With Buffalo serving as the epicenter for cultural tourism world - at least for the next few days, one of its most celebrated private sector-driven historic preservation projects has gained a key honor.
The Historic Hotels of America, an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has designated the Mansion on Delaware as one of its landmark hotels. Only 240 hotels have been designated by Historic Hotels of America including the Sagamore in Lake George and Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria and Plaza hotels.
Being cited by Historic Hotels of America opens the door for the 28-room exclusive hotel to gain even more bookings from the lucrative cultural tourism market.
"It puts Buffalo front and center in the preservation community," said Dennis Murphy, who bought and restored the former Sternberg Mansion on Delaware Avenue and Edward Street, turning the long vacant circa 1869 home into the hotel in 2001.
To gain the designation, the Mansion had to go through a tough review process that looked not only at its operation but the building's historic status.
"There was a pretty high bar," said Michael DiRienzo, Historic Hotels of America director of sales.
The Mansion on Delaware is one of Buffalo's most sought after hospitality addresses. Its guests reads like Who's Who including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Julie Andrews, Tim McGraw and Ozzie Osbourne.
"What happened here reflects on the power of what one private enterprise can do," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.