Monday, January 25, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Buffalo Edition

In case you missed it, the entire two-hour episode of last night's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is available online. (You may have to install the media player.) The show with the Powell family is in two parts.

WKBW-TV also aired an hour-long special before the event, including live footage of the viewing party at Shea's. You can see some of their footage online, too.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Preserving Buffalo's Statler Hotel

WBFO radio recently aired this news segment about the status of the Statler towers, as well as efforts by Preservation Buffalo Niagara to save the building. The Statler may be closed and mothballed in the next few weeks. Buffalo Tours gave an exclusive tour of the building in October of 2007.

Photo: Charles LaChiusa

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Buffalo-Niagara Docent Training now taking applications

Learn to tell Buffalo’s stories to the world! Beginning February 13th, Buffalo Tours hosts its docent training program for those interested in sharing Buffalo Niagara’s architectural, environmental, cultural, and historical heritage. During weekly Saturday sessions from 9:30am to 12:30pm, trainees will learn about Buffalo’s cultural heritage, develop public speaking skills and practice docenting and concierge techniques.

This year Buffalo Tours partners with the Roycroft Campus Corporation, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, and the Buffalo Religious Arts Center to train volunteers who are passionate about leading tours in the Buffalo Niagara region. Buffalo Tours’ main architectural tour is called Queen City Downtown. Roycroft Campus tours give visitors a glimpse into the 1900’s arts and crafts community located in East Aurora. The TR Site tells visitors about the most famous (or infamous) event in Buffalo’s history, while the Buffalo Religious Arts Center preserves and displays sacred cultural artifacts. Niagara Riverkeeper EcoTours give participants the opportunity to paddle around Strawberry Island and Cayuga Creek, hike the Niagara Gorge and Scajaquada Creek, and lead programs with Buffalo Audubon.

Each Saturday session includes training and related lectures or field trips around Western New York. On field trips, trainees deepen their understanding of local history and current events and the influence of world famous architects like Wright, Green, Richardson, and Olmsted while exploring places like the Roycroft Campus, the Niagara Falls Power Vista, and Gothic Revival cathedrals. The entire class lasts ten weeks.

The first five joint classes run from February 13th to March 13th at different locations. Volunteers choose to continue training with individual organizations for the remaining sessions. A one time fee of $75 will cover the cost of docent training materials and other costs. To register, please fill out an online application at before the February 1st deadline. For more information, call 716-852-3300 or send an email to

Buffalo Tours is a public education program of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, a nonprofit organization created to identify, preserve, protect, promote and revitalize historically and architecturally significant sites, structures, neighborhoods, commercial districts and landscapes in Erie and Niagara Counties. Visit for details.