Taking a Buffalo tour on the Open-Air Autobus is THE way to explore Buffalo!

Hi Gang, check out our tours for Summer 2017: Our ever-popular Whirlwind Tour and our new Picturesque Buffalo Tour.

All the details are below, and you can download the pdfs, pass them along to friends, or print them out! 

Reserve online by clicking the button below, or call us for reservations at 716-854-3749.

Note: The  tour reservation list shows only the next 30 days, so to book a tour farther in advance, simply click on the downward facing arrow under the "to" date to in the upper left-hand corner. A calendar will pop up, allowing you to adjust the "to" date. 

Download 2017 Picturesque Buffalo tour

Download 2017 Buffalo Whirlwind

Download FLW Buffalo poster sm


Buffalo Whirlwind tour


Open-Air Autobus: See, hear, smell the city with passionate experts!

There is simply no better way to see Buffalo and grasp what it is all about than a tour on the Open-Air Autobus. 2017 is our 11th season. It really is the best way to get around and see, hear, and smell Buffalo (ahh, toasted oats, chicken wings, charcoal-grilled hot dogs!). Peeling off the roof of our custom bus gives full visibility for everyone: up, around, and across.

Open-Air Autobus tours are built on 30 years’ worth of architectural and historical research by members of The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture in the course of preservation activities. The tours enhance our educational mission and help cover the costs of wide-ranging preservation work.

The Campaign is Buffalo’s most dynamic preservation organization. Our tours reflect our character: Passionate, lively, and knowledgeable. Five-star reviews: People rave about us on TripAdvisor.

The Campaign’s tours are popular, informative, well-done. We are the go-to organization for the general public and experts alike. To recap: Experts aboard; full visibility, one-of-a-kind bus; great reviews; and, you help save Buffalo's heritage!

By doing a tour, you are doing good: We are a charitable organization chartered by the New York State Dept. of Education. Revenues are plowed directly back into local historic preservation.

Bus St Paul Cathedral

The Buffalo Whirlwind Tour


• 10:00am Saturdays & Sundays July 1 - September 3.

• Meet at Elmwood & Potomac Aves. $25. Discounts for groups of 10 or more.

• Reservations: Click on button above or call 716-854-3749

There are few places you can see buildings by America’s Big Three architects— Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and H.H. Richardson— plus a park system by Frederick Law Olmsted. Buffalo is one of them.

On this tour, besides the master works by the Masters, you’ll see scores of other beautiful buildings and houses by prominent national and international architects and the streets and neighborhoods where Buffalonians carry on their everyday lives.

We start with the foundation of modern Buffalo, and modern urban America: The building and grounds of what was the Buffalo State Hospital, designed by H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted, conceived in 1870. We end with the Heath House by Frank Lloyd Wright of 1904.

In between, you’ll see world-altering industrial architecture, the preening mansions of Delaware Avenue, and the prototype for the skyscraper, Sullivan’s Guaranty Building. We’ll put it all in context for you, as we point out dozens of buildings as markers of Buffalo’s progress through the years.

You’ll see:

• Kleinhans Music Hall • First Presbyterian Church • Ellicott Square by Daniel Burnham & Co. • St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral by Richard Upjohn • The Canal District • Niagara & Lafayette squares • Millionaires’ Row • Allentown Historic District • Delaware Historic District • City Hall and Old County Hall • Theater Historic District • Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln parkways

The Whirlwind tour is an astounding 90-minute tour of a great American city, given by the passionate experts of The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture.


Picturesque Buffalo Illustration

The Picturesque Buffalo Tour


• 12:00 noon Saturdays & Sundays July 1 - Sept. 3

• Meet at Elmwood & Potomac Aves. $20. 

• Discounts for groups of 10 or more.

• Reservations: Click on button above or call 716-854-3749

Buffalo’s development wasn’t all about bare-knuckled capitalism, political turpitude, and pell-mell growth. Fun as that was, the sense that the city needed some civic grace came to the fore after the Civil War. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Central Park in New York, were brought in. They conceived a system of expansive parkland and parkways with residential areas of curving streets.

It was capital-P-Picturesque, for the movement that shaped England from the late 18th century onward. Olmsted envisioned the neighborhood of Parkside, built by others a generation later, just as the Arts and Crafts movement was peaking, and wonderful examples of the style line the streets by the dozen.

Buffalo was left a legacy which pays dividends to this day. Enjoy a 60-minute ride through Buffalo’s most beguiling precincts and see how artistic principals were integrated with urban planning and domestic architecture. Delaware Park, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, and Craftsmen bungalows highlight this tour given by the capital-P Passionate Experts of The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture.

FLW Buffalo illus

Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo

• Sept. 17, 2017 at 10:00am.

• 2-hr. tour. $30 (C4GB members 20% off).

• Meet at Elmwood and Potomac aves.

• Reservations: Click on button above or call 716-854-3749

As an artistic figure, Frank Lloyd Wright  has been compared to Michelangelo and Rembrandt (Wright would have agreed). He built one of his most influential houses, the D. D. Martin House, in Buffalo. This tour encompasses all five of Wright’s Buffalo houses —the Martin and Barton houses, the Gardener’s Cottage, Davidson and Heath houses, as well as previously unbuilt designs for a mausoleum and a boathouse. The houses are within Colonial-, Period Revival, and Craftsman-flavored neighborhoods. We’ll view the houses in these historical contexts. We start at Soldiers’ Place, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as we contemplate Wright’s Heath House and take a peek at an exact reproduction of Richardson’s Stoughton House of Cambridge, Mass. — the Shingle Style archetype that first expressed the design principles Wright would extend to their fullest. Vincent Scully, Jr., dean of American architectural historians, notes that “beside their Olmsted Parkway, these two houses express the continuity of organically developing American architecture, as well as important changes in that development between the early 80’s and 1900.” Perspectives you won’t want to miss!

Charter the Open-Air Autobus!

Tour anywhere around Buffalo anytime you want by chartering the Open-Air Autobus. There is no better way to see, hear, smell the city. We’ve done tours for students from grade 2 to graduate students, weddings, bar mitzvahs, reunions, and corporations. You get a ride like no other and expert commentary from the passionate pros of The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture. We know our stuff!

• 46-person capacity • See-thru, roll-down rain fly • $700 for up to two hours with expert commentary; longer tours available • About $15 per person at capacity • $400 for up to three hours for bus & driver only • Take a walking tour with same top-notch experts: $200 for 2 hrs. for up to 20 people; $10 ea. add’l. Call now: 716-854-3749


May 27 is your chance to relax, scout the Buffalo Marathon route and absorb the city’s landmarks and lore.(The next day you'll be in too much of a hurry)

Bus at Albright
You won’t break a sweat, either. Check out the route for the next day’s marathon aboard Buffalo’s fabulous Open-Air Autobus,and get expert commentary the whole 26.2 miles. Houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, mansions by McKim, Mead & White, parks by Frederick Law Olmsted, historic office buildings, towering grain elevators, picturesque neighborhoods: all seen and explained. All in the time it takes to run a nice marathon, about 2:20. The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture is the official tour provider for the Buffalo Marathon, and no one knows the city better than them. They have been chosen to lead runners, families, friends, and whoever wants a great tour and a great time, along a route known for its great architecture, absorbing history, and beautiful waterfront vistas.

Sat. May 27, 2017. 2:00pm. $40 advance, $50 at curb.

Departs from Pearl and Huron sts. (Hyatt Hotel) rain or shine.

Seating limited: call, text or e-mail now! 716-854-3749 Tours@c4gb.org

Buy your seats now and save $10.00 over the walk-up price (if available)


Marathon tour seats

More info on our handy flyer: Download Marathon poster 2017

Marathon flyer 2017


Drill Deep with September 2016 Tours on the Open-Air Autobus. Call 716-854-3749 Now!

September is the season for great in-depth tours of the Buffalo for architectural and history aficionados and the people who love them. 

We start off with a well-researched, revealing and fun tour of 1950's suburbia given by Campaign for Greater Buffalo Executive Director Tim Tielman. Download his paper How Green Were My Acres: Builders, Designers, and Buyers in an Atomic Age Suburb, 1946-1956. Download Tielman, Green Acres narrative 2 That tour departs from in front of the Plaka Restaurant on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. A monument to 1960's design, it was formerly Watson's Restaurant (the candy store is still operating next door as Watson's). Before that, it was the Alcobar. Have breakfast there beforehand or lunch afterwards. Or both!

The next day, Sunday the 11th, city planner Chris Hawley, who may know more about the Belt Line Railroad and its adjacent neighborhoods and industries than anyone, is leading a tour of this fascinating wonder that continues to operate today.

Download the September Schedule: 

  Download 2016 Sept tour tab UPDATED

 Industrial Strength Tour

This Old Mansion


Niagara River&Black Rock

EB Green-A-Thon