As we've mentioned before, we're infected with Buffalove -- and for good reason. There are so many things to embrace about the Queen City: its great food culture, world-class museums, locally-minded businesses and more. While much of this is focused on Buffalo's present, included among the city's best assets are the remnants of its past.
In response to an influx of businessmen traveling through town -- due to the 1825 opening of the Erie Canal, Buffalo's proximity to Canada and the consequent financial activity spurred by those two factors -- a number of hotels were built, including the Iroquois in 1890, and the Hotel Statler in 1908, the latter of which advertised its "room and a bath for a dollar and a half." In the middle of this period of prolific architectural development, in 1904 The Lafayette hotel was built.
Designed by the architects at Bethune, Bethune and Fuchs, the project was led by Louise Blanchard Bethune, a University of Buffalo alumna, and the first female member of the American Institute of Architects. Building on Bethune's original design, the hotel's size was increased several times, including both in 1916-17 and again in 1924-1926 by the architectural firm Esenwein & Johnson, a firm whose work is found citywide. The edifice is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In recent years, real estate developer Rocco Termini oversaw a major renovation effort to breathe new life into this landmark, and reopened the building in 2012 as The Hotel @ The Lafayette. One of the hotel's goals in its latest iteration is to provide the ideal venue for a wedding. The shops located on the hotel's first floor include a bakery (Butterwood Desserts), a florist (Woyshner's Flower Shop) and a bridal dress atelier (Anatomy), making wedding planning an easy proposition. For guests needing a last minute gift for the bride and groom, a second outpost of the popular Buffalo home goods store "room" offers a great selection of nuptials-worthy presents. If the party continues after the wedding reception ends, the gorgeous Art Deco bar attached to the MIKE A restaurant offers pleasant elixirs to end the celebration on a high note. A lot of luxury conveniently packaged in a single space, this is a must-see spot when in Buffalo.
When NYSOM was visiting, we ran into John Lithgow waiting for the valet. There's much to say about Buffalo's rich architectural heritage, as well as the modern uses of many of its historic buildings. NYSOM will keep sharing our version of Architecture 101, including information about which buildings you can visit and why you should go.