The Buffalo History Museum is showing off a major renovation project, a space that has been closed for a generation.
There is a new door and what looks like new marble below the wide stairs of the museum's portico, looking out over Delaware Park's Hoyt Lake under the statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln. That entrance is coming back, thanks to work by some meticulous local craftspeople.
It is part of a $3 million series of repairs on the museum, built in six months for the 1901 PanAmerican Exhibition. The repairs have included everything from restoring doors and windows closed for decades to installing accessible restrooms.
Executive Director Melissa Brown said the public will see the results this summer.
"We will open this space this summer, in July, and then we’re opening our new big feature exhibit for the history of Erie County, for the bicentennial, up in what was the old Neighbors space in October," Brown said. "So we have these two spaces coming online. It’ll be about 7,000 sq. ft. of changed space in the museum by October."
Brown said the room renovation will restore 4,000 sq. ft. of very flexible space for operations and possibly more exhibition space.
The project also still requires a lot of maintenance and will continue to be visible to the public after the reopening. For example, Brown said, maintenance staff will be plastering and repointing the marble to ensure water doesn't infiltrate and cause damage.