Spotlight Tour: Canisius High School

  • Spotlight Tour: Canisius High School

Event Category: Tours

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  • Upcoming Dates:

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018 @ 5:30 PM
    Tuesday, July 31, 2018 @ 7:30 PM


    General Admission: $25
    Explorer Pass Admission: $20

    The Delaware Avenue buildings that today house Canisius High School have a layered history that continues to evolve along with the school. The original structure at the heart of the campus is the George Rand mansion, designed by William and Franklyn Kidd and built between 1918-21. George Rand Sr. was president and chairman of the board of directors of Marine Midland Bank; unfortunately, both he and his wife died before the mansion was completed.

    When the house was completed in 1921, George Rand, Jr. moved in with his siblings. They only lived in the house for three years before it was sold in 1924 to the Masons, who converted it into the Buffalo Consistory. The Masons expanded the dining room and added a swimming pool, auditorium, bowling alley, and Turkish baths. At the time of its construction, the unique auditorium boasted the largest continuous free-spanning balcony in the United States. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts were held here prior to the completion of Kleinhans Music Hall.

    After the Masons lost the building to the City of Buffalo due to a tax liability issue, the City leased the building to the federal government for use as an Army Air Corps training barrack during World War II. In 1944, the City sold the building to Canisius High School, an independent college preparatory school established in 1870 by the Jesuit order. Canisius High School moved from Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo to Delaware Avenue, and shortly after the move, added the Beecher Classroom Wing in 1948. The school unveiled a $14 million plan to upgrade its campus in November 2007, including the state-of-the-art Bernard J. Kennedy Field House, with a seating capacity of over 1,000 for basketball games and other indoor sporting events.

    The campus has continued to expand and be renovated in recent years. In 2012, the school’s weight room underwent a six-figure, extensive renovation. In May 2017, the Canisius High School campus was expanded across West Ferry Street with the purchase of the William J. “Fingy” Conners mansion. The Connors mansion has since been renovated to house the school’s art and music rooms.

    On this extensive and in-depth tour of the Canisius High School campus, we will tour the original Rand mansion, the Masons’ auditorium addition, athletic areas including the swimming pool area and new field house, and the Connors mansion on West Ferry Street.

    Tour Details: 

    • Space on this tour is limited, and reservations are required. 
    • There will be two tour times on July 31: 5:30 & 7:30 PM.
    • Please arrive approximately 10 minutes early to check in so the tour can begin promptly.
    • There will be a number of staircases to climb on this tour.
    • Parking is available in the high school parking lot off Delaware Avenue.
    • This tour will be between two hours and ninety minutes in length.
    • Interior photography is allowed.