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Explore Buffalo Lists August Adventures | Arts & Culture

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Explore Buffalo Lists August Adventures
Explore Buffalo Lists August Adventures

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. 

Brick by Brick: Residential Allentown Revealed!

10 a.m. August 1, 6 p.m. August 30

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.

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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, 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 Explore Buffalo 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.

 

Five Presidents in Buffalo

10 a.m. August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; 2 p.m. August 5, 12, 19, 26

Meet: Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, Washington & Clinton Streets, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $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 five presidents who are particularly prominent in Buffalo history.

 

Silo City: Vertical

10 a.m. August 2, 9, 12, 13, 23, 26, 27

Meet: 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.

General Admission: $35, Student Admission: $30, Explorer Pass Holders: $30

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. No sandals or open-toed shoes are permitted on this tour. Reservations required.

 

Silo City: Vertical Sunset

6 p.m. August 4, 11, 25

Meet: 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.

General Admission: $45, Student Admission: $40, Explorer Pass Holders: $40

Join us for a special sunset edition of our most popular tour, with dinner at the end of the tour along the Buffalo River as the sun sets on the Buffalo River.

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.

Buffalo River Nature Kayak with WNY Land Conservancy

6 p.m. August 2

Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak at The Barrel Factory, 65 Vandalia St., Buffalo

General Admission: $40, Student Admission: $35, Explorer Pass Holders: $35

The Buffalo River has rapidly transformed in recent decades from an industrial river to a natural landscape. Wildlife and vegetation have quickly returned to the river’s banks as industry has left, providing for a scenic kayak tour as the industrial remnants contrast with the returning greenery and animals. Join us for this unique experience to learn more about and see in person the river’s transformation. The evening hours of this tour will provide the best opportunity to see wildlife along the river. This tour will be guided by the WNY Land Conservancy.

This tour of the Buffalo River is provided in partnership with Elevator Alley Kayak, who will provide the kayaks for this urban adventure tour. Be sure to bring your camera for the many terrific photo opportunities on this guided kayak tour!

Building Buffalo: Medical Campus & Allentown Development

6 p.m. August 2

Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo.

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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 University at Buffalo Jacobs Medical School 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 of renovation of many of its historic buildings. This tour will view many of these restoration projects, particularly those along Main Street. Come and join Explore Buffalo to see the amazing transformation of this neighborhood.

Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue. 

 

Silo City: Grounded

10 a.m. August 3, 4, 10, 11, 14, 24, 25, 28, 31; 1 p.m. August 13, 27

Meet: Silo City, 120 Silo City Row, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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.” 

 

Sunset Silo City Grounded

6 p.m. August 2, 9, 23, 30

Meet: Silo City, 120 Silo City Row, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explore Pass Holders: Free

Learn about the upcoming multi-million dollar additions to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, including the UB Medical School and John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.  This route includes interior visits at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute, UB’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and other buildings along Buffalo’s “medical corridor.” This tour is made possible by the support and cooperation of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

 

Riverfront Renaissance

10 a.m. August 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31; 7 p.m. August 5, 12,  19, 26

Meet: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, 125 Main St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Buffalo grew from the water’s edge, as the Erie Canal and later the railroads brought unprecedented commerce and industry to the city. This waterfront walking tour will explore some of the oldest neighborhoods of Buffalo, many of which have gone through numerous transitions and are in the midst of yet another change as the city returns its focus to the water. The redevelopment of Canalside and new waterfront attractions are featured in this tour, along with the history of the opening of the Erie Canal and development of the grain elevator and other waterfront industry.

 

Best of Buffalo

10:30 a.m. August 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31

Meet: Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, Washington & Clinton Streets, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join us 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 – Masters of American Architecture and Beaux Arts Buffalo. 

 

Elevator Alley Kayak Sunset Tour

6 p.m. August 10, 17, 24, 31

Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak at The Barrel Factory, 65 Vandalia St. 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.

General Admission: $40, Student Admission: $35, Explorer Pass Holders: $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 Explore Buffalo 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!

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.

 

Masters of American Architecture

10 a.m. August 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Meet: Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, Washington & Clinton Streets, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

At the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was the eighth largest city in America and the city’s businesses, organizations, and citizens had the financial resources to hire the best architects and craftsmen and use the finest materials available. See signature works by some of America’s greatest architects on this downtown walking tour, and learn about the prominence of Buffalo on a national scale at the turn of the 20th century. Buildings included as part of this tour include: St. Joseph’s Cathedral – Patrick Keeley; Old County Hall – Andrew Jackson Warner; Guaranty Building – Louis Sullivan & Dankmar Adler; St. Paul’s Cathedral – Richard Upjohn, Ellicott Square Building – Daniel Burnham & Co.; Old Post Office – Jeremiah O’Rourke, William Akin & James Knox Taylor.

Building interiors are featured wherever possible but access is not guaranteed; this depends on building availability, which can change on short notice, such as during funeral services at the cathedrals. 

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse

1 p.m. August 4. 11, 18, 25; 11 a.m. August 27

Meet: 1 Rotary Row, Buffalo

General: $10, Students: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join us 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!

 

Downtown Deco

1 p.m. August 4, 11, 18, 25

Meet: Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, Washington & Clinton Streets, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $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.

 

Mark Twain’s Buffalo by Bus

6 p.m. August 4

Meet: First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo

General Admission: $35, Explorer Pass Holders: $30

From 1869 to 1871, one of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, lived and worked in Buffalo. While in Buffalo in his early 30s, Twain became a husband and a father. He also decided to abandon his career as a journalist and become a full-time author. The seeds of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were sown in Western New York. This tour will visit key sites of Twain’s professional and domestic worlds in the booming city of Buffalo that he inhabited.

We will get off the bus in downtown Buffalo to get a sense of his territory in his last days as a bachelor, and as co-owner and co-editor of the Morning Express newspaper. While downtown, we will stop at the Central Library to visit the Mark Twain Room and view some of the Twain artifacts found there. Moving to the Delaware District, we will walk some of his paths where later he lived and wrote as a newlywed.

This tour will be led by local Twain biographer Tom Reigstad, author of Scribblin’ for a Livin’: Mark Twain’s Pivotal Period in Buffalo, copies of which will be available for sale on the tour.

This tour meets at First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo at One Symphony Circle, Buffalo. Parking is available in the church parking lot or on the surrounding streets.

 

City of Light Bus Tour

1 p.m. August 5, 20

Meet: Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo

General Admission: $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. Reservations are required.

 

Beaux-Arts Buffalo

1 p.m. August 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27

Meet: Spot Coffee, 227 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

 

Join Explore Buffalo for a downtown walking tour of some of the best examples of the Beaux-Arts style in Buffalo! Popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, Beaux-Arts, which translates as “Beautiful Arts” and began in Paris, is characterized by elaborate detail and ornamentation, with many classical influences. The buildings seen on this tour exemplify Buffalo 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.

 

On this tour, you will see exteriors and interiors of commercial buildings built in the Beaux-Arts style and learn about their history (note that more interiors are accessible on weekdays than on weekends). Many of these buildings have been meticulously restored in recent years to meet current needs, including the Electric Tower and Market Arcade.

 

Paddles + Pints

6 p.m. August 19

Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak, 65 Vandalia Street, Buffalo

General Admission: $45, Romance on the River Special: $80 for 2, Explorer Pass Holders: $40. There is no discounted price for bringing your own kayak for this tour.

Join Explore Buffalo for a unique twist on the usual Elevator Alley Kayak Tour, as the tour ends with a pint of Old First Ward beer at Gene McCarthy’s Tavern! This tour is a Social Mixer Night – a great opportunity to meet new people while enjoying the best of Buffalo’s waterfront!

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 Explore Buffalo 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. Reservations are required.

 

Old First Ward

6 p.m. August 5, 19; 1 p.m. August 13, 27

Meet: Mutual Riverfront Park, 41 Hamburg St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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.

Meet at Mutual Riverfront Park at 41 Hamburg Street, 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.

 

Allentown Mob Tour

7 p.m. August 5, 12, 19, 26

Meet: Cafe 59, 62 Allen St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $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!

Participants will 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! This tour meets in front of 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.

 

Olmsted’s Pocket Parks of Allentown

10 a.m. August 6, 22; 6 p.m. August 9

Meet: First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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.

 

Millionaire Mile: Delaware Avenue Mansions

10 a.m. August 6, 12, 20, 26

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.

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $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 (for the other half of “Millionaire Mile,” see the Delaware Avenue Midway tour). Interior access to some of the mansions will be included in the tour based upon availability.

 

Brewing Buffalo Bus Tour

1 p.m. August 6, 27

Meet: Gene McCarthy’s, 73 Hamburg St., Buffalo

General Admission: $60, Explorer Pass Holders: $55

Join Explore Buffalo for a four-hour bus tour to learn about the history of brewing in the Queen City while visiting four craft breweries for interior tours and product samples. Each local brewery will offer the opportunity to sample their unique craft beer.

Brewing in Buffalo has continually evolved from its beginnings in the early 1800s to its present-day revival. At its peak in the early 1900s before Prohibition, Buffalo’s brewing industry included nearly 30 independent breweries producing millions of gallons of beer each year. Today, Buffalo’s brewing culture is returning, with the opening of numerous craft breweries around the city. An Explore Buffalo docent will provide an overview of this history as the tour moves from stop to stop.

 

Elevator Alley Kayak Tour

9 a.m. 6, 7, 13, 14, 21, 27, 28

Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak at The Barrel Factory, 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.

General Admission: $40, Student Admission: $35, Explorer Pass Holders: $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 Explore Buffalo 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! Reservations required.

 

Lincoln Parkway

10 a.m. August 7, 13, 21

Meet: Statue of Abraham Lincoln in front of the Rose Garden in Delaware Park, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $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 participants explore the neighborhood and the stories of the families who have lived there!

 

Scandalous Buffalo

10 a.m. August 7, 21

Meet: Spot Coffee, 227 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join Explore Buffalo 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 also 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!

 

Leading Ladies: Women’s History by Bike

2 p.m. August 7, 6:30 p.m. August 17

Meet: First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a bike tour of the history of many of Buffalo’s prominent women! From Buffalo’s earliest days, women have played a prominent role in shaping the community, including establishing many of our community institutions. Buffalo has been the home of many well-known actresses, authors, and artists, as well as the first woman in America to be a professional architect. This guided bicycle tour will visit the homes and workplaces of many of these women who were important to both Buffalo and the nation.

Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old.

 

Larkin District

11 a.m. August 7

Meet: St. Clare Roman Catholic Church, 193 Elk St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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. Explore the Larkin Company’s past while enjoying the revitalized neighborhood!

 

Seeing Downtown Through Binoculars

10 a.m. August 10

Meet: Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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! Some metered street parking is available nearby, or the Turner parking ramp is located next door to City Hall.

 

Fact or Fiction: A Questionable Tour of Buffalo

6 p.m. August 10

Meet: Pan-American Grill, 391 Washington St., Buffalo

General Admission: $25, Explorer Pass Holders: $20 

How well do you think you know Buffalo’s history? Join Explore Buffalo for a unique opportunity to hear docents give a tour that is only half true! As you walk through downtown on this happy hour tour, docents 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!

Did you take the Fact or Fiction Tour on April Fools Day this year? This tour will follow a different route and feature all new stories!

Meet at the Pan-American Grill at 391 Washington St., inside the Hotel Lafayette. 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). 

 

Religious Arts Center Speaker Series

7 p.m. August 10

Meet: Buffalo Religious Arts Center, 157 East St., Buffalo

Admission: $10 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Religious Arts Center and Explore Buffalo. 

Speaker: Jack Edson

Have you ever wondered how an artist makes a stained glass window, or seen an overview of the many steps between the artist’s inspiration and the finished window?  And, how do stained glass windows inspire the spiritual life of the viewer today? This talk will include artifacts used in the creation of stained glass windows and a discussion of the wonderful collection of windows created by Francis X. Zettler in the St. Francis Xavier Church building.

Co-sponsored by the Buffalo Religious Arts Center and Explore Buffalo, this speaker series will explore different topics of religion and their connection to arts and culture in the Buffalo area.

All lectures are on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Buffalo Religious Arts Center, 157 East St., Buffalo. Parking is available in the parking lot at the corner of Amherst and East streets or on the street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for an opportunity to briefly tour the collection, housed in the former St. Francis Xavier Church. The Religious Arts Center will close at 9 p.m. following the lecture. Check out the Religious Arts Center on Facebook!

 

Bricks of Buffalo and Beyond: The Clement Brick Museum

6:30 p.m. August 11

Meet: Clement Brick Museum, 6291 Milestrip Road, Orchard Park

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $10, Explorer Pass Holders: $10

The Clement Brick Museum, the result of 40 years of collecting “branded” bricks, is a step back into history. Typical categories of branded bricks include Native American, slave, prison, common industrial and international bricks. Among the most prized bricks in the collection are ones from the many Buffalo-area brickyards and ones used in historic local buildings, including the Guaranty Building, the Martin House, and the Larkin Soap Company. 

As of April 2016, the collection includes about 8,500 bricks on display in a double-length garage and outdoor patio, not including the driveway bricks. Jane Clement is past president the International Brick Collectors Society, while Frank Clement is the current vice president of the organization that boasts about 400 active members. They travel annually across the country to trade and unearth bricks with historic value.

 

Waterfront Views by Bike

9 a.m. August 13

Meet: North End of Fuhrmann Boulevard, 2 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Buffalo’s waterfront is bustling with activity! Join Explore Buffalo on this bike tour to see the waterfront rapidly transforming while learning some of the area’s history. This bike tour will begin on the Outer Harbor, enjoying some of the new bike trails recently constructed there. Following the Buffalo River, the tour will pass some of Buffalo’s grain elevators which now share the river’s shores with newly built apartments and parks. Arriving at the Inner Harbor, the tour will finish with an overview of Canalside and the development of the surrounding area.

Meet at the north end of Fuhrmann Boulevard, outside the Buffalo Coast Guard Base at the entrance to the Buffalo Lighthouse walkway. Parking is available along Fuhrmann Boulevard. Please bring $1 exact change to take the Bike Ferry across the Buffalo River from Canalside at the end of the tour. 

Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old.

 

Scajaquada Creek Walking Tour

10 a.m. August 13

Meet: Scajaquada Trail Entrance, Wegmans, 601 Amherst St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

The storied Scajaquada Creek provides the setting for some of the most pivotal moments in Buffalo’s history. Learn about the long and varied history of those who worked and lived on its shores, and the neighborhoods and industries that thrived due to their proximity to it. Scajaquada Creek also plays an essential role in creating the water features of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park. Hear about the origin of the creek’s name, its place in the War of 1812, its naval history, the former shipyard, and current efforts to improve its Pathway, revitalize the area, and remediate the waterway.

 

Cottage District

10 a.m. August 13

Meet: Buffalo Rome Cafe, 388 Porter Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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, and enjoy an interior visit at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in the former Plymouth Methodist Church.

 

Leading Ladies: Women’s History by Bus

10 a.m. August 13

Meet: Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo

General Admission: $55, Explorer Pass Holders: $50

Women have played a critical role in shaping the Buffalo community since the city’s earliest days. Join Explore Buffalo for this guided bus tour, which includes lunch at the Pan-American Grill in the Hotel Lafayette, to learn more about many of Buffalo’s leading ladies! Along this guided bus tour, see the homes, workplaces, and social gathering places of women who were community leaders and philanthropists, along with many well-known authors, actresses, and artists. You’ll be amazed by the tremendous impact Buffalo’s women have had on both the Buffalo community and the nation!

This tour is made possible with the generous support of the Junior League of Buffalo. Ample on-street parking is available on both sides of Bidwell Parkway. This tour is approximately four hours in length, returning to the Buffalo Seminary at 2 p.m. 

Enjoy lunch at the Pan-American Grill in the Hotel Lafayette, from the following options: Turkey BLT Sandwich, Lafayette French Dip Sandwich, BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders, Sugar Beet Salad. Reservations are required for this tour! Space is limited on the bus. For check-in, please print your confirmation email or show it on your phone.

 

Parkside Neighborhood

10 a.m. August 13

Meet: Church of the Good Shepherd, 96 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Planned by Frederick Law Olmsted as an accompaniment to his Buffalo parks 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 us on a walking tour of this picturesque Buffalo neighborhood to discover the beauty and history of its street, homes, and past residents.

Street parking is available on Jewett Parkway, Summit Avenue, and other nearby streets.

 

Inside Coca-Cola Field

5 p.m. August 13

Meet: Coca-Cola Field, One James D. Griffin Plaza, Buffalo

General Admission: $30, Explorer Pass Holders: $25

Come early before a Buffalo Bisons game to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Coca-Cola Field! When the stadium opened in 1988, it set the trend for stadium construction across the country. This tour will take you throughout the stadium, seeing places normally off-limits to the public such as the press box (note that access to the locker rooms is not available on this tour). Along the way, learn some fun facts about the Buffalo Bisons and local baseball history! This tour is made possible through the generous cooperation of the Buffalo Bisons. Included with this tour is a game ticket and a voucher for a hot dog and soda.

 

West Side Mob Tour

10 a.m. August 14, 28

Meet: Providence Social, 490 Rhode Island St., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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.”

 

Pedaling Humboldt Parkway Bike Tour

10 a.m. August 14

Meet: Canisius College Student Center, 98 Hughes Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Lost in the 1950s, the green space of the Olmsted-designed Humboldt Parkway stretched from Best Street, curving to meet Delaware Park. Its creation influenced the growth of our city and development of the area now known as the Hamlin Park Historic District. Bike with Explore Buffalo as we explore this city neighborhood, learn of the prestigious Buffalo family that gave this area its name and a horse racetrack, and rediscover Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, originally named The Parade by Frederick Law Olmsted.

Street parking on Hughes Avenue and other surrounding streets is available. Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old. In the event of heavy rain or other severe weather, this tour will be canceled.

 

Columbus Parkway

2 p.m. August 14

Meet: This tour meets at the statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Park, on Porter Avenue. Ample on-street parking is available on Columbus Parkway or other nearby streets.

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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 became 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.

 

Elmwood Village Victorians

6 p.m. August 16

Meet: Perks Coffee, 448 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Exploring the streets of the Elmwood Village, guests 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. Street parking is available on Elmwood Avenue and surrounding streets.

 

Leading Ladies: Downtown Women’s History Walking Tour

1:30 p.m. August 18, 25

Meet: Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitors Center, corner of Washington and Clinton Streets, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a downtown walking tour devoted entirely to the contributions of Buffalo women! While walking by many of downtown Buffalo's architectural attractions, learn about the significant role women have played in Buffalo history, including establishing and supporting many of our community's institutions. Buffalo’s women have also had a major impact on American history, as the home of two First Ladies and America's first professional woman architect, among many others. In addition, Buffalo has been home to many prominent women artists, authors, and actresses, and women have been leaders of the local architectural preservation movement including the saving of the Old Post Office. This tour is made possible with the generous support of the Junior League of Buffalo.

 

East Aurora

10 a.m. August 19

Meet: Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove St., East Aurora

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $10, Explorer Pass Holders: $5

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 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).

 

Landmarks and Landscapes by Bike

10 a.m. August 20

Meet: Indian Hunter Statue, Meadow Drive, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

On this overview bike tour of Buffalo’s Museum District, see works by some of America’s greatest architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson, set within a park and parkway system designed by celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Many of Buffalo’s landmark cultural attractions, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Buffalo History Museum, call the Olmsted landscapes home. Along the way, admire a diverse collection of public sculpture that has been incorporated into Olmsted’s system. This tour is approximately six miles in length with frequent stops, with much of the tour along designated bike paths.

Meet at the Indian Hunter statue on the Delaware Park Ring Road, near Agassiz Circle. Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old.

 

Hidden Gems of the Delaware District

2 p.m. August 20, 6 p.m. August 23

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.

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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 Explore Buffalo to learn their stories and discover the many hidden delights of this neighborhood.

 

Architectural Pursuit 2016

12:30 to 5 p.m. August 20

Meet: Cabaret Restaurant, 490 Pearl St., Buffalo

General Admission: $25, Explorer Pass Holders: $20

Look high, look low, and look straight ahead and right under your nose to find unique architectural details and historic trivia during Architectural Pursuit 2016. This year, guests on this popular scavenger hunt will be searching the Theater District for architectural clues. The highest scored team wins, but all participants get to enjoy the post-hunt party at Cabaret.

Please arrive at Cabaret between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. to check in with your team. Instructions will be given at 12:50 p.m., and at 1 p.m. teams will be released to begin searching! Return to Cabaret by 4 p.m. or penalty points for being late will be assessed! While the points are being tallied, enjoy a light dinner from the following options: 8 oz. Angus Burger with French Fries; Chicken Sandwich with Spinach, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, and French Fries; or Vegetarian Wrap with Roasted Vegetables, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomato, and Basil Mayo. There will be a cash bar available with happy hour prices. Once the points have been tallied, winners will be announced and prizes distributed! Reservations required. Explore Buffalo cannot accept reservations the week of the event, so sign up early!

 

Outer Harbor Highlights by Bike

2 p.m. August 21

Meet: Whipple Truss Bridge at Canalside, next to the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, 1 Park Cove, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

See the incredible transformation happening along the city’s Outer Harbor waterfront on this tour! Join in exploring Buffalo’s Outer Harbor trails that were recently built, providing a scenic journey from the 1833 Buffalo Harbor Lighthouse all the way to Tifft Farm Nature Preserve. The tour will start by taking the new Bike Ferry from Canalside to the Outer Harbor to visit the 1833 Lighthouse and discuss Lake Erie and the harbor built of Onondaga limestone. From there, the tour will bike through and discuss the history and current wildlife preserve at Times Beach.

The tour will continue on to Wilkeson Point Park, talk about the Buffalo River, Inner Harbor, and the original sea wall, now Fuhrmann Boulevard, before moving on to the Industrial Heritage Trail to discuss shipping on the Erie Canal and Great Lakes, along with history and the evolution of the grain industry in Buffalo. Next will be the Small Boat Harbor and exciting new prospects for the former Freezer Queen site, Gallagher Beach, and the new Buffalo Harbor State Park. The tour will proceed to Tifft Nature Preserve with a look at Buffalo’s future, as the new Solar City project is located on the former Republic Steel site behind Tifft Nature Preserve. 

The tour will end with taking the Bike Ferry back to Canalside. Bring $2 exact change to take the Bike Ferry across the Buffalo River from Canalside and then return. Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old.

 

Buffalo River Nature Kayak Tour with Buffalo Audubon Society

6 p.m. August 23

Meet: Elevator Alley Kayak, 65 Vandalia St., Buffalo

General Admission: $40, Student Admission: $35, Explorer Pass Holders: $35

The Buffalo River has rapidly transformed in recent decades from an industrial river to a natural landscape. Wildlife and vegetation have quickly returned to the river’s banks as industry has left, providing for a scenic kayak tour as the industrial remnants contrast with the returning greenery and animals. Join Explore Buffalo for this unique experience to learn more about and see in person the river’s transformation. The evening hours of this tour will provide the best opportunity to see wildlife along the river. This tour will be guided by the Buffalo Audubon Society.

This tour of the Buffalo River is provided in partnership with Elevator Alley Kayak, who will provide the kayaks for this urban adventure tour. Be sure to bring your camera for the many terrific photo opportunities on this guided kayak tour! Reservations are required.

 

Elmwood Villages Albright Estate

6 p.m. August 23

Meet: Elmwood Avenue Spot Coffee, 765 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: 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 and learn more about this historic district and how it developed into a residential neighborhood. 

 

Central Park & Parkside by Bike

10 a.m. August 28

Meet: Parkside Lodge, 84 Parkside Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a bike tour through two of Buffalo’s most picturesque neighborhoods. Guests will pass by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Darwin Martin House as they bike the Olmsted-planned curving streets of the Parkside neighborhood.  Crossing over the Belt Line Railroad, we will also explore the prestigious Central Park Neighborhood, including Depew and Morris avenues, where we will see the former homes of famous Buffalo families, such as the Kittingers and Oisheis. Returning to Olmsted’s Delaware Park, we will rediscover the park’s former quarry.

Helmets are required for all tour participants. Each tour participant must have a bicycle in good working condition; participants are also required to sign a waiver before the tour. The minimum age for this tour is 14 years old.

Please note: Advance reservations are encouraged but not required for walking tours. 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 only 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.

Please visit Explore Buffalo’s website – www.explorebuffalo.org – for more information.

 

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