Honoring Our Clients Past, Present and Future: The Kleinhans

As the Community Foundation celebrates 100 years in 2019, we are honored to host several events commemorating the occasion. Two of these events – the January press conference communicating our plans to award a total of $1 million to 12 local change makers and the upcoming celebration announcing the recipients – are set against the iconic backdrop of Kleinhans Music Hall.

Why Kleinhans? Besides it being a designated national landmark in the heart of Buffalo’s west side, we are proud of our deep ties to this historic and beautiful concert hall, ties that began in 1934.

That year, Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans, the owners of a clothing store that bore their name, passed away within three months of each other. They bequeathed their estates to the Community Foundation with instructions to fulfill their dream of building a music hall for our community. The Community Foundation Board led the efforts to find a location, choose an architect, oversee the construction and secure a federal grant when more funds were needed to see through the couple’s wish. Six years later, Kleinhans Music Hall opened its doors in 1940. It is a wish and a legacy that our entire community still benefits from today.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of Kleinhans Music Hall in 2015, the Community Foundation honored our shared history by presenting a $75,000 grant to the Music Hall for a restoration project that created an archive room, filled with renderings, artifacts and photographs, to preserve important pieces of the iconic Music Hall’s history.

The Community Foundation and Kleinhans Music Hall have long been intertwined. We are honored to be able to spend this year’s incredible milestones at a place we have been connected to for 85 years, to serve as our clients’ philanthropic partner and be able to carry on their legacy for generations to come.