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Work begins to transform former Buffalo insane asylum into hotel, conference complex

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BUFFALO, New York — Work is set begin on a long-awaited project that will convert a former Victorian-era insane asylum in Buffalo into a hotel and conference complex.

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will be among the officials attending a ground-breaking ceremony Friday afternoon at the Richardson Olmsted Complex, named for architects H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed the buildings and grounds.

Plans for nearly $70 million project call for the construction of an 88-room hotel and a 300-seat conference and event center on the 42-acre complex, which has been vacant since the 1990s.

The property's two turreted towers are among Buffalo's most iconic landmarks. Opened in the 1880s to treat the mentally ill, the site includes the four-story Towers Building and two three-story former patient buildings.

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