Buffalo, NY 2003


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

PRE-CONFERENCE TOUR --Niagara Falls/Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

We will have the opportunity to view one of the world’s great natural wonders, Niagara Falls, from the Canadian side, and then we will proceed to Queenston, Ontario via the scenic and beautifully landscaped Niagara River Parkway.  We will tour the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, an 1834 Greek Revival home undergoing conversion to a museum, archive and teaching facility for all arts and skills related to restoration of built heritage.  We will also tour the River Brink Gallery with its extensive collection of artwork and artifacts pertaining to the history of the Niagara Region.  Lunch will be at Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Following lunch, restoration architect Peter Stokes will conduct a walking tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake sites, including St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, a magnificent 1831 structure known for its fine interior carving;  St. Mark’s Anglican Church, the oldest Anglican Church in continuous use in Ontario, completed in 1809;  and The Court House, a Classical Revival civic building built in 1847 that today houses many public functions and the Shaw Festival’s Court House Theatre.


The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society will host the opening reception at its headquarters.  This National Historic Landmark is the only permanent structure that remains from Buffalo’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Enjoy an excellent buffet, a sampling of Ontario wines, and an overview  of Buffalo’s vibrant history, architecture, and culture.  You’ll also have time to browse the heritage-inspired gift items in the Museum Shop.

Thursday, May 22, 2003 Downtown Buffalo walking tour, Annual Meeting and lunch in the Connecticut Street Armory, walking tour of Linwood and Allentown neighborhoods.

A Downtown Buffalo Walking Tour departs the Hyatt Regency.  Highlights will include, among other sites,  “the World’s largest Office building,” Ellicott Square (D.H. Burnham & Co., c. 1896);  St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral (Richard Upjohn, c. 1849-51);  the elaborately decorated Art Deco City Hall (Dietel & Wade, c. 1931);  and Louis Sullivan’s skyscraper masterwork Guaranty Building (c. 1896).

The next stop will be the massive Connecticut Street Armory (Lansing and Beierl, 1898-1900), an impressively engineered fortress that includes a beautiful drill hall known at the time of its construction as “the largest unobstructed floor in the world.”  The Armory’s Regimental Parlor, where you’ll enjoy lunch and the Annual Meeting, is a perfectly Victorian setting.  After the meeting, we’ll board buses to proceed to two of Buffalo’s most walkable and architecturally interesting residential neighborhoods, Linwood and Allentown, which will be toured on foot.  The Linwood district offers a wonderful variety of homes built by Buffalo’s mercantile class, including many in the Shingle Style.  Allentown is a diverse collection of middle class homes built during the 1850-1900 period including Italianate, Stick and Second Empire styles. Some interiors will be included. Then, on to the Bijou Grille for cocktails and dinner.

OPTIONAL EVENT: Summer School Alumni Association Dinner. Note:  The Summer School Alumni Dinner will also take place at the Bijou Grille in its own dining area.

OPTIONAL EVENT: Architecture Walkabout of Downtown Buffalo with VSA Summer School alumnus Martin Wachaldo following the Alumni Dinner.

SILENT AUCTION:  Thursday, May 22 through Saturday, May 24

The VSA Silent Auction will once again take place during the Annual Meeting and Tour this year.  The silent auction room will be open on Thursday, May 22 and run through Saturday, May 24.  The Silent Auction will be in a meeting room in our conference hotell.  More information on when the Auction Room is open will be in the registration packets you receive in Buffalo.

 Friday, May 23, 2003 Tours of Buffalo’s Southtowns, South Park, Our Lady of Victory National Basilica, Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Darwin Martin House.

Buses depart from Hyatt Regency on a tour of Buffalo’s Southtowns. Highlights will include South Park, a prime example of the outstanding park system Frederick Law Olmsted designed for Buffalo as a highlight of the American Romantic landscape movement; and a visit inside Our Lady of Victory National Basilica, the elaborately Baroque reminder of the humanitarian good works of its builder, Father Nelson Baker (currently under Papal consideration for sainthood).  Next, our group will visit the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, location of one of the very few Presidential inaugurations held outside Washington, DC, where President Roosevelt was sworn in after the 1901 assassination of his predecessor President William McKinley.  We’ll have the opportunity to tour this delightful house museum operated today by the National Park Service and enjoy a Victorian-style luncheon/Tea.  Following lunch, we’ll board the buses and proceed to Darwin Martin House for a tour.  Currently undergoing extensive restoration, the Darwin Martin House and Complex is considered the masterwork of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House designs.  We’ll experience the restoration work in progress at this high-priority tourism investment for Buffalo and New York State. 

We will return to the Hyatt Regency around 3:45 for some free time to explore the town and perhaps visit some out of the way antique shops. 

6:00 pm Buses depart Hyatt Regency for Buffalo’s “High Renaissance style palace,” The 20th Century Club (Green & Wicks, c. 1896), where neoclassical wall friezes and muted Victorian colors will set the scene for a delightful cocktail reception.  Dressy attire suggested but not required.  Buses will return you to the Hyatt Regency by 8:15 pm and dinner will be on your own (there are a number of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel).

Saturday, May 24, 2003

PLEASE NOTE: Once the buses depart from the hotel, we will not be returning until after the Closing Banquet in the evening.

10:30 am  Buses will depart the Hyatt Regency and will arrive in the charmingly eclectic, picturesque village of East Aurora, home of Elbert Hubbard and the American Arts and Crafts Roycroft Movement, U.S. President Millard Fillmore, and today’s toy-making giant Fisher Price.  After lunch, we will tour several sites where Roycroft guildmember artisans demonstrate their crafts; visit Vidler’s 5 & 10, a real-life shopping anachronism; the house-museums of both Fillmore and Hubbard, and still have time to wander the shops and visit the tea rooms of Main Street East Aurora.

6 pm  Tour ends at the beautifully restored Roycroft Inn to refresh yourself and enjoy the Closing Banquet.


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Buses depart Hyatt Regency Hotel for a day-long tour of Chautauqua Institution, the renowned intellectual and arts community founded as a religious "camp meeting" in 1874.  The Chautauqua Institution is a National Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.  Positioned grandly on the shore of beautiful Chautauqua Lake, there are hundreds of 2-, 3-, and 4-story Victorian Gothic cottages and hostelries along narrow winding streets.  Luncheon will take place at the second empire style 1881 Athenaeum Hotel.  Dinner is on your own.

Monday, May 26, 2003
Spend Memorial Day exploring “The Young Lion of the West” -- Rochester, NY -- presented by the Landmark Society of Western New York.

8:00 am  Depart Hyatt Regency Hotel for Rochester.  We’ll have a brief rest stop, welcome and overview of the day upon arrival at The Landmark Society’s 1850s headquarters.  The Landmark Society is one of the oldest preservation organizations in the U.S. and predates the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  You will then re-board the bus to tour some of Rochester’s neighborhoods and preservation districts.  Richard Reisem, author of Mount Hope: America’s First Municipal Victorian Cemetery, will tour us through the beautiful Mt. Hope Cemetery.  Then we’ll stroll through historic neighborhoods to Ellwanger Garden, a gem of a perennial garden continuously cultivated since 1867 (and in late May expected to be in peak bloom!).  The bus will return to the Landmark Society for a hearty Memorial Day-inspired lunch, time to relax and to browse the heritage gift items in the Society’s Shop.

The afternoon includes a visit to the Campbell-Whittlesey House Museum (c. 1836), known as “the house the Erie Canal built” and one of the finest Greek Revival restorations in the U.S.  After a drive through several of the city’s urban preservation districts, we’ll arrive at George Eastman House, the National Historic Landmark mansion home of the photographic innovator.  There will be time to both tour the mansion and visit the adjacent International Museum of Photography.  An elegant Tea will be served with Victorian flair at The Cafe at the Eastman House to round out a wonderful day.

5:00 pm Board the bus to return to Buffalo and Hyatt Regency.

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