- Romantic hotel chain offers refunds for guests who get divorced
- Hotels will offer free internet, toughen cancellation policies in 2015
- Hotels that offer over-the-top amenities — for your pets
- FCC: Thousands of hotels dont offer direct 911
- Sabres send support to Kyle Okposo, whos hospitalized and in intensive care – The Buffalo News
BUFFALO, N.Y. — For more than 75 years, few people looked forward to a visit to 444 Forest Ave. That’s because it was known as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, later the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
But now the distinctive brick-and-red-sandstone building designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson is much more welcoming. In April, it opened as the Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center (hotelhenry.com).
Its 88 rooms — four of them suites — have high ceilings, contemporary styling and European bathrooms with large LED-lit mirrors, roll-in showers and modern Porcelanosa fixtures, sinks and toilets. All rooms comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and are hearing-impaired-friendly. Rooms with king-size or two double beds go for $175 per night. Suites, some of which have bathtubs and separate seating areas, are $350 per night.
Conference spaces feature state-of-the-art audio-visual technology that can stream, package and record events. The hotel’s 500,000 square feet of interior space looks nothing like a psychiatric hospital.
The first of the campus’ 10 buildings was constructed in 1872 and opened to patients in 1880. After nearly a century of service, the hospital closed, and all patients were moved in 1974. A total of 42 acres remained vacant for about 40 years and were to be auctioned in 1997. Then preservationists stepped in and won the support for its reuse from then-New York Gov. George Pataki.
Three buildings including the main Towers Building were restored at a cost of $70 million. The project, which has created more than 100 jobs, was managed by the Richardson Center Corp., a not-for-profit organization established in 2006 to preserve Buffalo’s history through its rich architecture.
“We had to be very creative with the hotel design due to Richardson’s original design,” said Christine Krolewicz, project manager. “We tried to keep as much of the historic character and spaces as we could while updating it for a new, modern use.”
The remaining 300,000 square feet of buildings and 25 acres of land will also be restored, but it’s yet to be determined what they’ll be used for.
“The uncommon spaces of the original architecture of these buildings … allow guests to create their own one-of-a-kind experiences,” said Jessica Mancini, the hotel’s digital marketing manager.
Although I had my reservations about the hotel’s origins, I was not spooked upon walking inside. Sunlight streamed through the building’s tall windows and bounced off 16-foot-high ceilings and long curving corridors.
When the complex was a hospital, the first floor was occupied by administration. The superintendent and his family lived on the second floor and patients on the third.
Now, dining spaces are on the first floor, check-in and guest rooms are on the second and private conference rooms and event spaces are on the third and fourth floors. Three kitchens service the hotel and conference spaces.
The restaurant known as 100 Acres serves seasonal American dishes with locally sourced products. The changing menu recently featured Buffalo-style pork ribs ($11), yellowfin tuna or mussels ($12), chicken liver parfait ($12), stone-baked pizza ($12-$13), half roasted chicken ($24), Faroe Island salmon ($24), halibut ($28) and prime New York strip ($30).
Bright yellow walls surround tall counters and stools where diners can watch the preparation of meals or drinks. The parlor and dining rooms feature semi-private booths and dark blue and purple decor.
But where is the nightclub?
On the second floor is the Lounge at Hotel Henry. With mirrored walls, connecting purple couches and gold accents, it sounds like a lot is going on. But it was calming — sexy even. An outdoor patio offers the chance to sip rosé while enjoying a fiery sunset.
Sunlight gleams through windows facing the South Lawn, the 210-foot-long corridor that is connected to the rest of the hotel by vibrant mosaic tiles. Patients were encouraged to socialize on the 15-foot-wide corridor’s maple floors when it was known as the day room.
The hotel’s grounds are as impressive as its architecture. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the lush spaces are part of what is known as the Richardson Olmstead Complex, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
The South Lawn is open to the public and is used for picnicking, walking and flying kites. Paths on the 9 acres connect to a nearby bike trail and lead to Elmwood Village, which features unique boutiques and restaurants.
On the fourth floor is the former chapel. It’s now the Tower Ballroom, the complex’s largest event space with room for 350 people to sit. It has already hosted a number of weddings and bar mitzvahs. Chandeliers hang in the hallways leading to the ballroom with multiple stations for refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.
Hotel guests have access to a gym and will soon be able to order in-room delivery beginning in the fall. 100 Acres will also serve lunch starting this fall.
Hotel Henry is collaborating with the nearby State University of New York College at Buffalo and is one of two teaching hotels in New York state. The other is the Statler Hotel in Ithaca affiliated with Cornell University.
The hotel’s uncommon spaces are often filled with unique programming and activities that include chocolate and beer pairings, a jazz series, art walks and national retail pop-ups.
This winter, the Lipsey Buffalo Architectural Center, an architectural museum and art space on the ground floor, is expected to open along with a Spirit of Buffalo sculpture in the roundabout at the North Entrance.
Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center is at the corner of Rockwell Road and Cleveland Circle, Buffalo, N.Y. 14213. Information, reservations: hotelhenry.com or 1-716-882-1970.
Fitale Wari, a Buffalo native and rising senior at Denison University, was a summer intern at the Post-Gazette.
From hospital to hotel, Henry offers a stylish stay in Buffalo have 1089 words, post on www.post-gazette.com at 2017-08-11 10:50:43. This is cached page on USA Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.