The Albright Art Gallery was the result of a generous gift to the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy from Buffalo industrialist John J. Albright, the owner of Lackawanna Steel Co. While construction began in 1890, and was intended to be completed for use as the Fine Arts Pavilion for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, the magnificent building remained under construction until 1905.
The building was designed by E.B. Green, a renowned local architect and Albright's close friend. More than 5,000 tons of marble were used to construct the $1 million building, which featured 102 columns upon its completion – more than any building in the United States save the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
After the addition of the new wing in 1962, thanks to donations from the family of Seymour H. Knox, Jr. and many other benefactors, the building was renamed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.