Sunday, May 21, 2017

Buffalo Psych center becomes the Henry Hotel

I made it to HH Richardson towers yesterday to paint with NFPAP, in the driveway saw 5 painters buried in their work. I drove all the way around to the new Henry Hotel side and painted a pastel of the new and old entrance.

I went around the building late for lunch and the painters were gone. It had become difficult to work in the cold wind and they had decided to go home. It seemed much more breezy there compared to the Buff State side.  I had seen patrons and workers entering the massive doors and knew the hotel was beginning to host guests. Bravely, I entered the building, walked around, tried out the elevators, admired the fresh clean spaces and artwork; what a change from the scrappy paint peeling filthy garbage strewn floors of my last visit.

I had taken a class of high school students in the 1990's, we were investigating the building for a potential adaptive reuse with an architect. At the time, it was being considered as a magnet school. We still called it the Psych center and it had been vacant for decades, a victim of time and neglect.

The memorable part of this earlier trip was gaining entry to the highest towers, a barn sized space, almost scary dark with high windows shining into the dust laden air. There was dated graffiti from the early part of the century and a huge Bible nailed to the floor. This massive medina limestone building is a jewel of Buffalo architecture, about to fill another century with history.
Buffalo famous buildings, SchifanoMy painting needs a little more work to brighten the windows, correct some perspective and give more emphasis to the new glass entrance, but I am pleased with how I captured the late morning light on the curved facade. Just a few minutes in the studio and it will be grand.

Henry's New Hotel 12x9 pastel c. 2017

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