In keeping with this week’s theme of WNY Holiday traditions, we’ll wind up the week with an audio story—this one from the Queen City’s most recent New Year’s Eve.

 The Statler Hotel was once the premiere setting for Western New York social, community and family gatherings, which made its gradual fall from grace a painful and disturbing evolution for the community.

So, when developer/restauranteur Mark Croce purchased the Queen City landmark with a promise to restore its former grandeur, it was a cause for celebration—-which is exactly what more than 4,000 revelers did at the Statler’s Ice Ball last New Year’s Eve, admist the splendor of Croce’s multi million dollar re-do.

While Croce’s New Year’s Eve party hit some snags, it definitely re-established the Statler as a grand dame of elegant gatherings, with the promise of memorable Queen City events to come.  My interview with Croce came just days before the Ice Ball as he and a team of more than 600 crafts and trades people worked round the clock to put the finishing touches on their painstaking hotel renovations.

Welcome to the world of long ago elegance and grand ballrooms filled with gowned woman and tuxeoded men.  Welcome to Mark Croce’s Statler Hotel

Click on the above link to listen to the interview.  Enjoy and please share this wonderful story of Buffalo’s continued architectural renaissance.