John D. Larkin built his Larkin Company into an industrial powerhouse based on the manufacturing of soap. The company’s main manufacturing plant is now known as the Larkin Center of Commerce. This facility is comprised of 12 contiguous buildings, the first of which was constructed between 1895 and 1907, and in total cover 1.3 million square feet over 8 floors. On this tour, you will learn the history of the Larkin Company and view sections of the building that were in the original condition when the current owners purchased the building. The tour will be led by Patrick Mahoney who is an architect with the firm of Lauer-Manguso and Associates.
You’ll also have a rare chance to see the room where vats over five stories high once contained the soap products, along with original metal firewall doors, original wood floors, and areas that are in the process of being developed, as well as completed class A office spaces.
The Larkin Gallery on the first floor highlights the rich history of the building with a large collection of Larkin Company products and samples of “premiums” in the Larkin catalogue, examples of which are in the Gallery. Many of the items come from the personal collection of Jerry Puma who will lead this part of the tour.
This building is one of the cornerstones of the re-development of the Hydraulic District, also known today as Larkinville.
Meet inside the entrance to the Larkin Center of Commerce at 701 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14210. Street parking is available in the lot across from the building which still features the fence piers from the demolished Larkin Administration Building. This tour will be approximately two hours in length.
- General Admission: $30
- Explorer Pass Member Admission: $25
Tour Procedures & Policies:
- Space is limited on this tour and reservations are required, including for Explorer Pass members. Walk-ups without reservations cannot be accommodated.
- Reservations close two hours before the tour’s scheduled start time (for example, reservations close at 8am for a 10am tour).
- Reservations can be made online; please email email@example.com or call (716) 245-3032 if you need assistance.
- The Explore Buffalo docent for your tour will have a list of tour reservations for their tour; you do not need to print or bring any tour confirmation.
- Interior photography is permitted.
- Accessibility: This tour is fully handicap accessible. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 245-3032 if you plan to attend this tour and will require accommodations or if you have questions about accessibility.
- If you feel ill or suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend any Explore Buffalo tours. We will be happy to refund your reservation or welcome you to join us at a later date.
- See our FAQs page for our refund policy and answers to other questions.
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