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Doors Open event offers inside glimpse of Buffalo's interesting buildings

Doors will open to the public Saturday at three dozen buildings that most people see only from the outside.

The public will be invited into theaters, churches and medical buildings from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Government buildings, a community college, banks and media stations are also putting out the welcome mat as part of Doors Open Buffalo.

“We have seen Doors Open events in other cities, such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Chicago,” said Brad Hahn, executive director Explore Buffalo. “We decided Buffalo should have a Doors Open event as well.”

One of the locations is the DL&W terminal at the foot of Main Street, which isn’t ordinarily open to the public.

“The DL&W has been the subject of a lot of speculation about future development,” Hahn said. “This will give an opportunity for people to actually see that space for themselves.”

The Martin Group will open the doors to its historic building at 620 Main St. The circa 1919 building was designed by acclaimed Buffalo architects Esenwein & Johnson.

Hutchinson Central Technical High School is another space the public will be able to enter for one day, as alumni are expected to join other visitors to the school building.

Views from the upper floors of the Avant Building will also be accessible.

All participating buildings are within a one-mile radius of the Central Library.

That will allow people to mosey around Babeville, the Delaware North Building, the Electric Tower, the Hauptman-Woodward Research Institute and the historic Colored Musicians Club Museum.

They can also peruse the M&T Bank's Gold Dome Branch, the Road Less Traveled Theater's new digs, the Webb Building, the Nash House Museum and the Mansion on Delaware Avenue.

For a complete list, go to doorsopenbuffalo.org.

Some 400 volunteers will help put on the event, Hahn said.

An $18,768 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo helped make the event possible.

“It’s great to see Buffalo becoming one of the cities doing this, since we have such a wealth of great architecture,” said Ed Healy, Visit Buffalo Niagara’s vice president of marketing.

“It’s something we have been promoting from a tourism perspective for some time, and this is giving visitors as well as locals a chance to experience these buildings in a way that may not be typically available to them,” Healy said.

The Visit Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center, located in Lafayette Square, will be open during tour hours.

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