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Hayes Hall

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Gross Square Feet
Construction Cost
June, 1874
George Metzger (1874) Jesse Porter (1890's)


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Hayes Hall houses the School of Architecture and Planning, including the architectural library. It originally served as the University administration's headquarters. 

Hayes Hall was originally part of the Erie County Almshouse and Poor Farm. In 1893, the inmates were moved to the facility on Forest Avenue, which is now the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The main building was built in 1874. The south wing in 1877 and the north wing in 1879.  UB acquired it in 1909 and converted it into an academic building in the 1920s, and renovated it again in the 1950s. The School of Architecture and Planning has called it home since 1977.

The Hayes bell tower, added in 1927, serves as an icon of the campus. In 1928, the chimes and clock were added, a gift from Kate Robinson Butler. In the Fall of 2003 the Bell Tower underwent a significant restoration to the tower structure of the building. This striking feature of the building is considered by many the most significant landmark of the South Campus. The tower house four bells, ranging in weight from 400 to 1,800 pounds. Inscribed on one of the bells is this quote by Cuthbert W. Pound: "I am the voice of life; I call you: Come and learn."

Completed in the spring of 2016, with a $44 million renovation, Hayes Hall is now the university's only building listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.  The exterior was completely restored, while the interior was modernized and equipped with technological upgrades and collaborative spaces, all designed to inspire and support architecture and planning students of the 21st century.  UB's continued dedication to include features with sustainable building strategies, qualifying it for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.



Brigadier General Edmund B. Hayes (1849-1923) was a local engineer, businessman, bridge builder, and automobile manufacturer. He bequeathed considerable funds for university development.  He also was a member of the University Council (1920-1923).  He also served as a member of the University of Buffalo Council from 1920 to 1923, and left a bequest of $389,000 to the university. Hayes Hall was one of the original poorhouse buildings on the Main Street property when the university acquired it in 1909. When the structure was remodeled for university use, the Hayes bequest was honored in naming the building.

The clock tower and Westminster chimes were the gift of Kate Robinson Butler (1891-1974), and and were installed in 1928. The four bells located in the open belfry bear inscriptions related to learning: "I am the voice of life; I call you: Come and learn" reads one written by Cuthbert W. Pound, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Read more: UB Today | UB Archives.

Historical research and photographs provided by University Archives.