Of the numerous ornate health facilities in our city, there is one that was ahead of its time in architectural design. Which of Buffalo's facilities featured a design that allowed for maximum light, privacy and ventilation in a direct effort to cure its patients?

That was the Richardson Olmsted Complex, formerly known as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. When the landmark was first built the architects implemented the Kirkbride Plan, a system based around the belief that a patient's physical environment could either cause or cure mental illness.  This design featured a central tower with five buildings flanking on each side and was surrounded by therapeutic recreation grounds. In the past 40 years the building has undergone many changes and demolitions, earning it a spot on the National Trust's 1999 list of 11 Most Endangered Places. Today the complex is recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

image.jpeg

Comment