Board and Batten: The legacy of Kirkbride and the therapeutic landscape

Report cover for Board and Batten studio.

Students in this graduate preservation planning studio, directed by clinical associate professor of planning Kerry Traynor, completed an adaptive reuse proposal for a 19th-century barn located on the historic Richardson Olmsted Campus in Buffalo.

Studio featured by UB's Celebration of Student Academic Excellence



Fall 2019


Master of Urban Planning, MS in Real Estate Development

The interdisciplinary studio engaged students across urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. The focus of their analysis was a 9,000-square-foot barn building that served the original Buffalo State Hospital, designed in 1870 by architect H.H. Richardson.

The barn, constructed in 1928 from repurposed barn timbers and materials, was an integral part of the design of the hospital campus, which was inspired by the Kirkbride Plan, a design plan advocated by Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Kirkbride that emphasized ample light, restorative surroundings and work therapy as treatment for patients.

The students propose converting the barn into “Board and Batten,” a destination for locally sourced food and drink.

Students drew from this history — and the Richardson Olmsted Campus’s current rebirth as an urban resort — in shaping their recommendations for the barn’s reuse as a destination for locally sourced food and drink. The “Board and Batten” restaurant and bar is billed as a “bottle to barn” establishment featuring a tasting room for locally sourced wine, spirits and beer. Adjacent to the bar/restaurant would be a home goods store and a specialty tea, oil and vinegar boutique.

Recommendations stress reintegration of the barn with the rest of the campus, leveraging the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed historic green spaces that were integral to the Kirkbride Plan as a network of pedestrian paths, space for an organic farm and restored water features.