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The Richardson Olmsted Complex will mark an important point in its transition from an off-limits architectural landmark into a publicly accessible cultural destination Saturday as it welcomes the public to a festival celebrating the complex’s revitalized south lawn.

To create the nine-acre lawn, two parking lots on the site were eliminated and replaced with a landscape that mimics the work of original landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The lawn will be most people’s first impression of the complex as the Richardson Center Corp. moves ahead with plans to establish a boutique hotel and architectural center in the imposing 140-year-old building designed by H.H. Richardson that anchors the site.

Saturday’s festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature performances from the Bar-Room Buzzards, Jason Myers, the Albrights, the Buffalo State Jazz Combo, the Diaspora Drumming Ensemble and Nickel City Pimp Choir, a group that describes itself as “a group of mack daddies taking it to the max by paying homage to the R&B legends of the ’60s and ’70s.”

The festival also will feature games, face-painting, kite-flying and tours of the outside of the complex. More information is at tinyurl.com/southlawn or at 849-6070.

– Colin Dabkowski