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The Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, the United States, is a modern name for the Buffalo State Hospital, which itself was originally called the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane. This large Medina red sandstone and brick hospital that stands on the grounds of the present day Buffalo Psychiatric Center in Buffalo was designed in 1870 by famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson, while the landscaping was done by another famous personality, Frederick Law Olmsted, a landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park.

The landscape was an integral part of the treatment at Buffalo State Hospital. Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, according to whose philosophy the facility was designed and the asylum’s treatment program was developed, believed the need for the mentally ill to interact with nature in order to heal. The asylum’s 203 acres of untouched farmland was hence one of the facility’s major assets.


Photo credit: Chris Payne/ESTO and Joe Cascio

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