Ed Healy On Bringing “bifocal intellectuals” to Buffalo
This morning I had the opportunity to talk to Ed Healy, Director of Communications Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. I called Ed to discuss the recent shelving of the Davidson House project... I wanted his take on the situation. More importantly, I asked Ed if he would describe for me what type of opportunity the house had as it pertains to Buffalo's tourism industry. What sort of person would have stayed at The Davidson House, and for what reasons? He was kind enough to forward the following response:
"When Russ Maxwell gave the staff of the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau a tour of the Davidson House earlier this spring and introduced his plans to us for restoring the house and making it available for overnight stays, we were genuinely impressed and excited. Russ impressed us as someone who intended to take his responsibility as a steward of a Frank Lloyd Wright house very seriously, someone who was going to make a significant investment in restoring the house and its grounds, someone who was extremely sensitive to the history of the house and its place in Buffalo’s amazing collection of American architecture, and someone who wanted to make a contribution to Buffalo’s growing appeal as a cultural tourism destination.
"We walked away from the tour very excited, realizing that the Davidson House would have tremendous appeal to the many cultural tourists who are finding their way to the Martin House, Graycliff and the Roycroft Campus. We knew these well-educated, upper income visitors who revel in every nuance and detail of our amazing architecture would jump at the opportunity to stay in Wright-designed accommodations. We also realized that the Davidson House would add another very compelling thread to the story of our city’s emergence as a first-rank visitor destination and would serve to make travel journalists sit up and take notice. Premier cultural tourism destinations like Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina have scores of charming and unique B&Bs and small inns scattered throughout their historic neighborhoods. These accommodations are an integral part of the visitor experience in both cities and nicely complement the museums and tours that are at the core of a visit to each city. The Davidson House would play just this type of role for visitors to Buffalo. After a day spent touring of the Martin House and admiring the art at the Albright-Knox these upscale visitors would have a truly unique accommodation awaiting them at the end of the day.
"The CVB’s research consultants describe the typical visitor to the Wright properties and the Roycroft Campus as “bifocal intellectuals” -- the kind of visitors who quietly savor the fabric of a community and leave behind a lot of money at area attractions and businesses. These visitors would surely be a welcome and unobtrusive addition to any Buffalo neighborhood."