Today, the exist four buildings on the Kevin Guest House campus, the main house that started it all by Cyril & Claudia Garvey at 782 Ellicott, the brick building at 788 Ellicott & original garage at 788.5 Ellicott were renovated in the 90s and the recent acquisition and renovation at 766 Ellicott that was named the Russell J. Salvatore Hospitality House in 2017. Yet when the Garvey’s created Kevin Guest House in 1972, not all houses were operational. While the original home was built in the 1860 and a private home, in the 1970s, the home was purchased by the Garvey’s and it took several years until the final purchase of the 788, 788.5 and another building to the south of the main house were purchased as the were on a list by the City of Buffalo to demolished. The house to the south of the main house was eventually torn down, as it was too far gone to repair, this was located where the current main parking lot is. So for many years, the only occupied house was the main home at 782 Ellicott. Back then and until recent years, the proximity to Roswell Park and Buffalo General were the only healthcare facilities in walking distance. In a letter to Cyril Garvey by Dr. Lucius Sinks of Roswell’s pediatric department credits Kevin Guest House with changing the medical protocols for cancer patients traveling for care in the 1970s. He explains that patients who would normally need to be admitted, could now be consider outpatient procedures. In the mid-1990’s when Kevin Guest House faced possibly closure, several board members developed a business plan and underwent renovations in both the “Little Red School House” brick building that now stands at 788 Ellicott painted yellow and the original storage carriage house garage at 788.5 Ellicott. The Ford workers volunteered their time to renovate these two structures in 1994 and provide the first designated transplant recovery apartments for patients traveling for this unique treatment at Roswell Park that to this day continue to be the most occupied spaces on the campus due to the demand for this specific treatment in Western New York. Turning away an average of 400 patient families a year, Kevin Guest House sought to expand for over 20 years in some way. The board finally voted in 2014 to begin it’s first ever capital expansion and double the size of their campus to serve more families. The initial plan was to tear down the Carriage building and erect a new three story building. Fundraising was underway, when the property at 766 Ellicott next door, owned by the Schroeder Joseph law firm, went up for sale. The board voted to purchase the building in 2015 and renovate 766 Ellicott over the next several years, when the Junior League of Buffalo and Buffalo News were approached to adopt this building as the 2017 Decorator Show House. A bi-annual fundraiser that brings thousands of visitors into a space decorated by some of the top decorators in WNY and tickets are sold to benefit a charity. While Kevin Guest House was not eligible for the cash proceeds, they saw over 11,000 walking through the campus along with the beautiful decorations that remained after the show to make this a truly unique home away from home. Final renovations were completed in 2018 to add handicap accessibility for the first time with elevator access, private bedroom & bathroom suites along with additional transplant apartments allowed the campus to double the number it could serve. Without this building, many of the most immunocompromised guests would not have had the isolated spaces required during the pandemic to remain on our campus and access to their lifesaving care. In 2023, with lessons learned from the covid-19 renovation, we are seeking to bring the three original buildings purchased in the 1970s to the same standards of care as the Salvatore House. This means advanced air filtration, improved security & ease of access during medical emergencies along with the dignity of private bathrooms for the first time in every room on campus. We welcome everyone to come for an in-person tour of our unique campus and or scheduling a private virtual tour 360 degree presentation by one of our team members. Please contact us to learn about the little house with a big heart, right in the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, that inspired the beginning of the national movement of healthcare hospitality houses that now sees over 600 similar homes across the globe supporting thousands every day. Learn more here:

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