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Buffalo State Hospital

Buffalo, New York
County of Erie.
National Register Number: 86003557
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Health Care - hospital. The threat level was Watch in
Congressional District: NY-27 Certified Local Government: YES

Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 24, 1986):
Begun in 1872, this is an important transitional building in the developing style of H. H. Richardson. It is the first major work on which he collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner, Calvert Vaux, who sited and landscaped the property. The building is also significant in the history of treatment for the mentally ill, as its plan followed the system developed by Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, one of the first physicians to treat insanity as an illness.

With a limited budget, the New York State Department of Mental Health is struggling with its responsibility to maintain and protect this Landmark. Because of the extent of the buildings and the large land area, vandalism is a common occurrence and a few chronic structural problems continue to worsen.

The State of New York continues to look for new users for this property. In 2004 and 2005, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York completed approximately $7 million of stabilization work on the 5 stone buildings, including roof repair, repointing and minimal structural work. Deterioration of the 3 brick buildings is continuing. The complex has been fenced, but vandalism continues to be a problem.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
Governor Pataki continues to urge reuse of the complex; however, funding has not been appropriated to complete any work beyond the stabilization work which was completed.

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