buffalo buildings

Letter from the Executive Director

Spring 2016 Newsletter CoverGreetings!

This spring we explore “connections” of all sorts, starting with our three buildings. Each building has fascinating history; sharing those stories remains a focus. However, with the buildings’ unique character so goes the upkeep. Last March, a thaw of snow and ice caused 500 gallons of water to pour into The Buffalo History Museum’s Reinstein Center. The water intrusion wreaked havoc on our daily operations forcing Buffalo State’s Museum Studies program to halt their work cataloguing the Howard Beach Collection and 7 of our full-time staff members set up make-shift offices in public areas of the Pan-Am building which was closed for City funded electrical renovations. A twist of “luck” for the relocation, indeed!

It didn’t take a waterfall to let us know a thorough and sound plan for repairs was in order. A generous grant by John R. Oishei Foundation funded a $120K facility and space utilization study of our three building campus to be delivered summer 2016. The resulting road map will explore the potential of our entire campus, services and relationships, while prioritizing capital projects and estimating costs.

In January, the Museum board and staff participated in a transformational planning session assessing TBHM priorities and considering national trends for history museums. This precious time for sharing and thinking, facilitated by author, architect and historian Franklin Vagnone, opened the floor to discussions around relevancy, identity, physical fitness and commitment to the community. The results of these discussions and our facility “road map” will frame our strategic vision for 2016-2019.

I encourage you to remain, or become, engaged in the further processes ahead so that through our actions we better serve and reflect your aspirations and expectations of The Buffalo History Museum.

All my best,

Melissa

P.S. Please remember to check out our calendar of events and join us for a season of fascinating stories!

History of the Julia Boyer Reinstein Center

Julia Boyer Reinstein Center

Julia Boyer Reinstein Center

Every wonder what the story is behind that little building across from The Buffalo History Museum lot? Well here are some fun facts to learn more about The Julia Boyer Reinstein Center!

• Built in 1920 for Leonard Adams. Mr. Adams helped to design the house, which he used as both a residence and a music studio before his death in 1984.

Purchased in 1989 by The Buffalo History Museum as a project of the “History Lives here” capital campaign to serve as office/meeting space.

• The Historical Rehabilitation project was completed August 1, 1992, by Hamilton Houston and Lownie Architects, P.C.

• The building was named after Julia Boyer Reinstein. Dedicated to both history and libraries, Julia Boyer Reinstein served as the Cheektowaga town historian for many years and was active in the creation of numerous town historical societies across WNY.

• The contributions of Julia Boyer Reinstein and others throughout the community made the purchase and historical rehabilitation of the building possible.

• A full-length portrait of Julia Boyer Reinstein painted by local artist Mary Smith hangs on the landing of the split staircase.

IMG_4994• The Reinstein Center features two meeting rooms (40 people/15 people). The larger room is graced by an arched window measuring approximately 12’x 12’. The window sits in an “Architectural Frame” that centers the window both in the main room and across the outside of the building.

• In 1994, the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier awarded the Pewter Plate Award to The Buffalo History Museum in the recognition of the Julia Boyer Reinstein Center as an exemplary restoration and adaptive re-use project.