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Delaware Park's historic grand staircase restored


Mon, Oct 16th 2023 03:00 pm

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy unveiled newly restored grand staircase, ‘one of the most significant original features of Frederick Law Olmsted’s park and parkway system in Buffalo’

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, along with partners, unveiled the newly restored grand staircase in Delaware Park, bringing what organizers called “one of the most historically significant features of Frederick Law Olmsted’s park and parkway system back to its original prominence.

“Serving as a vital connection point between Lincoln Parkway and Delaware Park’s Hoyt Lake, the grand staircase exemplifies Mr. Olmsted’s revolutionary connective design for Buffalo’s park and parkway system, while also providing a beautiful viewshed of Hoyt Lake from the Buffalo AKG Art Museum.”

Photos courtesy of City of Buffalo


Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Interim Executive Director Beth Downing said, “We are grateful and excited to officially announce that the restoration of the grand staircase in Delaware Park is now complete. Thank you to the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee; the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo; and every private donor for making this project possible. We hope every park user enjoys this beautifully restored space.”

A press release stated, “In collaboration with famed Buffalo architect E.B. Green, the Olmsted Firm designed the steps as a connection from Delaware Park to the future landscape plan for Green’s Albright Art Gallery. Although the art gallery building wasn’t completed until 1906, the stairway visually connected other impressive Pan-Am features, including The Buffalo History Museum (then the New York State Building), the Bridge of the Three Americas, and a boathouse (now Marcy Casino), all integral public components found on the lake side of Delaware Park.

“Over the last several decades, the massive granite stones of the grand staircase shifted as large sections of the foundation beneath them eroded away. Periodic repairs kept the steps in relatively fair working order. However, over the last 10 years, the grand staircase reached a point of critical need.”

The restoration of the grand staircase included the following elements:

√ Disassembly of original granite stones to inspect the foundation

√ Reconstruction of the foundation and substructure of the steps

√ Restoration and cleaning of original granite stones for reuse, while sourcing suitable restoration-grade stones for those sections that were beyond repair

√ Reassembly of the stonework with professional masonry and repointing

For more information, visit https://bfloparks.org/grandstaircase.

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