Downtown Buffalo, Spring 2012

The rehabilitation of the Louise Bethune designed Lafayette Hotel is one of CWM’s most rewarding and fulfilling Historic Preservation efforts. Originally constructed in 1904 and expanded in 1912, 1917 and 1926, the 300,000 sf hotel presented a plethora of significant styles and time periods, resulting in a rich tapestry of architectural history to uncover and explore. In order to respectfully tell the story of the hotel, we worked exhaustively with the NYSHPO and National Parks Service in compiling the Historic Preservation Certification Application that directed the restoration efforts, highlighting each of the significant time periods in appropriate locations based upon programmatic intent and original fabric stability. Programmatic uses in this mixed use development include banquet spaces, boutique hotel, brewery, restaurants and loft style apartments. The final result allows the original narrative of Bethune’s French Renaissance design to exist in harmony, with later Art Modern styling and modern programmatic and client requirements.

Antique postcard photo courtesy of a private collector. All other photos Copyright 2011 James Cavanaugh.

This project received numerous awards, including:

AIANYS, The Presidents Citation (2012)

AIAWNY, Design Award (2012)

Preservation League of New York State, Excellence in Historic Preservation (2013)

Preservation Buffalo NiagaraRehabilitation/Adaptive Reuse Award (2013)

Brick by Brick, Best Historic Preservation Project (2013)

Buffalo Spree, Best Makeover of an Existing Building (2012)

Buffalo Spree, Butterwood Sweet & Savory wins Best Restaurant Decor (2013)