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UB to begin reconstruction of Crosby Hall

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A major reconstruction of Crosby Hall on the University at Buffalo's South Campus is imminent. Built nearly a century ago, Crosby is one in a line of older stone structures that flank Main Street.

Hayes Hall is perhaps most visible from Main Street, with its gleaming white tower that was recently rebuilt for the university's Department of Architecture and Planning. Crosby will be rebuilt for the department as well, although originally meant for the Business School.

More than a decade ago, UB prepared a master plan for the entire South Campus, as it continued its major expansion on its North Campus. The basic idea was to create a graduate and professional school use of the land, as the Jacobs Medical School was then moving to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

While the plan had existed for a number of years, the most visible sign of it taking shape was the reconstruction of aged and rickety Hayes Hall into the centerpiece of the School of Architecture and Planning.

Campus Planning Director Kelly Hayes McAlonie said students love Hayes and that tower.

"When we started the work on the South Campus revitalization, we held a series of meetings with students and they talked about how they loved the historic nature of South Campus and it really gives them a sense of place," Hayes McAlonie said, "and that it's one of the most photographed buildings that we have on campus, selfies, etc., the tower."

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Hayes Hall, with its familiar white tower, is perhaps the most visible landmark on the University at Buffalo's South Campus.

Now focus has shifted to nearby Crosby Hall. Like turning the old Medical School complex into a home for the Nursing School, it's going to take time and money.

"It was designed by E.B. Green, Green and Son, to be a very modern building," said Hayes McAlonie, "and so, it's a steel structure building and it was intended to grow and change over time, to respond to how the university needed the building."

Planning is also underway for the future rehab of another of the landmark buildings, Foster Hall, which is used by the Dental School.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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