BUFFALO, NY.- This winter, the city of Buffalo welcomes two new additions to its famed architectural landscape: Toshiko Moris Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion at Frank Lloyd Wrights historic Martin House, and Gwathmey Siegel Associates new Burchfield Penney Art Center, which opens November 22, 2008. These projects are part of a momentous period of cultural and architectural growth and redevelopment in Buffalo, including restoration projects at Wrights Graycliff Estate, the Roycroft Campus (home to the Roycrofters Arts and Crafts community), and the Richardson-Olmsted Complex.
Buffalo is also home to landmarks designed by such architectural giants as Louis Sullivan, Stanford White, D. H. Burnham, and Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and much of the city flows from a system of parks and parkways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The city has the second largest collection of Wright-designed homes, including the Walter V. Davidson House and the William R. Heath House, in addition to the Darwin D. Martin House, the Barton House, and the Graycliff Estate. The new Greatbatch Pavilion and Burchfield Penney Art Center are the latest examples of Buffalos continuing tradition of architectural innovation.
The Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion
Construction of the Mori-designed Greatbatch Pavilion began in January 2008 and will be completed this December, as part of a $50 million restoration to the five-building, 32,000-square-foot Darwin D. Martin House Complex (1903-05). The Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC) commissioned Toshiko Mori Architect to design the 7,775 square-foot glass-paneled Pavilion to provide space for exhibition galleries and an entryway for visitors and guided tours.
The Burchfield Penney Art Center Grand Opening, November 22, 2008
Founded in 1966, the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College is dedicated to the artistic achievement and vision of renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) and distinguished artists of Western New York. The new 84,000-square-foot Burchfield Penney Art Center is the first art museum built in Buffalo in over a century and is located across the street from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in the heart of the citys cultural district.
The $33 million building designed by Gwathmey Siegel will triple the museums available exhibition space, adding a total of 11 galleries, including the vast two-story, 6,700 square-foot feature exhibition gallery. The new library and archives study area, the 156-seat auditorium, and the art conservation lab underscore the Burchfield Penneys role as a center for art education. The Burchfield Penney Art Center will be the first art museum in New York State to earn a silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The museums collection totals more than 7,500 works by over 600 artists including Cindy Sherman, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Longo, Elbert Hubbard, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright. The museum is also home to the world's largest collection of works by Charles Burchfield, in addition to the artists diaries and journals.
The Burchfield Penney opens its new space with several special exhibitions. Entering Burchfields World and Burchfields Seasons, on view November 21, 2008 through Sunday, March 1, 2009, will feature a wide range of works by the American watercolorist, several of which will be on view for the first time. Gateway: Selections from the Collection (Nov. 21, 2008 April 19, 2009) presents contemporary work from the collection, including sculpture, representational and non-representational painting, photography, drawings, prints, video and mixed media installations with works by Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, John Pfahl, Russell Drisch, and Robert Hirsch.
Founded in 1968, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates is a New York-based firm offering master planning, architectural, interior and product design services. Gwathmey Siegel has completed over four hundred projects for educational, healthcare, corporate, cultural, government and private clients throughout the United States and abroad. The 65-person firm has an international reputation for architectural excellence, confirmed by more than 100 design awards, continuing recognition in the professional and general press, and inclusion in exhibitions and histories of contemporary architecture. In addition to the new Burchfield Penney, Gwathmey Siegels other recent and notable projects include the History of Art Building and Arts Library at Yale University and the Administration and Admissions Building at the State University of New York at Albany, completed in 2007.
Restorations to Frank Lloyd Wrights Graycliff Estate
Saved from demolition and designated a state historic landmark in 1998, the 6,500-square-foot Graycliff Estate has undergone extensive restorations to its three Wright-designed buildings. Recently, the Graycliff Conservancy has begun restoration of the estates equally historic surrounding landscape thanks to a $477,522 grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Set on a 70-foot cliff overlooking Lake Erie, Frank Lloyd Wrights stunning Graycliff Estate is considered a unique transitional point from Wrights Prairie Style to his later concrete designs such as Fallingwater. The estates gardens and grounds were the vision of Wright (one of the few specific landscape designs by the architects own hand) and Ellen Biddle Shipman, known as the Dean of American Women Landscape Architects.
Capital Grant for Roycroft Cultural Campus
Founded in 1895 by Elbert Hubbard, the Roycroft Campus was home to a community of skilled craftsmenprinters, book designers, and furniture-makerswhose work is now highly sought after by Arts and Crafts collectors across the country. Following the 1995 renovation of the historic Roycroft Inn, the current phase of campus restoration includes the $3 million reconstruction of the Power House and the Copper Shop. This September, Empire State Development awarded a $1.5 million capital grant toward the Roycroft Campus Corporation (RCC) in support of the restoration efforts.
The Richardson-Olmsted Complex
Buffalos landmark Richardson-Olmsted Complex (H.H. Richardsons Buffalo State Hospital and its Frederick Law Olmsted-designed grounds) is in the process of being repurposed as a unique destination for architectural tourists. The Richardson Center Corporation is considering a new Architecture and Visitor Center within Richardsons iconic towers that will display information and directions to Western New Yorks architectural landmarks. The reuse of the property could also includeamong other usesa hotel, a conference center, high end condominiums, artist studios, townhouses, and academic space for Buffalo State College.
Action/Abstraction at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
This February, the Albright-Knox hosts Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1975. The show assembles over 50 key works by 32 abstract expressionistsmany of which are drawn from the Albright-Knoxs renowned collectionswhose work represents the crux of one of the critical moments in modern art. The Albright-Knox organized the exhibition in collaboration with the Saint Louis Museum of Art and the Jewish Museum in New York. Housed in its original building by Green and Wicks (1900-1905) and an inspired modernist addition by Gordon Bunshaft (1962), the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is part of Buffalos strong cultural tradition, with exceptional collections of modern and contemporary art housed in modern and neoclassical buildings.