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Explore Buffalo Lists September Adventures | Arts & Culture

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Explore Buffalo Lists September Adventures
Explore Buffalo Lists September Adventures

The season may be changing, but Explore Buffalo is showing no sign of slowing down as we turn the page on the calendar to September. Following is a complete list of their upcoming tours for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike!

Masters of American Architecture

10 a.m. Sept. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30

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 and Dankmar Adler; St. Paul’s Cathedral, Richard Upjohn; Ellicott Square Building, Daniel Burnham & Co.; Old Post Office, Jeremiah O’Rourke, William Akin and James Knox Taylor. Building interiors are featured wherever possible but access is not guaranteed; this depends on building availability, which can change with short notice such as during funeral services at the cathedrals. 

Downtown Deco

1 p.m. Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 

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.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse

1 p.m. Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

11 a.m. Sept. 3

Meet: 1 Rotary Row, Buffalo

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

Join Explore Buffalo for a tour of the only rowing boathouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! Originally designed by Wright in 1905 for the University of Wisconsin, the Boathouse was never built until its construction in 2007 in Buffalo along the shore of the Black Rock Channel. This was one of Wright’s favorite designs, as evidenced by his inclusion of the Boathouse in his now-famous Wasmuth Portfolio. Today the Boathouse is being used for its original purpose as an active rowing facility, providing a unique opportunity to see one of Wright’s designs being used as originally intended. On the tour you’ll learn about why it was never constructed in Wisconsin, and how it came to be built in Buffalo. The tour includes both the exterior and interior of the Boathouse, providing an in-depth look at a masterpiece of Prairie-style design. While on the tour, enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Erie, the Niagara River and the Canadian shore from the Boathouse – and be sure to bring your camera!

Silo City Grounded

10 a.m. Sept. 1, 7, 8, 21, 22, 28, 29

1 p.m. Sept. 4, 25 

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.”  The tour meets at 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.

Allentown Mob Tour

7 p.m. Sept. 2, 9, 16, 30

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! 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! Street parking on Allen, Franklin and other nearby streets is available and free on weekends or after 5 p.m.

Beaux Arts Buffalo

1 p.m. Sept. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30

Meet: Spot Coffee, Delaware Avenue & W. Chippewa Street, 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 centuries, 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. 

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.

Best of Buffalo

10:30 a.m. Sept. 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28

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

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

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

Riverfront Renaissance

7 p.m. Sept. 2

10 a.m. Sept. 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 24, 25

2 p.m. Sept. 20

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.

Silo City: Vertical

10 a.m. Sept. 2, 4, 6, 16, 18, 20, 25, 27, 30

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 on 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.

Elevator Alley Kayak Tour

9 a.m. Sept. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25

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. September 3, 11, 17, 25

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 guests explore the neighborhood and the stories of the families who have lived there!

Silo Spin: Grain Elevators by Bike

10 a.m. Sept. 3

Meet: Riverfest Park, 249 Ohio St., Buffalo

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

Following the invention of the grain elevator in 1842 by local merchant Joseph Dart, Buffalo quickly became one of the largest grain ports in the world. Towering grain elevators and silos were built lining the Buffalo River for the storage and transfer of grain. Many of these grain elevators still stand, and Buffalo today remains home to the largest collection of grain elevators in the world. On this guided cycling tour you will see many of Buffalo’s grain elevators from a variety of vantage points and learn about their history. 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.

Waterfront Views by Bike

9 a.m. Sept. 3

Meet: 2 Fuhrmann Blvd. (north end), 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.

Landmarks & Landscapes by Bike

10 a.m. Sept. 4

Meet: At the Indian Hunter statue on the Delaware Park Ring Road, near Agassiz Circle, 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.

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. Sept. 4

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 deco 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 Explore Buffalo to explore the Larkin Company’s past while enjoying the revitalized neighborhood.

West Side Mob Tour

10 a.m. Sept. 4, 25

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, adapted from Mike Rizzo’s book “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo.”

Kleinhans: Inside & Out

10 a.m. Sept. 10

Meet: At the statue of Chopin outside of Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo. Parking is available in the Kleinhans Music Hall parking lot.

General Admission: $25, Student Admission: $20, Explorer Pass Holders: $20, Theodore Roosevelt Site Members: $20

Get an in-depth look at Buffalo’s world-famous music hall! Explore the interior spaces and iconic exterior of Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark designed by renowned architects Eliel & Eero Saarinen, with assistance from designer Charles Eames. It is a modern masterpiece, home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly 75 years. In 2016, Kleinhans Music Hall had its biggest interior rehabilitation since the 1960s, including new seats and carpeting. Included in admission is a Kleinhans Music Hall commemorative book by Brian Carter.

Parkside Neighborhood

10 a.m. Sept. 10

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

Old First Ward

1 p.m. Sept. 10, 24

6 p.m. Sept. 16, 30

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

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

Join Explore Buffalo 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.

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.

Brewing Buffalo Bus Tour

1 p.m. Sept. 10

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.

Black Rock

2 p.m. Sept. 10

Meet: Market Square Park, Niagara Street & Amherst Street, Buffalo

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

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. This 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.

Hidden Gems of the Delaware District

2 p.m. Sept. 10

6 p.m. Sept. 13

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.

Historic Clarence by Bike

10 a.m. Sept. 11

Meet: In front of the White Clubhouse at Main Street Town Park in Clarence, on Cummings Drive. 

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

Discover a portion of the oldest town in Erie County formed in 1808 along Main Street in the Hollow. Guests will learn about some of the earliest American settlers to the WNY area and will frequently stop along Main Street to observe many of the historically significant buildings and architecture. Additionally, guests will ride on the former site of the New York, West Shore & Buffalo Railroad which has been converted to part of the Rails to Trails bike path system and enjoy a part of Clarence’s large farming community.

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.

Columbus Parkway

2 p.m. Sept. 11

Meet: 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.

Millionaire Mile: Delaware Avenue Mansions

10 a.m. Sept. 3, 17

1 p.m. Sept. 11, 25

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.

Five Presidents in Buffalo

10 a.m. Sept. 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 Explore Buffalo on this tour to learn about five presidents who are particularly prominent in Buffalo history.

Olmsted’s Pocket Parks of Allentown

10 a.m. Sept. 12

Meet: First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo

General Admission: $15, Student Admission: $5, Explorer Pass Holders: Free, TR Site Members: 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 green spaces, 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 Explore Buffalo for a walking tour of this charming area of Buffalo to learn more about its history while admiring its parks and homes.

Building Buffalo: Medical Campus & Allentown Development

10 a.m. Sept. 15

Meet: Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott St., 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.

East Aurora

10 a.m. Sept. 16

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 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).

Leading Ladies: Women’s History by Bus

10 a.m. Sept. 17

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!

Ample on-street parking is available on both sides of Bidwell Parkway. This tour is approximately four hours in length, returning to Buffalo Seminary at 2 p.m. 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 or Sugar Beet Salad. 

Reservations are required for this tour as space is limited on the bus. For check-in, please print your confirmation email or show it on your phone. This tour is made possible with the generous support of the Junior League of Buffalo.

Scandalous Buffalo

10 a.m. Sept. 18

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 included 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!

What’s New in Buffalo by Bike

10 a.m. Sept. 18

Meet: At the Tim Horton statue at Main Street & Marine Drive, Buffalo

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

This tour is a great introduction to the “new Buffalo” for both weekend visitors and ex-pats returning for the weekend, as well as local residents from the city and suburbs who want to see for themselves what all the excitement is about at Canalside and downtown Buffalo. Some of the tour highlights at the waterfront include the “Shark Girl” and “Tim Horton” statues at Canalside, HarborCenter and the Cobblestone District. Moving into downtown, the tour will stop at Niagara and Lafayette Squares to see buildings such as the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse and Hotel Lafayette. Passing through the Theater District, the tour will also visit the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and see the future home of the UB Medical School that is currently under construction.

Brick by Brick: Residential Allentown Revealed

10 a.m. Sept. 19

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 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 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.

Downtown Modern Architecture

10 a.m. Sept. 20

Meet: Tim Horton Statue, Main Street & Marine Drive, Buffalo

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

Downtown Buffalo presents excellent examples of the entire spectrum of American architecture from the early 1800s to the present – including modern architecture. This walking tour of downtown Buffalo will focus on buildings built in the modern and postmodern styles, including buildings by Minoru Yamasaki, Edward Durell Stone and Kohn Pedersen Fox. The tour will also explain the evolution of architecture from some of downtown’s older buildings to these more contemporary structures.

Autumn Tour of Homes: Central Park Neighborhood

5 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 23

Ticket Pickup: Central Park Methodist Church, 216 Beard Ave., Buffalo

General Admission: $30, Explorer Pass Holders: $25, All Tickets Beginning Sept. 19: $35, VIP Tickets: $65, VIP Tickets – Explorer Pass Holders: $60

VIP Ticket: A limited number of VIP Tickets are available, which feature a reception in a spectacular Central Park home that is not included in the regular tour admission. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks from 5 to 6 P.M. inside this home before touring the other homes. A former Junior League Decorators Show House, this home has been extensively renovated and is a show-stopper both inside and out, and access to this home is only available with the purchase of a VIP ticket! The home’s address will be provided to VIP TTcket holders the week prior to the tour.

Central Park is among Buffalo’s most desirable neighborhoods, with its tree-lined streets featuring spectacular homes in a wide range of architectural styles. Located between Hertel Avenue and the Parkside neighborhood, the Central Park neighborhood was planned by Lewis Bennett beginning in 1889 and has long been home to many of the city’s business and civic leaders, including the Kittingers, Oisheis and Barcalos. Join Explore Buffalo to tour the interiors of approximately 10 of these beautiful homes on Depew, Morris and Woodbridge avenues. This is a self-guided tour with docents inside each home, so participants can visit the homes in any order and at any pace. At a leisurely pace, the tour will take approximately two and a half hours to visit all of the homes.

Tickets: Your souvenir tour booklet is your ticket for entrance to each home, where Explore Buffalo docents will welcome you to the interior. The booklet will include a listing and map of the homes that will be open for the tour; this information will not be available to the public prior to the tour.

Ticket Pickup: Tickets may be picked up on the day of the tour beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23 at Central Park Methodist Church, 216 Beard Ave.

Early Ticket Pickup will be available from 5 to 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 22.

Tour Details: No interior photography is permitted. This tour proceeds rain or shine; please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Shoe covers are provided and will be required inside some homes. This tour is presented with the generous support of Erika Brason, Brason Consulting/Stylist, Worth New York.

Millionaire Mile: Delaware Avenue Midway

10 a.m. Sept. 24

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

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

Historically the most prestigious address in Buffalo, Delaware Avenue is full of historic and architectural treasures. Join Explore Buffalo 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 row houses, which are the only group of row houses 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.

Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue. This tour is part of the Allentown Tours presented in collaboration by the Allentown Association, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site and Explore Buffalo.

Outer Harbor Highlights by Bike

2 p.m. Sept. 25

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 all along the city’s Outer Harbor waterfront on this tour! Join Explore Buffalo to explore Buffalo’s Outer Harbor along 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. 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 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.

Outdoor Art by Bike

2 p.m. Sept. 25

Meet: First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo

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

Discover the rich collection of public art found throughout the city, from monuments and murals to statues and sculptures. On this tour we will revisit some of Buffalo’s long-time favorites like “Chopin,”  “President Fillmore,” “President Cleveland” and “Miss Buffalo,” but also some of the newest works like “Shark Girl” and “Spirit of Transportation.” Most of the public art is in the form of sculptures, but a special part of the tour will include new outdoor murals.

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.

Elmwood Villages Albright Estate

5:30 p.m. Sept. 27

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, learn more about this historic district and how it developed into a residential neighborhood. 

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.

Visit the Explore Buffalo website – www.explorebuffalo.org – for more information.

 

 

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