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Explore Buffalo Says ‘Come On In’ for a November Adventure | Events

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Explore Buffalo Says ‘Come On In’ for a November Adventure
Events, Families
Explore Buffalo Says ‘Come On In’ for a November Adventure

The Buffalo tour season is far from over! While many walking tours will still take place in November, Explore Buffalo will also take you inside downtown buildings, Blessed Trinity Church, Goldome Bank, Larkin Center, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and even the subway system! 

Two City of Light Bus tours are also offered in November along with the Fall Speaker Series. Advance reservations are encouraged but not required for all tours. All credit card payments must be made in advance. Advance reservations with a credit card can be made online until the tour starting time. Cash or checks are accepted at the start of the tour. If you make an advance reservation, please print your confirmation email or be prepared to show it on your phone. Most tours are between 90 minutes and two hours in length. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather!

Winter weather cancellation policy: Tours will be cancelled if there is a Travel Advisory in place in the City of Buffalo. A notification will be sent out to any pre-registered guests at least one hour in advance of any cancellation. In the event of a cancellation, a transfer to a different tour date or a refund will be provided. 

INSIDE DOWNTOWN – NORTH
Nov. 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 • 10:30 a.m.
Meet: Spot Coffee at 227 Delaware Ave., at the corner of Chippewa Street. Two-hour metered parking is available on Delaware Avenue and other nearby streets, or private parking lots are available – the closest is on Delaware Avenue, next to Spot Coffee. The nearest MetroRail station, Fountain Plaza, is three blocks away.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a winter tour of downtown landmarks, focusing on interior spaces to stay warm! This tour covers a variety of architectural styles and successful adaptive reuses of buildings in the northern part of downtown Buffalo. Buildings featured on this tour include Goldome Bank, Market Arcade and the Electric Tower. There are short outdoor walks to get from building to building, with the tour designed to allow tour takers to spend most of the time indoors. 

INSIDE ST. MARY’S SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Nov. 1 • 6 p.m.
Meet: St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, 2253 Main St., Buffalo. Enter the driveway from Main Street to use the parking lot which is behind the buildings; the main entrance faces the parking lot and is up a flight of stairs to the right of the bridge that the driveway goes underneath.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass $10

St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, established in Buffalo in 1853 as the first academic school for the deaf in the country, was relocated from Edward Street to its current location on Main Street in 1898. This two-hour walking tour highlights the beautiful architecture of this historic building and offers fascinating information about the history and culture of deaf people in the Buffalo area. 

The tour also offers a glimpse into the current world of educating deaf and hard of hearing students in the 21st century. Highlights of the tour include original woodwork from 1898, stained glass windows in the former chapel, the school’s cherished museum which houses a wealth of artifacts and photographs from throughout the decades at St. Mary’s, and a brief meet-and-greet with a few of the school’s residential students, which comprise approximately 30 percent of the current school population. Join us for a one-of-a-kind tour in one of Buffalo’s iconic buildings!

INSIDE DOWNTOWN – SOUTH
Nov. 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 25, 30 • 10:30 a.m.
Meet: Buffalo Harbor Museum at 66 Erie St., near the corner of Franklin and Swan streets (Erie Street has been converted into a park). Street parking in downtown Buffalo is free on weekends. Private paid parking lots do require payment on weekends. The nearest Metro Rail stop is the Swan Street station, approximately two blocks away.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a winter tour of downtown landmarks, focusing on interior spaces to stay warm! This tour covers a variety of architectural styles and successful adaptive reuses of buildings in the southern part of downtown Buffalo. Buildings featured on this tour include St. Joseph's and St. Paul's Cathedrals, the Ellicott Square Building and the Old Post Office. There are short outdoor walks to get from building to building, with the tour designed to allow tour takers to spend most of the time indoors.

BEST OF BUFFALO
Nov. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Join Explore Buffalo for a downtown walking tour of the best of Buffalo architecture and history! The buildings included on this overview tour help to tell the story of Buffalo’s rapid rise to prominence, from the opening of the Erie Canal to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. Buildings seen on this tour were designed by both nationally and locally significant architects, including Louis Sullivan, Richard Upjohn, Louise Bethune and EB Green.

Perfect for both visitors and residents alike, this tour is an excellent introduction to Buffalo’s architectural heritage. This is an exterior-only tour; for building interiors, please see our in-depth downtown tours — American Masters, Turn of the Century Treasures and Downtown Deco.

FALL SPEAKER SERIES SESSION 3 — WATER
Nov. 2 • 7 p.m.
Meet: First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo.
Cost: General $10, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Lighthouses of Buffalo
Even though technology has made most lighthouses obsolete, we strive to preserve them as romantic symbols of our past. For centuries they have stood high along our waterfront guiding sailors away from danger and to safe ports. This talk will explore the history and technology of lighthouses in general, with a special focus on the lighthouses that have dotted our local shores.

Swift Running Water: Histories from North Tonawanda
Water frames and colors the history of North Tonawanda flowing from the name of the place, to the power passing through it, to the people who came to it, and to the products made there and then sent out to the world. The strategic location provided a gateway to the Erie Canal and a transfer point for both electricity and travelers going between Buffalo and Niagara Falls or Lockport. This talk will introduce a few of the influential individuals, as well as some of the major industries and businesses in North Tonawanda's history, many of which have interesting connections with other people and places in or beyond Western New York. 

INSIDE GOLDOME
Nov. 3, 17 • 12 p.m.
Meet: This tour meets inside the Goldome Bank, now M&T Fountain Plaza Branch, at One Fountain Plaza, Buffalo. Street parking is available on nearby streets, and the Metro Rail Fountain Plaza station is directly outside the building.
Cost: General $10, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The Goldome Bank is one of Buffalo's most recognizable landmarks, with its gold-leafed dome glistening in the sun. Built in 1901 as Buffalo Savings Bank, today the building is a branch of M&T Bank. From the Steps to Success at the entrance to the top of the golden finial on the dome, this building was designed to convey an impression of prosperity and stability. Join us for an interior tour of this iconic downtown building and discover the incredible architectural detail found throughout the interior. This tour is 45 minutes to one hour in length. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather! Most of this tour is indoors, but a brief portion of the tour is outside. Cameras are encouraged! Please note there are photography restrictions in certain sections of this tour.

LOOKING UP: DOWNTOWN CEILINGS & SKYLIGHTS
Nov. 3, 17 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St., Buffalo, corner of Washington and Mohawk streets. Two-hour parking is available on surrounding streets, and the Mohawk Parking Ramp is on the opposite corner. The Lafayette Square Station of the Metro Rail is around the corner on Main Street.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Come ready to look up on this downtown walking tour! This tour will reveal the ornate ceilings and skylights found in many buildings throughout downtown Buffalo. While many people walk underneath them on a daily basis, the ceilings of many of Buffalo's buildings are often their least-noticed feature. Join us on this tour to discover these beautiful works of art, many of which are hiding in plain sight!

LINCOLN PARKWAY
Nov. 4, 12, 18, 26 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Statue of Abraham Lincoln in front the of the Rose Garden in Delaware Park.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free


Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to be the principal approach to the jewel of his Buffalo park system, Delaware Park, Lincoln Parkway is one of the most beautiful streets in Buffalo. The homes along Lincoln Parkway, constructed in the early part of the 20th century by some of Buffalo’s wealthiest families, represent a wide variety of architectural styles. This tour will be a “walk in the park” as we explore the neighborhood and the stories of the families who have lived there!

LARKIN DISTRICT
Nov. 4 • 11 a.m.
Meet: Outside Flying Bison Brewing at 840 Seneca St., Buffalo, at the corner of Seneca and Lord streets.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The Larkin District, or Larkinville, is the reborn former home of the Larkin Soap Company. In the early 1900s, the Larkin Company was one of the largest mail order companies in the country, and one of its executives, Darwin D. Martin, was responsible for bringing Frank Lloyd Wright to Buffalo. Today, the former Larkin factories and warehouses have been brought back to life and the area is bustling with activity once again. Join us to explore the Larkin Company's past while enjoying the revitalized neighborhood.

OLD FIRST WARD
Nov. 4, 18 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Mutual Riverfront Park at 41 Hamburg St., Buffalo. Street parking is available on Hamburg and South streets by the park; please do not use the parking lot for the Waterfront Memories & More Museum.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Take a walking tour of one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buffalo. The First Ward is the neighborhood adjacent to the Buffalo River, located in the shadows of the grain elevators that employed many of the neighborhood's residents. On this tour, you will learn about how the growth and development of the neighborhood was closely tied to the rise of the grain trade at Buffalo's harbor. A neighborhood with a proudly Irish heritage, the First Ward has been the birthplace and home to some of Buffalo's most famous citizens, including Michael Shea, Jimmy Slattery and Fingy Connors. Come on this tour to learn their stories and many more! The tour will end at Gene McCarthy's Tavern and Old First Ward Brewing, the perfect place to enjoy a pint after the tour.

“HISTORIC” MEAT RAFFLE
Nov. 10 • 6 p.m.
Meet: Pvt. Leonard Post, Jr. VFW, 2450 Walden Ave., Buffalo.
Cost: $5. Admission includes beer, wine and pop. No outside alcoholic beverages allowed. Bring your own snacks.

You may purchase tickets directly from an Explore Buffalo volunteer, at the Explore Buffalo Speaker Series on Nov. 2, or reserve over the phone by calling (716) 245-3032 then pick up and pay at the following dates and times at First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle: Nov. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Leonard Post VFW beginning at 6 p.m. Reservations are recommended for guaranteed seating. NOTE: Cash or check only.

Join Explore Buffalo for a fun evening in support of Explore Buffalo’s many educational programs. Proceeds from this event support the ongoing mission of Explore Buffalo to promote Buffalo and Western New York history and architecture through quality education to learners of all ages. Bring your friends and enjoy this unique Western New York tradition while supporting the cause of promoting a better Buffalo through tours.

CITY OF LIGHT BUS TOUR
Nov. 11, 25 • 1 p.m.
Meet: Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo.
Cost: General $40, Explorer Pass $35

At the end of the 19th century, Buffalo was a major American city in the forefront of technological progress. It was a busy inland port and a railroad hub with heavy industry and state-of-the-art electricity – all of which brought great wealth to the city. These economic and technological developments culminated in 1901 when Buffalo hosted a spectacular world’s fair: the Pan-American Exposition.

Experience Buffalo through the eyes of the narrator of Lauren Belfer’s historical novel, City of Light, which is set in Buffalo at the dawn of the 20th century. Reservations are required for this tour! Space is limited on the bus. For check-in, please print your confirmation email or show it on your phone. The tour is three hours in length and includes some walking and stairs. The tour proceeds rain or shine.

DELAWARE AVENUE MANSIONS
Nov. 11, 25 • 10 a.m.
Meet: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the TR Site’s parking lot accessible from Franklin Street or Delaware Avenue. Meet in front of the TR site on Delaware Avenue.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

The richest of the rich in Buffalo put their wealth on full display on this section of Delaware Avenue, home to the grandest collection of mansions built in the city. Marvel at these grandiose monuments to the Gilded Age and enjoy the intriguing stories of the families who built them – many were related – on this tour of Delaware Avenue from North Street to Bryant Street. This is an exterior-only tour (interiors are available once per month on the Inside Delaware Avenue Mansions tour).

ALLENTOWN MOB
Nov. 11, 25 • 2 p.m.
Meet: Cafe 59 at 62 Allen St. at the corner of Franklin Street. Street parking on Allen, Franklin and other nearby streets is available and free on weekends or after 5 p.m.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

When Italian and Sicilian immigrants came to Buffalo, many of their local customs came with them - and so did the Mafia. Through much of the 20th century, the Allentown neighborhood was a hotspot for mob activity. Do you want to know how a Rembrandt painting stolen from a French museum found its way to Buffalo? Or how one Buffalo mobster got the nickname "Lucky Pants?” Come on the Allentown Mob Tour to find out!

SPOTLIGHT TOUR: LARKIN COMMERCE CENTER
Nov. 14 • 6 p.m.
Meet: Inside the entrance to the Larkin Commerce Center at 701 Seneca St., Buffalo. Street parking is available on surrounding streets and is free after 5 p.m.
Cost: General $25, Explorer Pass $20

John D. Larkin built his Larkin Company into an industrial powerhouse based on the manufacturing of soap. The Larkin Company’s main manufacturing facility is now known as the Larkin Commerce Center at 701 Seneca St. The facility is comprised of 12 contiguous buildings, the first of which was constructed in 1890, and in total cover 1.3 million square feet over eight floors. On this tour, you will learn the history of the Larkin Company and view sections of the building that were in the original condition when the current owners purchased the building.

You’ll also have a rare chance to see the room where vats over two stories high once contained the soap products, along with original metal firewall doors, original wood floors, and areas that are in the process of being developed, as well as completed class A office spaces. The Larkin Gallery highlights the rich history of the building with a large collection of Larkin Company products and samples of “premiums” offered in the Larkin catalogue which grew to be larger than the Sears & Roebuck catalogue. This building is one of the cornerstones of the re-development of the Hydraulic District, also known today as Larkinville.

FALL SPEAKER SERIES SESSION 4 – FOOD AND DRINK
Nov. 16 • 7 p.m.
Meet: First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo.
Cost: General $10, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

A Buffalo Culinary Journey
Food is something that Buffalonians are proud to embrace and boast about. From chicken wings and beef-on-weck to food festivals that celebrate our immigrant roots, Buffalo has a wonderful culinary heritage. Join us for this talk where we’ll take a look into the history of the various foods created and celebrated throughout Buffalo’s delicious history.

Beerffalo: The Ales & Tales of Buffalo
Buffalonians have been enjoying the taste of locally made beer since before the War of 1812. With a brewing resurgence in full force today and all the micro-breweries finding homes in the city, it’s a perfect moment to reflect on Buffalo’s brewing past. In this talk, we’ll explore Buffalo’s rich brewing history and culture, as well as the amazing renaissance that is ongoing today.

ART OF THE SUBWAY
Nov. 19 • 10 a.m.
Meet: University Metro Rail Station on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus. Plentiful free parking is available adjacent to the University Station in the Park-and-Ride parking lot.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

Buffalo’s Metro Rail system is an oft-overlooked treasure trove of modern art! Each station features unique artwork by a wide variety of artists, which will be seen on this tour as you travel from one end of the Metro Rail system to the other, getting off at each station along the way.

Metro Rail fare is not included in the tour price and must be purchased separately. This tour is approximately three hours in length and will end in downtown Buffalo, where you may either board an outbound train to return to University Station or stay for lunch before returning. 

INSIDE BLESSED TRINITY CHURCH
Nov. 25 • 2 p.m.
Meet: Blessed Trinity Church, 317 Leroy Ave., Buffalo. Parking is available in the church's parking lot.
Cost: General $15, Student $5, Explorer Pass Free

An extraordinary example of Lombard Romanesque style architecture, this interior tour of Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church is not to be missed! With over 2,000 symbols depicted in terra cotta tiles, painting and sculpture, Blessed Trinity is a work of art that can never be replicated due to the exceptional level of craftsmanship that is no longer available. Completed in 1928 at a cost of over a half million dollars, the church is considered one of the purest examples of 12th Century Lombard-Romanesque style in the United States. This interior tour will highlight the spectacular interior details of the church, explaining the symbolism of this amazing display of Christian iconography. All proceeds from this tour will benefit the Blessed Trinity "Under This Roof" Fund that provides for ongoing repairs, restoration and maintenance of this landmark church.

Reservations may be made online at explorebuffalo.org or by calling (716) 245-3032. 

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