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Explore Buffalo Lists August Tours and Events | Arts & Culture

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Explore Buffalo Lists August Tours and Events
Explore Buffalo Lists August Tours and Events

Explore Buffalo, a nonprofit organization providing tours and other opportunities where guests can discover Buffalo’s great architecture, history and neighborhoods, has announced an extensive lineup of August tours and events. 

DELAWARE AVENUE MIDWAY
August 1, 22 @ 6:30 PM; August 16 @ 10 AM; August 20 @ 10:30 AM
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site at 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Historically the most prestigious address in Buffalo, Delaware Avenue is full of historic and architectural treasures. Join us for this tour of historic landmarks on the section of Delaware Avenue from North Street to Tupper Street (for the other half of "Millionaire Mile," see the Delaware Avenue Mansions tour). Featured prominently in the tour are the Midway rowhouses, which are the only group of rowhouses built on Delaware Avenue. Also seen on this tour are historic mansions, churches, social clubs and commercial buildings which provide a glimpse into society life of Buffalo's capitalists and business elite in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

SILO CITY GROUNDED
August 1, 22, 29 @ 6 PM; August 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24, 25, 28, 31 @ 10 AM; August 6, 20, 27 @ 11 AM; August 12, 26 @ 1 PM
Meet: Silo City, 120 Silo City Row, Buffalo. Turn from Ohio Street onto Silo City Row, and enter Silo City through the gate. Ahead on your right will be a small brick office building where the tour will assemble. Ample parking is available on site.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

At ground level, experience the monumental scale of the grain elevators constructed in Buffalo in the first half of the 20th century and also see how they are now being repurposed. On this guided walk around the grounds of Silo City, you will enter the ground floor work areas of a flour mill, two grain elevators and a malthouse. You will also see new projects including “Elevator B.”

SILO CITY VERTICAL
August 2, 6, 12, 16, 20, 23, 26, 27, 30 @ 10 AM; August 24, 31 @ 6 PM
Meet: Silo City, 120 Silo City Row, Buffalo. Turn from Ohio Street onto Silo City Row and enter Silo City through the gate. Ahead on your right will be a small brick office building where the tour will assemble. Ample parking is available on site.
Cost: General $40, Student $35, Explorer Pass $35

This tour is an experience unlike any other tour in the world! Silo City: Vertical will take you to the top of the American and Perot grain elevator complexes. Approximately two and half hours in length, you will experience all of the history and mechanics of the grain elevator, as well as the malt production process in the Perot malthouse on this in-depth tour. A look at some of the regenerative projects ongoing at Silo City is included.

Please note that Silo City: Vertical is not recommended for those with a fear of heights. Participants in this tour must be physically able to go up approximately 100 feet (10 stories) of stairs and a short interior ladder to reach the top — and then come back down! The elevators have been out of commission for years, so stairs are the only way to go. Reservations are required for this tour. Due to space limitations, we must limit this tour's group size to a small number.

RIVERFRONT RENAISSANCE
August 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 26, 27, 30 @ 10 AM; August 4, 11, 18, 25 @ 7 PM
Meet: Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park, 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo (near the Liberty Hound building).
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Get out and explore this summer with Explore Buffalo’s free tour series! Join us on Saturdays during the summer for the Riverfront Renaissance tour to learn all about the fascinating history of Buffalo’s waterfront, today one of our most exciting public spaces! After the tour, grab some sun and have fun designing your own grain elevators. All craft materials provided by Explore Buffalo, and youth participants also receive an Honorary Explorers Certificate, our Downtown Activity Book and more!

Water has always been important to Buffalo’s growth – the Erie Canal ended here, grain elevators were invented here, and today our waterfront is helping to reenergize the city and fuel our renaissance! Join us on this tour in one of Buffalo’s most vibrant public spaces, Canalside, and explore one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buffalo. On this tour you’ll get to explore some of the most important aspects of our city’s past, as well as the new waterfront attractions that are bringing Buffalonians to its water once again.

MASTERS OF AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE
August 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 @ 10 AM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., 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 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.

TURN OF THE CENTURY TREASURES
August 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 @ 9:30 AM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour 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 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
August 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 @ 1 PM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., 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 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 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.

DELAWARE AVENUE MANSIONS
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 @ 6 PM; August 5, 12, 26 @ 10 AM; August 6, 13, 20, 27 @ 1 PM
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass 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).

ELEVATOR ALLEY KAYAK TOUR
August 2, 9, 11, 16, @ 6 PM; August 5, 6, 9, 13,19, 20, 26, 27 @ 9 AM
Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak at The Barrel Factory at 65 Vandalia St., Buffalo, at the corner of Hamburg and Republic streets across from Gene McCarthy’s. The tour will launch from Mutual Riverfront Park, a one-block walk from The Barrel Factory.
Cost: General $40, Student $35, Explorer Pass $35

The best way to appreciate Buffalo’s many grain elevators is from the water! From a kayaking perspective, the massive scale of the grain elevators and silos will be even more awe-inspiring. Join us for a kayak tour of the Buffalo River and its grain elevators in partnership with Elevator Alley Kayak, who will provide the kayaks for this urban adventure tour. Learn about the history of the grain elevators in Buffalo and have many terrific photo opportunities on this guided kayak tour!

DOWNTOWN DECO
August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 @ 10:30 AM
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 Free

This downtown walking tour focuses on 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

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S FONTANA BOATHOUSE
August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 @ 1 PM; August 19 @ 11 AM
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: General $10, Student $5, Explorer Pass 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, and be sure to bring your camera!

ELMWOOD VILLAGE VICTORIANS
August 3 @ 6 PM
Meet: Perks Coffee at 448 Elmwood Ave., at the corner of Bryant Street. Street parking is available on Elmwood Avenue and surrounding streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Exploring the streets of the Elmwood Village, we will see a varied assortment of architectural styles and details. Developed along the Elmwood Avenue streetcar line that opened in 1889, the Elmwood Village is a highly intact residential neighborhood that showcases many beautiful homes in the Queen Anne and other Victorian styles, which were popular at the time of the neighborhood's development. This tour includes parts of both the Elmwood Historic District West and the Elmwood Historic District East, which together create the largest historic district in Buffalo and one of the largest in the nation. Discover historic houses, apartment buildings, businesses and more on this guided walking tour.

LANDMARKS OF DELAWARE AVENUE
August 4, 18 @ 1 PM
Meet: Parking lot behind Blessed Sacrament Church at 1035 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. The entrance to the parking lot is on Linwood Avenue, north of West Utica Street. Parking in the church lot is allowed for this tour.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Delaware Avenue is well known for its many Gilded Age mansions, but there are also many magnificent landmarks found along Buffalo's Millionaire's Row not built as residences. Join us on this tour to learn about some of the most prominent landmarks on Delaware Avenue, including the Saturn Club, Blessed Sacrament Church and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Along the way, learn about some of the prominent families who once lived on Delaware Avenue and led the way in building these beautiful buildings that we continue to enjoy today. 

EAST AURORA WALKING TOUR
August 4, 18 @ 10 AM
Meet: Roycroft Campus Power House, 39 South Grove St., East Aurora
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a walking tour of the charming Village of East Aurora to discover its rich history and many connections to the Arts & Crafts movement! Elbert Hubbard, one-time partner of John Larkin of Buffalo's Larkin Soap Company, was one of the chief promoters of the Arts & Crafts style in architecture, furniture, stained glass, wallpaper and other hand crafts in the United States. The base of Hubbard's operations was the Roycroft Campus in the Village of East Aurora, where this tour begins and ends. The tour will include interior visits to the Hubbard Museum, featuring an engaging variety of handcrafted antiques, as well as the Baker Memorial Church featuring a complete set of color-rich stained glass windows by the Tiffany Company. At the end of the tour, the Roycroft Inn is the perfect place for an optional lunch (not included in the tour price).

OLD FIRST WARD
August 4, 15, 18, 29 @ 6 PM; August 6, 20 @ 1 PM; August 12, 26 @ 4 PM
Meet: Mutual Riverfront Park at 41 Hamburg St., Buffalo. Street parking is available on Hamburg and South streets by the park. Please do not use the parking lot for the Waterfront Memories & More Museum.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join us for a walking tour of one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buffalo! The First Ward is the neighborhood adjacent to the Buffalo River, located in the shadows of the grain elevators that employed many of the neighborhood's residents. On this tour you will learn about how the growth and development of the neighborhood was closely tied to the rise of the grain trade at Buffalo's harbor. A neighborhood with a proudly Irish heritage, the First Ward has been the birthplace and home to some of Buffalo's most famous citizens, including Michael Shea, Jimmy Slattery and Fingy Connors. Come on this tour to learn their stories and many more! The tour will end at Gene McCarthy's Tavern and Old First Ward Brewing, the perfect place to enjoy a pint after the tour.

ALLENTOWN MOB
August 4, 11, 18, 25 @ 7 PM
Meet: Cafe 59, 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: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass 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!

BLACK ROCK
August 5 @ 10 AM
Meet: Market Square Park at the corner of Niagara and Amherst streets. Street parking is available on the surrounding streets.
Cost: Free for 14207 Day

One of the earliest villages established on the Niagara frontier, Black Rock has a history all its own including its role in the War of 1812, the competition to be the terminus of the Erie Canal, site of one of the first railroad lines and spring-fed public water systems, and home to a variety of immigrant groups. Our tour includes walking across the International Railroad Bridge to see the Black Rock Lock and a stroll through the area’s residential streets to view some of the oldest housing stock in the city.

DOWNTOWN MOB TOUR
August 5, 12, 19, 26 @ 7 PM
Meet: Spot Coffee at 227 Delaware Ave., at the corner of Chippewa Street. Metered street parking downtown is free on weekends on Delaware Avenue and other nearby streets, or private parking lots are available – the closest is on Delaware Avenue next to Spot Coffee. The nearest MetroRail station, Fountain Plaza, is three blocks away.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

A major part of Buffalo's criminal history will be revealed on this tour! Throughout much of the 20th century, the Mafia played an important role in the Queen City, and Stefano Magaddino not only controlled mob activities in Western New York for 52 years but was also a national crime figure. No part of Western New York was untouched by his criminal organization. 

Join us on this walking tour of downtown Buffalo to learn about the impact the mob had on Buffalo, from daily life to major government building projects. Among the stories uncovered on this tour are the Buffalo Zoo warehouse, the Barrel Murder of 1903 and the hit at Caruso's Restaurant. Walking among some of the downtown locations that mob members would have been familiar with as they plotted their next moves, you will understand the power the local mob once wielded.

LINCOLN PARKWAY
August 5, 13, 19, 27 @ 10 AM; August 10, 24 @ 5:30 PM
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 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!

LARKIN DISTRICT
August 5, 19 @ 11 AM
Meet: Outside Flying Bison Brewing at 840 Seneca St., Buffalo, at the corner of Seneca and Lord streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The Larkin District, or Larkinville, is the reborn former home of the Larkin Soap Company. In the early 1900s, the Larkin Company was one of the largest mail order companies in the country, and one of its executives, Darwin D. Martin, was responsible for bringing Frank Lloyd Wright to Buffalo. Today, the former Larkin factories and warehouses have been brought back to life and the area is bustling with activity once again. Join us to explore the Larkin Company's past while enjoying the revitalized neighborhood.

BIDWELL PARKWAY
August 6, 29 @ 10 AM
Meet: Soldiers Place, Buffalo. Abundant street parking is available along Bidwell, Chapin or Lincoln Parkways.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The gorgeous houses on either side of Bidwell Parkway, especially those designed by the well-known local firm of Esenwein & Johnson, are the highlights of the tour. The beautiful parkway with its rows of trees became one of Buffalo’s most fashionable residential addresses, and its popularity continues today as the center of the Elmwood Village.

While strolling the parkway designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as part of their park and parkway system for the growing city of Buffalo, learn about the “Civil War District” they laid out that included Soldiers Circle, Lincoln Parkway, Bidwell Parkway, Bidwell Place, Chapin Parkway and Chapin Place. Along the way, see a house designed using H. H. Richardson’s plans and examine the large sculpture by Larry Griffis, “Flight of Birds,” and the newest public art in Buffalo, “Eden.”

WEST SIDE MOB
August 6, 20 @ 10 AM
Meet: Providence Social restaurant at 490 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. Free street parking is available on Rhode Island, Chenango and other nearby streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Buffalo’s West Side was once a hotbed of mob activity and government surveillance as law enforcement tried to make a dent in the criminal underworld, often with little success. Find out how the mob succeeded at eluding the government men for decades on this entertaining tour. This tour is adapted from Mike Rizzo’s book “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo.”

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. 

SILO CITY ARTS & ECOLOGY
August 6 @ 2 PM
Meet: The tour meets in the parking lot at the corner of Ohio Street and Silo City, Buffalo. Ample parking is available on site.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join us for a unique look at Silo City as we focus on natural and artistic features of the campus. In the past several years, major efforts have been undertaken at Silo City to restore natural plantings and habitats. These environmental projects have taken place with Buffalo’s historic grain elevators in the background. More recently, students from the University at Buffalo and other artists have added to the grounds with artistic installations. This tour will reveal the regeneration of this former industrial powerhouse.

PRESIDENTS IN BUFFALO
August 7, 14, 21, 28 @ 10 AM
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 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. 

POCKET PARKS OF ALLENTOWN
August 7, 21 @ 10 AM
Meet: This tour meets in front of First Presbyterian Church at One Symphony Circle, Buffalo. Parking is available in the church parking lot or on surrounding neighborhood streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The western part of Buffalo’s historic Allentown neighborhood, where the northern edge of Buffalo’s original border meets the old New York State Reservation line, is a neighborhood of small parks and secluded enclaves. Grand and humble Victorian homes grace these neighborhood greenspaces, including Days Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1887, and Arlington Park where Olmsted lived while designing Buffalo’s park system. Symphony Circle, a key link in Olmsted’s park and parkway system, is the starting point for this tour. Join us for a walking tour of this charming area of Buffalo to learn more about its history while admiring its parks and homes.

HIDDEN GEMS OF THE DELAWARE DISTRICT
August 8, 22, 29 @ 6 PM; August 19, 26 @ 1 PM
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site at 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the TR Site's parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Take a walk around the block on Linwood Avenue, Bryant Street, Oakland Place and Summer Street to discover beautiful gardens and spectacular homes in a wide variety of architectural styles just off Delaware Avenue. Many of the families who built these homes are well-known in Buffalo history, such as the Goodyear family, while others are less well known but equally intriguing. Join us to learn their stories and discover the many hidden delights of this neighborhood!

GATES CIRCLE
August 9 @ 6 PM; August 24 @ 10 AM
Meet: This tour meets at the southwest corner of Gates Circle and Chapin Parkway. Street parking is available along Chapin Parkway or Lafayette Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Buffalo’s streets and public spaces are dynamic with a variety of histories, architectural styles and uses. Gates Circle is an excellent example of this variety, which this walking tour around the circle and surrounding streets will explore. Learn about the history of Gates Circle itself, along with the Olmsted & Vaux park system and surrounding streets including Lafayette, Delaware and West Delavan avenues and Chapin Parkway. Along the way, examine the architectural styles present on both residential and commercial buildings.

SHEA’S PERFORMING ARTS CENTER RESTORATION TOUR
August 10, 24 @ 1 PM
Meet: Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St., Buffalo
Cost: General $25, Student $20, Explorer Pass $20

Shea’s Buffalo Theater opened in 1926 as the jewel of Michael Shea’s movie theater empire in Buffalo. With no expense spared in its construction, the theater was designed by Rapp & Rapp from Chicago, with an interior designed by Tiffany Studios. Today, Shea’s Performing Arts Center is at the heart of Buffalo’s Theater District, hosting some of the most popular touring productions in the country. The ornate interior has been painstakingly restored, and this tour will showcase the results of this restoration. The tour will be led by Shea’s Restoration Consultant Doris Collins, who will explain the details of the restoration process during this in-depth tour of one of Buffalo’s favorite landmarks. This tour includes several flights of stairs and no elevator is available for access to upper levels. Cameras are encouraged and photography is permitted, with the exception of sets on stage.

COTTAGE DISTRICT
August 10 @ 6 PM; August 26 @ 10 AM
Meet: Buffalo Rome Café, 388 Porter Ave., Buffalo
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Little Summer Street has the most picturesque cottages in the city.  Built in the 1870s by English immigrants, the charming cottages of Little Summer Street create a neighborhood truly unique in Buffalo. Explore this and other streets off "The Avenue," the Olmsted-planned street now known as Richmond Avenue.

CONCRETE CENTRAL KAYAK TOUR
August 10 @ 6 PM
Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak at The Barrel Factory at 65 Vandalia St., Buffalo, at the corner of Hamburg and Republic streets across from Gene McCarthy's. The tour will launch from Mutual Riverfront Park, a one-block walk from The Barrel Factory.
Cost: General $40, Student $35, Explorer Pass Holder $35

Buffalo's waterfront along the Buffalo River is the setting for a dramatic transformation from an industrial landscape back to a natural waterway. Towering grain elevators still line the river, but nature has returned to reclaim the river. This kayak tour travels upstream from the Elevator Alley Kayak tour and views historic sites not seen on the Elevator Alley Kayak tour, including the massive Concrete Central grain elevator, the largest built in Buffalo. This kayak tour is given in partnership with Elevator Alley Kayak, who will provide the kayaks for this urban adventure tour. Learn about the history of the grain elevators in Buffalo and have many terrific photo opportunities on this guided kayak tour!

This tour is approximately two and a half hours in length, including time at the beginning of the tour to review basic kayaking technique and launch the kayaks. Tour participants must be able to kayak approximately four miles, from Mutual Riverfront Park to Canalside and back. Reservations are required for this tour as a limited number of kayaks are available. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old. Cameras are encouraged but please note that there is a good chance they may get wet!

LOOKING UP: DOWNTOWN CEILINGS & SKYLIGHTS
August 11 @ 1:30 PM; August 21 @ 10:30 AM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour 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 Free

Come ready to look up on this downtown walking tour! This tour will reveal the ornate ceilings and skylights found in many buildings throughout downtown Buffalo. While many people walk underneath them on a daily basis, the ceilings of many of Buffalo's buildings are often their least-noticed feature. Join us on this tour to discover these beautiful works of art, many of which are hiding in plain sight!

ESTATES ALONG THE AVENUE
August 11, 25 @1 PM
Meet: This tour meets in the parking lot behind Blessed Sacrament Church at 1035 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. The entrance to the parking lot is on Linwood Avenue, north of West Utica Street. Parking in the church lot is allowed for this tour.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Delaware Avenue's northern section was predominately farmland throughout much of the 19th century, but began to be developed as family estates. Discover how some of Buffalo's wealthiest families came to dominate this section of Delaware Avenue in the late 19th and early 20th century. While many of their former homes remain, most have been reused by businesses and institutions. Join us on this walking tour of one of Buffalo's most beautiful streets to admire classic homes of the Gilded Age and learn about the families who built them.

MICHIGAN STREET AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE
August 12 @ 12 PM
Meet: In front of the Michigan Street Baptist Church at 511 Michigan Ave., Buffalo.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

African-American history in Buffalo is centered in the neighborhood surrounding the Michigan Street Baptist Church. Join us for a tour of important locations in this neighborhood to learn about the major milestones in African-American history in Buffalo, as well as how this affected national history. Buffalo has played a major role in African-American history, from the days of the Underground Railroad to the formation of the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP. This tour includes an interior tour of the Michigan Street Baptist Church, Nash House Museum and Colored Musicians Club Museum, three important landmarks in this neighborhood.

SCANDALOUS BUFFALO
August 13, 27 @ 10 AM
Meet: Spot Coffee at 227 Delaware Ave., at the corner of Chippewa Street. Two-hour metered parking is available on Delaware Avenue and other nearby streets, or private parking lots are available – the closest is on Delaware Avenue next to Spot Coffee. The nearest MetroRail station, Fountain Plaza, is three blocks away. Street parking downtown is free on weekends.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join us for a tour of the scandalous side of Buffalo history! On this downtown walking tour, you’ll learn some of the darker stories of the Queen City’s past. Stops on the tour include the site of a triple hanging in 1825 and the former location of a Ku Klux Klan office. You’ll also find out what happened to the assassin who shot President William McKinley at Buffalo’s 1901 Pan-American Exposition.

On this tour, you’ll learn about the role some of Buffalo’s lawmen played in maintaining civil order, including a popular anti-Prohibition Mayor and the Erie County Sheriff who became the only American President to have executed a prisoner by hanging. The architectural landmarks of downtown Buffalo provide a magnificent backdrop for these stories, many of which sound straight from a movie script – but they’re all true!

HISTORIC CLARENCE HOLLOW
August 12 @ 10 AM
Meet: In front of the White Clubhouse on “Greatbatch Way” at Main Street Town Park in Clarence. For Google Maps use “Cummings Drive.”
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Discover a portion of the oldest town in Erie County, formed in 1808, as we walk along Main Street in the Hollow. We will learn about some of the earliest American settlers to the Western New York area as we tour Main Street to observe many of the historically significant buildings and their architecture. On this two-mile walking tour, we will explore the history of buildings that now house museums, shops and restaurants.

SEEING DOWNTOWN THROUGH BINOCULARS
August 13 @ 10:30 AM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour 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 Free

Bring your binoculars and come ready to look up on this downtown walking tour! Many downtown buildings are topped with ornate details that can be difficult to see from ground level. On this tour, you will discover some of the most beautiful details in downtown Buffalo that are hiding in plain sight!

LANCASTER WALKING TOUR
August 13, 27 @ 2 PM
Meet: Lancaster Historical Society, 40 Clark St., Lancaster.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

One of the most charming village centers in Erie County, Lancaster has a wealth of historic commercial and residential architecture, including the landmark Lancaster Opera House with its prominent clock tower. The Village of Lancaster continues to be a popular place to live and shop, with many unique events held year-round. Join us on a walking tour of this historic village to learn more about the history of the village and appreciate its historic landmarks and streetscapes.

BRICK BY BRICK: RESIDENTIAL ALLENTOWN REVEALED
August 14, 28 @ 10 AM
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site at 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free, TR Site Members Free

This walking tour of North Pearl and Franklin streets in the historic Allentown neighborhood focuses on residential architecture of the mid-19th century. Two of Allentown’s most intriguing residential streets, North Pearl and Franklin streets feature brick mid-Victorian homes designed in the Italianate and Queen Anne styles. Located between Main Street and Delaware Avenue, these streets attracted professionals who wanted to combine comfortable suburban living with proximity to the boom of Buffalo’s commerce. Join us for this neighborhood walking tour to see excellent examples of these architectural styles and learn about the history of the homes and individuals who built them.

UNIVERSITY DISTRICT
August 15 @ 10 AM
Meet: Behind the University Metro Rail Station, 3383 Main St. on the UB South Campus. Free parking is available in the adjacent Park-and-Ride lot.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

When the University at Buffalo purchased the Erie County Almshouse and Hospital on Main Street in 1909, it helped spur growth of nearby residences and businesses. The neighborhood that emerged boasts today’s University Park Historic District, which was the first “gated community” in Buffalo. There are several other landmarked sites in the neighborhood, as well as a commercial district along Main Street that reflects the adjacent college.

This tour will highlight the University Metro Rail Station and the public art it contains, several historic buildings on the University campus and the University Presbyterian Church. Moving into the adjacent neighborhood, the tour will view representative homes in the University Park Historic District, the Parkside Candy shop, and finish with recently completed wall murals.

SPOTLIGHT TOUR: NEW ERA CAP COMPANY
August 16 @ 6 PM
Meet: In front of New Era Cap Company at 160 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Street parking is available on Delaware Avenue and surrounding streets (street parking is free after 5 p.m.).
Cost: General $25, Explorer Pass $20

The Buffalo branch of the Federal Reserve Bank moved to its new location on Delaware Avenue in 1956, where it operated until the branch's closure in 2005. This monumental building was then purchased by New Era Cap Company, a proud local company with a fascinating history of its own, to use as its corporate headquarters and flagship store. On this Spotlight tour, we will see the vestiges of the Federal Reserve Bank inside New Era's offices, including the vaults and the bay where secured trucks transported cash to and from the Federal Reserve and local banks. This building is an outstanding example of adaptive reuse, as it was creatively repurposed to accommodate its new use while maintaining its historic significance in Buffalo’s banking history.

This tour will also shine a light on the story of New Era itself, including its origins south of Buffalo and how the company became the official manufacturer of caps for Major League Baseball as well as other sports teams both at the professional and college levels. Today, New Era is a global brand that is associated with Buffalo around the world, including as the namesake of New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills. Join us on this tour to learn more about this company and their remarkable transformation of the Federal Reserve Bank into their headquarters.

BUFFALO NIAGARA MEDICAL CAMPUS
August 17 @ 10 AM
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: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass 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.

INSIDE DELAWARE AVENUE MANSIONS
August 19 @ 10 AM
Meet: American Red Cross at 786 Delaware Avenue, 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 $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.

PARKSIDE
August 19 @ 10 AM
Meet: Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Planned by Frederick Law Olmsted as an accompaniment to his Buffalo park and parkway system, the Parkside neighborhood features graceful tree-lined streets that curve around Delaware Park. Always one of the most popular neighborhoods in Buffalo, the homes of the Parkside neighborhood represent a range of architectural styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Arts & Crafts, Victorian and American Foursquare. Neighborhood landmarks include the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd where the tour begins, the Art Deco former Pierce Arrow showroom at Main Street and Jewett Parkway, and the Darwin Martin House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (admission to the Darwin Martin House is not included in this tour). Join Explore Buffalo on a walking tour of this picturesque Buffalo neighborhood to discover the beauty and history of its street, homes and past residents.

BUFFALO SPORTS HISTORY
August 19 @ 10:30 AM; August 22 @ 6:30 PM
Meet: Main & Perry streets, outside of KeyBank Center.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Buffalo is well known as a city passionate about its local sports teams. This downtown walking tour will trace the history of local sports teams, stadiums and players, including both major and minor league teams and college sports. As we walk through downtown, enjoy some local sports trivia that will keep even the most fervent local fans guessing. Join us to learn about past sports history and gain appreciation of the enthusiasm that Buffalo sports fans have for the city's current teams.

POSTMODERN DOWNTOWN ARCHITECTURE
August 19 @ 1:30 PM
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour 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 Free

Locals and visitors usually fall in love with Buffalo’s highly decorated buildings such as the Guaranty Building (1896), City Hall (1931) and, of course, churches. These same people often find Modern architecture like City Court (1974) and Main Place Mall (1969) bland and boring by comparison.

In reaction to Modern architecture, from the mid-1970s to the end of the 20th century, there was a return to color and ornament in new buildings including the Buffalo Bisons Stadium, the Buffalo Savings Bank Annex and the Flickinger Athletic Center. This style is known as Postmodern and this tour will focus on the ornamentation and color in a number of those and other Postmodern buildings, including Lafayette Court, Key Center at Fountain Plaza and City Centre skyscrapers.

ART OF THE SUBWAY
August 20 @ 10 AM
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 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. 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.

ELMWOOD VILLAGE’S ALBRIGHT ESTATE
August 20 @ 10 am
Meet: Elmwood Avenue Spot Coffee, 765 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo. Street parking is available on Elmwood Avenue and surrounding streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

In the heart of the thriving Elmwood Village are treasures and secrets waiting to be rediscovered on this walking tour. Twelve acres surrounded by West Ferry Street and Cleveland Avenue were once the lavish estate of John J. Albright, famous industrialist and philanthropist who is the namesake of our renowned art gallery's 1905 building. After the Albright mansion was demolished, the property was developed into some of the most attractive residential real estate in the city. We will walk these tree-lined blocks to see remaining signs of the Albright Estate, learn more about this historic district and how it developed into a residential neighborhood.

COLUMBUS PARKWAY
August 20 @ 2 PM; August 30 @ 6 PM
Meet: Columbus Statue, 240 Porter Ave., Buffalo.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The Columbus Park area of the Prospect Hill neighborhood is rich in history and architecture with a spectacular view of Lake Erie and wonderful lake breezes. The elegant homes that line the entrance to the Peace Bridge tell the story of some of Buffalo’s wealthiest citizens in an area defined by the Erie Canal, Olmsted’s Front Park and Fort Porter. Hear about the healing spring waters that ran through the area causing it to become a travel destination for many and the beautiful hotels that catered to those travelers. Known as Doctor’s Row, this neighborhood became home to generations of Italian-American families including the founder of our Columbus Day holiday. Come stroll the area and learn about its incredible history and the current challenges the neighborhood faces to preserve its heritage in face of the Peace Bridge expansion.

MAIN STREET: OLD MEETS NEW
August 23 @ 6 PM
Meet: Cafe 59 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: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is rapidly growing, with billions of dollars of new construction recently completed, in progress or soon to be underway. This includes the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University at Buffalo and the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, both targeting 2017 completion dates. This tour will view these construction sites as well as finished buildings such as the Gates Vascular Institute and Conventus. (Note: this is an exterior-only tour that does not include any interior access).

Related to the construction boom on the Medical Campus, the adjacent historic Allentown neighborhood has seen significant attention recently, focused on restoration or renovation of many of its historic buildings. This tour will view many of these restoration projects, particularly those along Main Street. Come and join us to see the amazing transformation of this neighborhood – with over 150 years of history from Ulrich’s Tavern to the new Medical School!

Come on this tour and receive a special deal for a free glass of beer or wine with the purchase of a sandwich or entree at Cafe 59, where the tour begins and ends!

DOWNTOWN LOCKPORT
August 24 @ 1 PM
Meet: Flight of Five Winery in Old City Hall at 2 Pine St., Lockport. Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent parking lot.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Lockport is a canal town unlike any other on the Erie Canal. Growing out of a need to scale the Niagara Escarpment, the Flight of Five is an engineering feat that has long attracted visitors to this area. While Lockport is well known for its important role in the success of the Erie Canal, there is more to Lockport than just the Locks. This tour will explore the development of Lockport from the early 1800s to modern times, including the humble Quakers who founded the town, inventors who brought about economic and cultural development, beautiful architecture and even a stop on the Underground Railroad.

HAMLIN PARK
August 27 @ 10 AM
Meet: Canisius College Student Center at 98 Hughes Ave., Buffalo. Street parking on Hughes Avenue and other surrounding streets is available.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

This Buffalo neighborhood is on the National Register for Historic Places. It was once the site of popular horse-drawn carriage races at the Buffalo Driving Park, established by internationally-renowned horse breeder and Buffalo businessman Cicero Hamlin. At the turn of the 20th century, the Driving Park site and surrounding farmland were developed into a planned, suburban-like community for Buffalo’s growing middle class.

This neighborhood connected to the Olmsted Park System via the Humboldt Parkway, which connected Delaware Park with today's Martin Luther King Parkway. The neighborhood was also joined by the campus of Canisius College. While the parkway was unfortunately lost to highway construction, Hamlin Park remains a proud neighborhood of historic homes. Come explore this historic neighborhood with us to learn about the history of the influential Hamlin family and development of the neighborhood while seeing many excellent examples of early 20th century residential building styles.

Advance reservations are encouraged but not required for tours. 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. 

 

Orchard Park Businesses