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Richardson complex finding new life

Chris Caya/WBFO news

After sitting vacant for decades,  a West Side landmark that was saved from the wrecking ball is finally being brought back to life.

Progress is being made in the $69 million transformation of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane.   

The old psychiatric center along Forest Avenue near Elmwood, with its imposing twin towers that can be seen for miles, is being redeveloped by the Mansion Group into the Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center.

Mansion Group partner Diana Principe says it's named after the architect of the 140-year-old building, H.H. Richardson.

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news
Diana Principe led reporters on a tour of the historic structure.

The former patient wings and the main tower building are being re-purposed into a full-service upscale hotel with 88 guestrooms, including five suites.

During a walking tour for reporters, Principe showed off the building's 600 windows which allow sunlight to stream into the corridors on all four floors.

Mansion Group partner Dennis Murphy says it will be a first of it kind in the region.There will be meeting rooms on all four floors a board room and a ballroom to accommodate up to 500 guests.

Principe says Hotel Henry will employ about 100 people. The ballroom will be located in the old chapel on the fourth floor between the two main towers.

The Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center is slated to open in the fall of 2016.