Over 50 art galleries reside in Buffalo, NY, showcasing modern local and international artists as well as the greats like Van Gogh, Pollock, Dali, O'Keeffe, Picasso, Warhol and Matisse. Paintings by local artists A.J. Fries and Tom Jackson are displayed here in the Larkin Center.

AUGUST | 2018

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Stop on in and treat yourself to one of their delicious menu items! They serve fresh cold-pressed juices, Kornerstone's very own artisan roasted coffee, fruit & veggie based smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and more! They have plenty of vegan & vegetarian options available too! Everything they serve is all natural, no artificial colors or flavors!

Current Hours:
6am - 6pm Monday - Friday
7am - 6pm on Saturdays
Closed Sundays


Miranda Pachan is passionate about HEALTH and FITNESS, and she wants to take her passion to another level by sharing it with you! 

We all know the importance of exercise, but there are so many excuses for not exercising consistently. Miranda can show you how much FUN fitness can be! Her Turbo Kick Live! classes are fun and effective and she wants you to join her every Tuesday at 4:30p in the Founders Conference Center on the 6th floor of the Larkin Center. You have nothing to lose but weight!

Thank you so much for supporting the One Buffalo Unyts Blood Drive at the Larkin Center on August 15th. We truly appreciate your dedication to support the Unyts mission!

While our blood drive did not meet the goal set, we still saw two first time donors and collected enough blood to save three lives right here in Western New York.

Longtime Unyts donor, John Wilkolowski, was the proud winner of a pair of Buffalo Bills tickets. Go Bills!


Look at that stare! The man behind those eyes crafted the Roycroft movement, producing a strong influence over the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century.

A marketing genius, responsible for the mail order business and concept of 'secretaries' so prominently used by the Larkin Co.

Hubbard left Larkin Co. in 1893 to expand his creative side. Books like Health and Wealth documented how to be happy, but not too happy, and yet be rich.

Learn more about the history and products of the Larkin Co. in the Larkin Gallery; open Monday through Friday from 8a to 6p, located in the 701 Seneca Lobby.

Larkin Gallery

It had started out on May 20, 1901 with great optimism of businessmen, politicians and the citizens of Buffalo. - A fair that would compete with the expositions held in recent years in Chicago and Philadelphia...
...A spectacle that would broadcast worldwide the taming of Niagara Falls to produce hydroelectric power, and its transmission to Buffalo to light up 40,000 lights on the 410 foot tall Electric Tower and hundreds of thousand more lights throughout the site built on the 350 acre cow herd pastures of the Rumsey family just north of the Olmstead park and lake. (Now Delaware Park and Hoyt Lake)....


...A spectacle to boast of Buffalo's stunning economic resurgence after the Great Depression of 1893.  Continue Reading
Every Tuesday 
Beginning August 7th
Founders Conference Center - 6th Floor

Tuesday, September 11th
701 Seneca Street Lobby

It had started out on May 20, 2001 with great optimism of businessmen, politicians and the citizens of Buffalo. - A fair that would compete with the expositions held in recent years in Chicago and Philadelphia...
...A spectacle that would broadcast worldwide the taming of Niagara Falls to produce hydroelectric power, and its transmission to Buffalo to light up 40,000 lights on the 410 foot tall Electric Tower and hundreds of thousand more lights throughout the site built on the 350 acre cow herd pastures of the Rumsey family just north of the Olmstead park and lake. (Now Delaware Park and Hoyt Lake)....

...A spectacle to boast of Buffalo's stunning economic resurgence after the Great Depression of 1893.
But the closing day of the Expo in the first week of November, 1901 had witnessed crowds smashing and pillaging exhibits, acts which continued unabated till December when a contract was finally entered into with Harris Wrecking Company of Chicago to tear down what remained and cart it away, some 18 months after the Expo had closed.
By then unpaid creditors had removed many valuables in an attempt to settle the debt owed them by the Expo. Lessees of materials that had been loaned to the Expo but were to be returned to them at the conclusion of the Expo denuded even more of the infrastructure. For example, according to the Nov. 5, 1901 issue of the Erie, Pa. "Herald Dispatch," some 176 miles of insulated copper wire weighing 234 tons, was reclaimed.
Attendance at the Pan-American Exposition had plummeted after the shooting of Pres. William McKinley at the Hall of Music on September 6 resulting in his death on September 14 at John Milburn's house. But throughout the entire Expo fewer people came and less money spent because of the Expo committee's having yielded to pressure of religious conservatives to keep the wildly popular midway closed on Sundays.

The Buffalo News

Even the "star" of the Pan-Am Expo, hydroelectric power, that had made the fair grounds so astonishingly beautiful, failed in a horrifying demonstration at the end. The very cruel Frank Bostock, who through abusive "training" of an array of animals to perform "tricks," decided to get one more show in for a paying audience a few days after the Expo had officially closed. On November 9 he would electrocute one of his elephants, "Jumbo," a large male. Margaret Creighton, author of "The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City," described the event.

The Buffalo News

Creighton reports that 1000 people came to the otherwise empty Expo grounds to observe this terrible event. Jumbo was shackled in chains and tied to wooden posts. He was trussed up with a harness equipped with electrodes and wet sponges in the tender areas inside his ears and mouth and under his tail. Leon Czolgosz, William McKinley's assassin, had been executed 11 days before on Oct. 29, in this manner, with no difficulty. (Indeed, from the day of the shooting, the death, the trial and the execution, the matter of Czolgosz had been handled quite efficiently!)
It was anticipated that Jumbo would similarly die quickly as a much greater voltage alternating between 1,800 and 11,000, surged through his body. After zapping him three times, failing to elicit any more of a reaction than a flapping of Jumbo's ears and the swaying of his trunk as if swatting a fly, Bostock gave up as the crowd jeered at him. Bostock, humiliated by the failure and shamed by the audience, marched Jumbo back to his cage. The glory of hydroelectric had failed in its last attempt to thrill a Pan-American Exposition crowd!
Mark Goldman, in "City on the Edge: Buffalo, N.Y." observes that the Pan-American Exposition ended up $6,000,000 in debt. Buffalo businessmen had initially financed the Expo by purchasing $3,500,000 worth of bonds. The Expo defaulted in re-paying them. One of the investors was John D. Larkin, Sr. (JDL) who had bought ten shares, according to his biographer/grandson, Daniel Larkin, in "John D. Larkin: A Business Pioneer."
Larkin Soap Company (LSC) had sustained ruinous losses, first in 1893 upon the departure of his brother-in-law and partner, Elbert Hubbard, who had exacted onerous contract terms from JDL based on the value of the company in January. Supposedly he was going to Harvard to take courses and write, but in fact he began a double life by setting up his paramour there in secrecy while he maintained his wife and children in East Aurora. To make matters worse, Bert's sister was JDL's wife.   The crash leading to the Great Depression occurred in spring that year. When JDL could not make a required payment that July, Bert sued him! About the same time JDL found that Bert had manipulated company accounts to Bert's benefit and the news of his relationship with his paramour was divulged when she returned to the area with a baby, born about the same time as Bert's wife delivered a child as well.   Despite the financial chaos sustained by the LSC and the distraction caused by Bert, JDL had been able to steer his company back to health and prosperity.
By 1901 LSC flourished. Though JDL was well aware of the plans of his fellow businessmen to create a great Exposition, he declined to be involved in the Expo Committee which planned and managed the affair. Daniel Larkin opined that JDL was generally reluctant to be in the limelight, but he supported this effort with his purchase of stock as well as assigning Darwin Martin, one of his partners, to participate as a member of one of the Expo's committees, namely, the Publicity Committee, which rented an office on the second floor of the Ellicott Square Building.
It is also of note that JDL would have been very busy that year. He and his fellow officers had created a new corporation, the Buffalo Pottery Co. Purchasing land at Seneca and Bailey Streets, planning and beginning to construct numerous buildings in which to manufacture china, market it and manage it, along with finding and hiring skilled staff, undoubtedly consumed a great deal of his time.

Buffalo Architecture and History

Additionally, he had determined that LSC would benefit from having a separate building to be occupied by employees involved with the mail order functions of the business, as well as other administration generally. He wanted that building to be a clean, comfortable place for the employees who would work there.  JDL was personally 
involved with selecting the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and spending hours with him consulting about the functions that would be performed in the building requiring attention to the comfort and health of the employees and the need for efficiency.   That building, of course, was the Larkin Administration Building, completed in 1906.
So it was Darwin Martin (DDM) who was the face of LSC at the Pan -American Exposition. The Buffalo and Erie County History Museum (which, by the way, is one of only two original Expo Buildings that were not torn down, having been the New York State Building at the Expo; the other is what was then called the Albright Art Gallery), in its archives, possesses DDM's personal scrap book of Expo related ephemera including passes, invitations to special events and photos.

Buffalo History Museum

It was likely DDM who came up with the idea, which was fully executed, of LSC having an exhibition building at the Expo. It was one of only a few exhibition halls devoted to an individual local business.

The building fit in comfortably with the overall design of the Expo. Daniel Larkin quotes the official handbook of art and architecture at the Pan-Am Expo.: "The main structure is classic in treatment, and is surmounted by a dome in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance, designed by Lansing and Beierl of Buffalo." (p.118)
Inside one entered a large domed area holding an exhibit demonstrating the finishing processes of soap making including milling, pressing and wrapping bars of soap. Each visitor received a sample bar of soap.

This central area was surrounded by columns "made up of one or another of the many Larkin products: cases of talcum powder, bars of Sweet Home Soap, bottles of sachet or perfume" for example. The alcoves surrounding the central court were displays of Larkin premiums arranged in rooms as if in a home: reception room, library, music room, dining room and bedroom, "all completely furnished with items from the Larkin premium lists."

The Larkin Gallery may be setup in a similar fashion as the Larkin Pan-Am exhibit

Average daily attendance was 8,000!! Each visitor left with not only the soap bar, but an invitation to visit the factory (i.e., what is now the L.C.O.C) which an article in the "Buffalo Courier" on October 6, 1901, called "one of the wonders of the city." The article went on to report , "Uniformed guides, appointed solely for the entertainment of visitors, take the sightseers in hand and lead them step by step through the great plant... Everything about the building is as clean and wholesome as modern science can make it...Everything is placed under the closest scrutiny and its purity is instantly apparent."
This very lengthy article goes on to explain the success of the Larkin Expo Building, saying: "It is like all other Larkin ideas. It is unique, original, adequate and perfect in its appointment...Probably no fact will appeal so strongly as the knowledge that so many from every corner of this broad land come to the building to see the display because they, in their distant homes, know the LSC and have direct dealings with and, indeed, feel a proprietary interest in it...'From Factory to Family' is the foundation of the idea which has built up this mammoth company and it is remarkable to see the 'Family' now coming to the Expo amid such realms of majestic beauty, such monuments of architectural magnificence and such lavish collections of colors and light, seeking out the 'Factory.'"
The article attributes the attention of so many people at the Larkin exhibit as more than the result of business relations; "it rather tells that in their dealings with the LSC, the people have received the full return of their contribution in plenitude."

The Rainbow City

Similarly impressed was one Hugo Loeb, a sculptor from Chicago who was apparently reviewing and critiquing the Expo. He took the time and made the effort to write a letter to the LSC on October 10, 1901, to extol the Larkin Building (at the Expo), saying," The liberality with which the handsome structure is endowed, and the courteous treatment which visitors receive, render it one of the prime attractions at the Exposition. Most striking to me were the immense crowds of visitors who continuously elbowed their way into the interior...One could not help being interested to note the homelike disposition the visitors manifested, - a conscious pride in their visit, as though they were calling at the home of some near friend."
"Upon inquiry," Loeb goes on to say, : "I was informed that the reason for this was the fact that the majority of the visitors were patrons of the house. Evidently their manner was an indication of the satisfaction with the just and kindly treatment of the firm in all of its dealings. In all my travels I have never seen such a manifestation of interest by a visiting public , as a compliment to a business house with whom they sustained relations of trade. This is one of the rare instances in the experience of the business world, and you may well be proud of such evidence of appreciation by your customers, since it shows conclusively that fair and legitimate dealing is appreciated, and that the public feels an interest in business enterprise conducted upon such a high plane of justice and courtesy." (Letter is in archives at BECHM)
The "Buffalo Courier" article of Oct. 1 elaborated on the fact that every room in the exhibit appears to be complete in every detail and every item in each room is either a Larkin product or premium. It addresses the question of how the company can afford to give away the premiums by describing the "Larkin Idea" of cutting out the middlemen.
Indeed, during the Expo, the LSC did a lot of advertising to address concerns that products and premiums might suffer in quality at such low cost. One such ad ran in the 
Sept. 1901 issue of "The Cosmopolitan" magazine. The ad was labeled, "The Larkin Soaps are made for USE, not for Dealers' Profits." Another ad in the "Buffalo Express" on Oct 14 pointed out that most manufactured goods are sold at 2 to 4 times the cost of production. "Each middle man adds his expense, his losses, his profits; all these are piled up on the retail price and must be paid by - YOU." A "Buffalo Express" article in that same issue noted that the LSC Pan- Am building was especially successful among Buffalo exhibitors.. It won gold medals in the manufacturing division, one for soaps and another for glycerine. A silver medal was awarded it for perfumes and many bronze medals were won for other products.
Margaret Creighton notes that the LSC executives felt that exhibiting at the Pan-American Exposition had been the best investment it had ever made. {p. 268)

~From the Desk of Sharon Osgood


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