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Explore Buffalo plans Doors Open event to showcase downtown buildings

Have you ever wanted to see the inside of the former Goldome building, with its gilded roof? Or glance through the closed stacks of the Central Library?

Here's your chance.

Explore Buffalo is holding its first-ever Doors Open Buffalo event, offering a full day of free public access to significant public buildings, businesses and churches in downtown Buffalo "that people don't often have an opportunity to get inside," said Executive Director Brad Hahn.

More than 33 buildings from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus through Canalside are participating so far, including City Hall, M&T Bank's Goldome Building, the Electric Tower and the Central Library. Some will be open for people to admire or wander, while others – like the library – will have guided tours.

The library will serve as the event hub for obtaining maps and information, but people can also go online to Hahn said more than 15,000 people are expected to attend, with the goal of not only drawing them downtown but also getting them to spend money at shops and restaurants.

The event is modeled after similar Doors Open programs in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Milwaukee and Denver. Pittsburgh is now in its third year, with 60 buildings over two days, while Chicago's program included 200 buildings and 100,000 visitors. Hahn said local organizers hope to make it annual.

The free program, which will be held Saturday, June 15, is sponsored with more than $35,000 in funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Legacy Fund at Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, as well as from Wells Fargo & Co., Seneca Gaming Corp., and the state.

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