Mon October 10, 2011
Statler hosts first wedding reception under new management
By Joyce Kryszak
Buffalo, NY – The Statler Towers renewed its vow to one of Buffalo's most beloved traditions Saturday. The Terrace room re-opened for its first wedding reception in nearly two years.
The Statler's official opening is not until New Year's Eve when a huge gala is planned. But Saturday night about 250 wedding guests helped the 1923 building reclaim its historic reputation as the City's prestigious site for nuptial celebrations.
Ashley and Eddie Kellerman booked the Terrace Room about five months ago when the Statler still looked anything but grand. Speaking to WBFO on Friday before the wedding took place, Ashley Kellerman said they took a leap of faith.
"When we walked in there, we were like, 'Oh, my God,' but we walked right into that Terrace Room and we like, this is it, this is awesome. We don't care what's outside the doors as long as it looks beautiful inside. And I saw it myself yesterday and it looked awesome," said Kellerman.
Plenty of other couples and people looking for an elegant party space also took a leap of faith.
One particularly notable one is the National Preservation Conference. It will hold its opening there in a couple weeks. Statler City president Mark Croce said they are not even officially opened and they are already booked nearly solid.
"The phone's been ringing off the hook...People in Buffalo just love this building. There's so much history, so much imbedded historical value," said Croce.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown agrees. He has pledged $5.3 million to help finance the restoration. The Common Council has not yet given its blessing. And developer Carl Paladino promises a lawsuit to block the funding. But Croce said it will be public money well-spent
"This isn't like the Mayor is writing myself a check or Statler City a check. I mean, this was money that was allocated for economic development and job creation...he [the Mayor] realizes the importance this building plays in Buffalo's past and Buffalo's future," said Croce.
To help document that past and future, the Statler is starting an online wedding photo album. People can submit digital copies of their own Statler wedding photos, some dating back as far as 1923.
More information is available at Statler Weddings.