All Psyched Up

I admit I had my doubts.  For the last 20 years, I had driven past the old Buffalo Asylum property at least twice a day.  While I had seen construction work being done, I simply couldn’t imagine how anyone could renovate that building to make it into anything other than what it used to be.

Welcome to the Hotel Henry, newly renovated on the Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York.  Our firm was going to have their holiday dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, 100 Acres.

While I had driven past the property many times, I had never actually gone into the complex.  Thus, a few days before our scheduled event, I drove in on my way to work one morning.  I was seriously unimpressed.  Yes, that’s the old Psych Center (see top photo) – and what is that empty auxiliary building?

It was dark and drizzly that morning, but I found the darkness appropriate for the photos.  What a creepy place for a Christmas event!

At least parking seemed adequate, which made me feel better.  What the heck – I had eaten in a converted jail cell at a restaurant in Owego, let’s see what they’ve done with the loony bin (pardon my political incorrectness).

The event landed on my normal day off, so hubby and I drove in after dark.  The “adequate” parking was no longer adequate – half of it had been cordoned off for valet parking, and the other half was full. We wound up parking on the street a distance away and hoofing it.

Guess what – a gap in the sidewalk from the street to the hotel.  We had to walk in the street in front of vehicles which were pulling up for the valet parking.

One of which was my boss – good thing he didn’t run me over.

The above photo was taken from inside – I only include it because this is the third time recently that I’ve taken a picture and discovered when tweaking it that there is a face!  Just to add to the creepiness, I guess.

The online reviews had indicated the restaurant is upstairs, without an elevator.  Sigh.  At least the stairs are a mild slope, and there is a landing halfway up.

Once upstairs, the awe began.  The idea of dining in hallways seemed strange, but 100 Acres does it right.

(No photos of our own group as I didn’t want to ask permission to post them and no way in hell am I posting a current photo of me.  Just sayin’).

When the rest of the group arrived, I learned that there is, in fact, an elevator.  Sigh.  But the additional exercise had probably done me good.

Many of the online reviews said the food is good but service is slow.  We were in no hurry, and the food is cooked fresh so takes a little longer.

It took awhile to get the drinks and appetizers, but worth the wait.  The online reviews all said “You must get the crispy potatoes!”  We did, and the reviews were right.  I thought they’d be like French fries, but they were beautiful little baby potatoes tossed in a light oil and then baked.  Yum!  The potatoes, scallops and other appetizers were so good that I forgot to take photos.

I did photograph hubby’s Organ Chicken Breast dinner, however:

I had the risotto.  The photograph isn’t great, but the food was:

While I had been looking forward to discovering their desserts, I was unable to order any.  One was a bourbon milkshake, and my digestion can’t handle hard liquor.  The other three options all contained nuts.  Damn my colitis!

During dinner, we watched various people going up the wooden staircase to the second floor (the elevator says the restaurant is the 1st floor, despite the stairs, go figure).

After dinner, a few of us decided to see what was up there.  I forgot to take a photo of the stairs themselves, which had been beautifully restored, but I did photograph this hallway and its window:

Wandering around, I saw a sign that indicated an “art gallery.”  How could I resist?  The “gallery” itself was nice but hard to photograph.  I did my best:

I know nothing about art so can’t attest to the works shown, but I assume they’re way beyond anything I could afford to buy.

Then, we all stepped beyond that room and around a corner, and my jaw dropped.  My photographer’s heart began jumping up and down shouting, “This is it!  This is THE shot!  Take it now.  Take it NOW!”  So I did:


Isn’t that awesome?  Can’t you just imagine two little twin girls standing at the end (ala Steven King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining), perhaps dressed in ultra-modern clothing this time?

If I ever have an opportunity, I would love to go back to the Hotel Henry, have dinner and take more photos.  The elevator was stunning, and there is an incredible private lounge which I couldn’t photograph because it was occupied – and while I don’t know if I would ever stay there due to its history, I would love to see the inside of some of the guest rooms.

Thank you for taking this little tour with me.  If ever in Buffalo, NY, let me know.  There are so many places I could show you.

I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at
Images by Cordelia’s Mom



This entry was posted in Holidays, Photography, Road Trips & Cars, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to All Psyched Up

  1. Tippy Gnu says:

    Looks creepy, alright. If I ever go there, I’ll order the Redrum Roast.


  2. Awesome, and unnerving when you know what the buiding was originally!
    Pity the kitchen couldn’t do you a pud. Sometimes restaurants cater for allergies or restrictive diets, especially if this is mentioned when booking a table. Just a thought for future reference. Our friend can only eat minute portions and where she goes practically fall over themselves to accommodate her (I haven’t asked if they pro rata the cost though).


  3. We have a lot of old mills here. We are the original “mill valley”. Most of the wooden ones have burned down, but the stone ones are always being converted to something. Some of the really nice ones have been turned into Senior Residences and thy really are lovely. Big windows, right on their own canal, full of water lilies. Then there are the other ones that were factories and no matter what they do? They still look like big old ugly factories. Most of these are now “office parks.” Big, ugly, brick office parks. But at least they have a nice view of a dam and river because ALL of the old mills are on a river with a dam. I suppose it’s better than tearing them down, but they aren’t very appealing.


    • Had I taken the original exterior photos in full daylight, the building wouldn’t have looked quite so spooky. But those of us who grew up with it can’t think of it as anything other than the insane asylum, so I figured the darkness was more appropriate. In any event, I didn’t feel like going back whenever the sun might reappear – that could take months!


  4. It looks wonderful! And I would so spend the night there!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane says:

    We were just talking about this place. My Brother in law and family just went to a wedding there. they said it was amazing. Have to come take a look sometime. Too bad they can’t do something like this with our old Psych center. But it is not as cool as this building. How about Rolling HIlls? Every been there? Is near Darien.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. lbeth1950 says:

    Sounds like a wonderful evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Archon's Den says:

    If you think I’m going to let you take me to a nut-house, you’re…. wait, it’s me that’s crazy. All the nuts aren’t just on the menu. 😳
    Nice enough looking place though, and some good photos to prove it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Its enough to drive you mad 😉😉😉😉🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AmyRose🌹 says:

    CM, this has been my third trying to see your pictures. I still cannot. I’ll be back again! Darn WP!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Finally I see the pictures, CM! As I told you I did my Psych Clinical Rotation at this place. Looking at these images, especially the wooden floors in the long hallways and very high ceilings, I still can picture those wards. No way would I wish to eat there. I was freaking when I was there as a nursing student. The patients were extremely sick and a lot very very scary. Huge doors that had to be unlocked with these huge black keys and every window had crossed bars on them. I was never so happy to see my last day come and go while on that clinical. The “feeling” of what I experienced came through some of your images. Whoa!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The renovations are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. markbialczak says:

    That looks like one interesting dining experience, CM. Thanks for sharing!
    You caught THE SHOT shiningly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is fascinating. The “new” restaurant looks dazzling and contemporary, taking away the bleak and bad vibes (I hope, but I always wonder if the bad vibes are still in these buildings, deep down…). In Boston they converted an old stone prison (right in the city) into an upscale expensive hotel and bar. It’s doing a brisk business!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t get to any of the upper floors or any of the guest rooms. I’ve heard the vibes are still there. I can say, for a fact, that while that felt excited (from a photographer’s view) the first time I saw The Corridor, I also got a sense of foreboding. That’s why I did the photo in black and white, it seemed more fitting.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, the black and white is perfect. When I lived in the SF bay area everyone insisted I visit Alcatraz. I couldn’t believe how depressing it was there, and how “low” I felt until I got on the next ferry and escaped. Many deep sad vibes there.

        Liked by 2 people

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