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Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Sculptural Art Initiative

The “Spirit of Buffalo” Sculpture Series

Richardson Olmsted Complex

The “Spirit of Community”


The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, the Richardson Center Corporation, Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, and the (Lipsey) Buffalo Architecture Center are collaborating on the installation of a contemporary sculptural artwork at the north entry drop off of the newly renovated Richardson Olmsted Complex.

1. The art installation is targeted for completion/dedication on October 7, 2017.
2. A $60,000 budget has been earmarked for all associated costs.
3. Questions should be presented in writing and addressed to Jake Schneider at
4. Response to this RFP is due on Monday, April 10, 2017. Hard copy or electronic submittals will be accepted. Responses should be received at Schneider Development Services, LLC (443 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202) or by 9:00am.


Project Phase Timeline
1. Release RFP March 10, 2017
2. Response from artists April 10, 2017
3. Review proposals, meet with finalists April 10 – May 4, 2017
4. Award commission May 5, 2017
5. Contracts & final design approval June 2, 2017
6. Fabrication August 25, 2017
Time Contingency September 22, 2017
7. Installation October 7, 2017


Richardson Olmsted Complex

One of Buffalo’s most iconic buildings and a National Historic Landmark, the 140-year-old Richardson Olmsted Complex is being renewed after years of neglect. Designed by one of America’s premier architects, Henry Hobson Richardson, in concert with the famed landscape team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the building was completed in the late 1800s as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane.

It incorporated a system of enlightened treatment for people with mental illness developed by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, in part by providing pleasing surroundings. Over the years, as mental health treatment changed and resources were diverted, the buildings and grounds began a slow deterioration. In 2006, the Richardson Center Corporation was formed with a mandate to save the buildings and bring the Complex back to life through a New York State appropriation for this architectural treasure.

Today, the Richardson Olmsted Complex is being transformed into a cultural amenity for the city, beginning with Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center and the Buffalo Architecture Center in the iconic Towers Building and two flanking buildings, which comprise about one third of the Complex. The remaining buildings have been stabilized for future opportunities.

(Lipsey) Buffalo Architecture Center

The Buffalo Architecture Center (the Center), opening in late 2017 at the Richardson Olmsted Complex, will provide a dedicated space for exploring Buffalo’s rich architectural heritage and today’s architectural issues relevant to the city and worldwide. The Center will also serve as a place for collaboration with the community and local arts and culture organizations.

Mission of the Buffalo Architecture Center

The Buffalo Architecture Center (the Center) explores excellence in architecture and city planning as demonstrated by Buffalo’s outstanding architectural heritage. Located in the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the Center provides orientation, prompt inspiration, and serve as a gathering place to launch new ideas related to architecture, landscape, and design. Through exhibitions, tours, programs, and outreach, the Center engages the public in Buffalo’s architecture, landscape design, and urban planning, and its role in culture and design literacy.

The Center fosters collaboration with organizations with the similar goal of activating Buffalo’s architecture, planning, and landscape. By providing a center to host exhibitions, events, and programs, the Center actively collaborates with aligned groups in dialogue and shared programming.

Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center

Hotel Henry is an innovative, modern hotel and conference center, designed to fuse with the architectural legacy of the Richardson Olmsted Complex, a National Historic Landmark – arriving April 2017.

The Conference Center features 20,000+ square feet of usable and supportive meeting spaces, all equipped with transformational event technology.

Meeting and event spaces provide for on-site groups of up to 500 attendees and countless more with a global, virtual audience giving organizers and attendees engaging options they’ve never had before. The flexible conference center allows for productivity and interactivity, as well as inspiration and novelty.

The urban resort extends as far as your reach, offering countless opportunities for conference groups to formally utilize the unique environs of the many cultural, educational, historic and architectural locales of the urban resort neighborhood, and for individual guests to enjoy on their own time, in their own way, as business and leisure combine.

Among the most anticipated additions to the Buffalo restaurant scene, 100 Acres, The Kitchens at Hotel Henry, is an original culinary experience within Hotel Henry, offering a variety of dining opportunities, atmospheres, and interactions. Selective sourcing with an emphasis on regional products is a hallmark of 100 Acres’ market fresh menus. Located in a sprawling hall-type setting on Hotel Henry’s first floor, 100 Acres offers a variety of thoughtfully composed dining experiences. where guests will always find something new, something different, something unexpected.

The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation

Founded in 1981, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation (BRF) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that Is dedicated to moving Buffalo forward, to help our future generations realize the best opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life in Western New York. The BRF has focused its annual initiatives and grants in support of veterans, arts and cultural institutions, public health and education.

Sculptural Art Initiative (SAI – Phase I)
Executive Summary & Project Update

In an effort to contribute to the City of Buffalo’s current resurgence, to enhance the community’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination and to inspire and inform our citizens and visitors of the rich traditions and potential of Buffalo, NY, the BRF has committed its resources to spearheading the placement of five (5) thematic sculptural art installations throughout the downtown.

These sculptures are intended to celebrate the “Spirit of Buffalo” in both traditional (realistic) and contemporary (abstract) art forms. Three of these art installations have been completed to date. The BRF has designated and procured funding to leverage the installation of the final two sculptures of Phase I of this project.
Current BRF-SAI Status:

“The Spirit of Life” (Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus)

In 2010 the BRF-SAI placed its first sculpture on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). In keeping with the progressive spirit of the medical campus a contemporary sculpture was installed at the South/East corner of Ellicott & High Streets. The 12 foot tall sculpture is made of corten steel and was created by artist, Valeria Cray-Dihaan. Ellicott Street was simultaneously redeveloped along its full length through the Medical Campus as part of a federally funded streetscape improvement project.

“The Spirit of Transportation” (Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum)

In 2014 the BRF-SAI placed its second sculpture at the South/West corner of Michigan Avenue and Swan Street. This sculptural art piece that, created by Buffalo artist Sarah Fonzi, stands 16 feet tall and is made completely of stainless steel. The Spirit of Transportation pays homage to the history of the bicycle industry that flourished in Buffalo and led to the city’s growth as an automobile-manufacturing center during the dawn of the twentieth century.

“The Spirit of Leadership” (The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site)

In 2015 the Spirit of Leadership sculpture was installed on the grounds of Erie County’s only National Park site. This installation was made possible through a partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site Foundation. Nationally recognized artist, Tobias Mendez, created a traditional, life-size bronze of Theodore Roosevelt. The sculpture stands on the front lawn of the National Park Site as a powerful reminder that this great American president was inaugurated at this site on September 14, 1901.


Artist’s Submission:

Keeping in mind the objectives of both the Richardson Center Corporation and the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Sculptural Art Initiative, interested and qualified artists are asked to respond to the following RFP requirements:

1. Long-range maintenance strategy.
2. Budget breakdown.
3. Design, fabrication and installation schedule that conforms to the overall project schedule (see above).
4. Sketches and/or a maquette of the proposed sculpture that clearly demonstrates the artists vision to the selection committee.
5. Artist’s resume including examples of past work and client references.


1 The project team’s objective is to create art that enhances the north entrance to the Richardson Olmsted Complex, inspires visitors, and is whimsical, exciting, fun and dynamic. The sculpture should reflect the series theme: “The Spirit of Buffalo” and the specific installation’s theme: “The Spirit of Community”.
2 The sculpture will be situated in the center of the existing traffic control circle and be of appropriate scale and proportions to harmonize with the existing architecture and context of the space.

3 The effect of changing daylight and the use of artificial light should be carefully considered. Incorporating moving and colored light displays are encouraged. Conduit exists to run power to the circle. This should be considered in the budget.

4 A source for natural gas exists in the circle should the artist wish to incorporate a flame element into their design. Any design solution incorporating open flames must be carried out with all life safety issues carefully addressed.

5 Existing plans for landscaping surrounding the art installation should be incorporated to best advantage (see attached).

6 The artists should be aware that the new entrance circle is constructed over an existing tunnel. The artist must be prepared to work with the project committee and it’s architectural and engineering consultants to satisfy any unique foundation designs required by this condition (see attached information).

7 This is a windy location and potential weathering should be taken into consideration.

8 Long term maintenance concerns will be a priority in the design selection.


All changes and clarifications made to this RFP prior to and during the artist’s submission phase shall be posted on the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation’s website: us/news
The selection committee wishes to work with a local artist or an artist with local connections but reserves the right to select an artist without local ties. The committee retains all rights to select the submission they feel is best suited to satisfy the goals of this RFP.

The north entrance to the Richardson Olmsted Complex, serving Hotel Henry and the (Lipsey) Buffalo Architecture Center – Looking south. Traffic circle in the foreground.

The existing traffic circle looking from above and to the north.

Location plan for context (NORTH is up). Note: Landscaping shown on this drawing has been revised.

Traffic circle plan with dimensions: Radius = 22.5 feet. Note: Landscaping shown on this drawing has been revised.

Landscape planters (as shown in the following plan) – designs should complement their placement.

Approximate number and location of landscaping planters.

Location of existing tunnel running below the traffic circle.