kett of Reed Hilderbrand Associates (landscape architecture), John Bero and Virginia Searl of Bero Architecture (historic preservation) and Joe Dommer and Kevin Mahoney of Baer & Associates (cost estimating).