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Explore Buffalo Lists Exciting April Tours | Arts & Culture

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Explore Buffalo Lists Exciting April Tours
Explore Buffalo Lists Exciting April Tours

As the weather warms up, so does tour season in Western New York! Following is a listing of Explore Buffalo tours scheduled during the month of April.

AMERICAN MASTERS
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour metered parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders FREE 

At the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo had grown to become the eighth largest city in America. The wealth generated by commerce and industry enabled the city’s businesses, organizations and citizens to hire some of the nation’s most prominent architects and use the finest materials available. On this downtown walking tour, see signature works by some of America’s greatest architects, including the Guaranty Building by Louis Sullivan & Dankmar Adler, the Ellicott Square Building by Daniel Burnham & Co., and St. Paul’s Cathedral by Richard Upjohn. Learn about the prominence of Buffalo on a national scale at the turn of the 20th century while visiting buildings such as the Old Post Office, St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Old County Hall.

FACT OR FICTION
April 1 • 6:30 p.m.
Meet: Pan-American Grill, Hotel Lafayette, 391 Washington St., Buffalo
Cost: $25, Explorer Pass Holders $20

How well do you think you know Buffalo’s history? Join us on April Fool’s Day for the only time you will hear Explore Buffalo docents give a tour that is only half true! As you walk through downtown on this happy hour tour, tour guides will keep you guessing with some stories that are true but unbelievable, mixed with some tall tales of their own creation. Keep track on your scorecard along the way, and if your ability to sniff out lies is the best of the bunch, you’ll win a prize! Included with admission is one beer and light appetizers at the Pan-American Grill while your scorecards are reviewed at the end of the tour (full menu and cash bar are also available).

ART OF THE SUBWAY
April 2 • 10 a.m.
Meet: University Metro Rail Station on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus. Plentiful free parking is available adjacent to the University Station in the Park-and-Ride parking lot.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders FREE 

Buffalo’s Metro Rail system is an oft-overlooked treasure trove of modern art! Each station features unique artwork by a wide variety of artists, which will be seen on this tour as you travel from one end of the Metro Rail system to the other, getting off at each station along the way.

Metro Rail fare is not included in the tour price and must be purchased separately. (Round-trip fare is $4). This tour is approximately three hours in length and will end in downtown Buffalo, where you may either board an outbound train to return to University Station or stay for lunch before returning.

LINCOLN PARKWAY
April 2, 15, 23, 30 • 10 a.m.
Meet: At the Abraham Lincoln in front of the Rose Garden in Delaware Park. Abundant free street parking on Lincoln Parkway is available.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders FREE

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to be the principal approach to the jewel of his Buffalo park system, Delaware Park, Lincoln Parkway is one of the most beautiful streets in Buffalo. The homes along Lincoln Parkway, constructed in the early part of the 20th century by some of Buffalo’s wealthiest families, represent a wide variety of architectural styles. This tour will be a “walk in the park” as we explore the neighborhood and the stories of the families who have lived there!

INSIDE ST. MARY’S SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
April 5 • 6 p.m.
Meet: St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, 2253 Main St., Buffalo. Enter the driveway from Main Street to use the parking lot which is behind the buildings; the main entrance faces the parking lot and is up a flight of stairs to the right of the bridge that the driveway goes underneath.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders $10

St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, established in Buffalo in 1853 as the first academic school for the deaf in the country, was relocated from Edward Street to its current location on Main Street in 1898. This two-hour walking tour highlights the beautiful architecture of this historic building and offers fascinating information about the history and culture of deaf people in the Buffalo area. The tour also offers a glimpse into the current world of educating deaf and hard of hearing students in the 21st century.

Highlights of the tour include original woodwork from 1898, stained glass windows in the former chapel, the school’s cherished museum which houses a wealth of artifacts and photographs from throughout the decades at St. Mary’s, and a brief meet and greet with a few of the school’s residential students, which comprise approximately 30 percent of the current school population.  Join us for a one-of-a-kind tour in one of Buffalo’s iconic buildings!

DOWNTOWN DECO
April 6, 13, 20, 27 • 10:30 a.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour metered parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

This downtown walking tour focuses on downtown buildings built in Buffalo in one of the 20th century's most distinctive architectural styles: Art Deco. Prevalent during the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco is a unique style combining traditional motifs with modern imagery and materials of the Machine Age. Characterized by its use of bold geometric shapes, rich colors and lavish ornamentation, Art Deco buildings stand out for their beauty and symbolism.

The Court Street corridor of downtown Buffalo, from Lafayette Square to Niagara Square, puts the Art Deco style on grand display. Buildings featured on this tour include Buffalo City Hall, Rand Building, Industrial Bank Building, Michael Dillon Federal Courthouse, Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building, and the lobby of the Hotel Lafayette. While visiting these Art Deco gems, you will learn about Buffalo during the 1920s and 1930s when these buildings were being built.

TURN OF THE CENTURY TREASURES
April 7, 14, 21, 28 • 9:30 a.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour metered parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

This tour showcases Buffalo commercial architecture at the turn of the 20th century, when the city was the eighth largest in America and hosted the Pan-American Exposition. Many were designed by prominent local architectural firms, including Green & Wicks and Esenwein & Johnson, and exemplify the Beaux Arts architectural style popular at that time.

Popular around the turn of the 20th century, Beaux-Arts, which translates as “Beautiful Arts” and began in Paris, is characterized by elaborate detail and ornamentation, with many classical influences. Many of the buildings on this tour have been meticulously restored in recent years to meet current needs, including the Electric Tower and Curtiss Hotel.

BEST OF BUFFALO
April 7, 14, 21, 28 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour metered parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a downtown walking tour of the best of Buffalo architecture and history! The buildings included on this overview tour help to tell the story of Buffalo’s rapid rise to prominence, from the opening of the Erie Canal to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Buildings seen on this tour were designed by both nationally and locally significant architects, including Louis Sullivan, Richard Upjohn, Louise Bethune and EB Green. Perfect for both visitors and residents alike, this tour is an excellent introduction to Buffalo’s architectural heritage. This is an exterior-only tour; for building interiors, please see our in-depth downtown tours – American Masters, Turn of the Century Treasures, and Downtown Deco.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S FONTANA BOATHOUSE
April 13, 20, 27 @ 1  p.m. • April 22 @ 11 a.m.
Meet: 1 Rotary Row, Buffalo. Take Porter Avenue west, and immediately after crossing the I-190 expressway turn right at the Fontana Boathouse sign. Follow the driveway back to the Boathouse where there is ample on- site parking.
Cost: $10, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a tour of the only rowing boathouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! Originally designed by Wright in 1905 for the University of Wisconsin, the Boathouse was never built until its construction in 2007 in Buffalo along the shore of the Black Rock Channel. This was one of Wright's favorite designs, as evidenced by his inclusion of the Boathouse in his now-famous Wasmuth Portfolio.

Today the boathouse is being used for its original purpose as an active rowing facility, providing a unique opportunity to see one of Wright's designs being used as originally intended. On the tour you'll learn about why it was never constructed in Wisconsin, and how it came to be built in Buffalo. The tour includes both the exterior and interior of the Boathouse, providing an in-depth look at a masterpiece of Prairie Style design. While on the tour, enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Erie, the Niagara River and the Canadian shore from the Boathouse. Be sure to bring your camera!

INSIDE DELAWARE AVENUE MANSIONS
April 15 • 10 a.m.
Meet: American Red Cross, 786 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, at the corner of Summer Street. Parking is available in the Red Cross parking lot, accessible from Delaware Avenue or Summer Street.
Cost: General $20, Student $10, Explorer Pass Holders $10

Join Explore Buffalo for a tour that features the interior of two historic mansions on Buffalo’s Millionaire’s Row. This tour will be a trip back in time to the Gilded Age, as you learn about the fascinating history of Buffalo’s business leaders at the turn of the 20th century. As Buffalo’s elite tried to outdo one another, they built larger and larger mansions along Delaware Avenue, hiring prominent architects and using the best materials available.

This tour visits the interiors of the former Clement Mansion, now the American Red Cross, and the former Lockwood Mansion, now home to Child & Family Services. Explore Buffalo is proud to partner with both organizations to showcase the history of their buildings, and thanks them for their support.

PRESIDENTS IN BUFFALO
April 17, 24 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour metered parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

The home of two presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland, Buffalo has also played host to many American presidents for important speeches and other occasions, the most infamous being President McKinley's visit to the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 that ended tragically with his assassination. Some of the presidential stories in Buffalo are often told, while others are less widely known. Join us on this tour to learn about presidents who are prominent in Buffalo history, particularly Millard Fillmore, Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. 

BUFFALO NIAGARA MEDICAL CAMPUS
April 20 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo. Metered parking is available along Ellicott Street or in the paid parking lot across the street from the Innovation Center.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is a hive of construction activity and development, with gleaming new medical facilities rising each year. See soon-to-open additions to the campus, including the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. This tour includes interior stops at the Innovation Center, University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, and Gates Vascular Institute. This tour is made possible by the support and cooperation of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

ALLENTOWN MOB
April 21, 28 • 7 p.m.
Meet: Cafe 59, located at 62 Allen St. at the corner of Franklin Street. Street parking on Allen, Franklin and other nearby streets is available and free on weekends or after 5 p.m.
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

When Italian and Sicilian immigrants came to Buffalo, many of their local customs came with them — and so did the Mafia. Through much of the 20th century, the Allentown neighborhood was a hotspot for mob activity. Do you want to know how a Rembrandt painting stolen from a French museum found its way to Buffalo? Or how one Buffalo mobster got the nickname "Lucky Pants?” Come on the Allentown Mob Tour to find out!

DELAWARE AVENUE MANSIONS
April 22, 29 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
Cost: $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Holders Free

The richest of the rich in Buffalo put their wealth on full display on this section of Delaware Avenue, home to the grandest collection of mansions built in the city. Marvel at these grandiose monuments to the Gilded Age and enjoy the intriguing stories of the families who built them — many were related — on this tour of Delaware Avenue from North Street to Bryant Street. This is an exterior-only tour (interiors are available once per month on the Inside Delaware Avenue Mansions tour).

CITY OF LIGHT BUS TOUR
April 22 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo
Cost: $40, Explorer Pass Holders $35

At the end of the 19th century, Buffalo was a major American city in the forefront of technological progress. It was a busy inland port and a railroad hub with heavy industry and state-of-the-art electricity — all of which brought great wealth to the city. These economic and technological developments culminated in 1901 when Buffalo hosted a spectacular world’s fair: The Pan-American Exposition.

Experience Buffalo through the eyes of the narrator of Lauren Belfer’s historical novel, City of Light, which is set in Buffalo at the dawn of the 20th century.

Advance reservations for all tours are encouraged but not required. Walk-ups are welcome! For security reasons, all credit card payments must be made in advance. Advance reservations with a credit card can be made online until the tour starting time. Cash or checks are accepted at the start of the tour. If you make an advance reservation, please print your confirmation email or be prepared to show it on your phone.

Unless specified, most tours are between 90 minutes and two hours in length. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather!

Reservations may be made online at explorebuffalo.org, or by calling (716) 245-3032. 

 

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