Brick x Brick Awards

And the award goes to... 

It's that time of year again! Buffalo Business First held their annual Brick x Brick award ceremony (this year at the splendid Lexus Club in Key Bank Center). We are honored to share that we won two out of four total finalist nominations! 

Best Historic Preservation went to the Phoenix Brewery Apartments and Best New Retail went to The Delavan, while the Bosche Lofts were a finalist for Best Green Rehab and the Crescendo was a finalist for Best Multi-Residential. Congratulations to all the nominees and the entire project teams that made these outstanding developments happen! See the entire list of winners online, here

CWM Wins 6th NYS Preservation Award

Phoenix Brewery Apartments Wins NYS Preservation Award





The Preservation League of New York State has selected the Phoenix Brewery Apartments in Buffalo to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage. This is the 6th time CWM has won this prestigious award for their work.

"Built in 1888 as a brewery, this building has already risen from the ashes once, when a fire destroyed more than half the structure and it earned its moniker 'Phoenix Brewery'," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "This project has transformed a vacant building and is the first market-rate residential development in the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus neighborhood. Meticulous restoration of the building's brick and sandstone masonry, replacement of the lost central "crown" of the structure's cornice, and sensitive interior work earned the approval of the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office, facilitating the use of Historic Preservation Tax Credits."

The project team included Jonathan Morris and Joseph Dorobiala of Carmina Wood Morris; Nick Sinatra, Matt Connors, Cole Hatley, and Tim Spitler of Sinatra and Company Real Estate; Donald Guize, IBC Engineering PC; and Lauri Traynor, Studio T3 Engineering.. The project used State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

In 2014, Sinatra and Company Real Estate announced plans for a mixed-use redevelopment of the Phoenix Brewery. The building's rebirth includes 3,000 square feet of commercial space and thirty-one unique, luxury loft apartments with exposed brick accents, tall ceilings, polished concrete floors and high-end finishes. Containing 15 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom units ranging in size from 714 square feet to 1,314 square feet, each has a unique layout and several have second level loft areas. Carmina Wood Morris, DPC was retained by Sinatra & Co. to design the structure's reconstruction and restoration, securing Historic Preservation Tax Credits necessary to fund the project's implementation. Sinatra is donating ten percent of project profits to Say YES Buffalo, a community education collaborative aimed at increasing high school and post-secondary completion rates.

"This recognition is so rewarding because we had several specific challenges to overcome," said Joe Dorobiala of Carmina Wood Morris. "We're proud to work with enlightened development partners who allow us to bring forth our special expertise to keep Buffalo's historic past alive."

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: Phoenix Brewery Apartments, Buffalo; Beekman Hotel and Residences/Temple Court, New York City; A. Philip Randolph Houses, Phase One, New York City; South Street Seaport Museum: the 1885 sailing ship Wavertree, New York City; Rouge Tomate Chelsea, New York City; Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly Hotel Syracuse); Pickens Hall & Opera House, Heuvelton; Argos Inn, Ithaca. Ruth Pierpont, the former Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation and the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, will be honored for decades of service to the cause of historic preservation in New York State.

"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2017 award winners provide valuable examples for others by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and use of Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the rebirth of the historic Phoenix Brewery as the Phoenix Brewery Apartments, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."

Sweet Sixteen

Today Carmina Wood Morris (CWM) celebrates our 16th year of designing & restoring Buffalo! We want to sincerely thank our entire team and amazing clients for helping us do what we love for so long! Sixteen truly couldn't be any sweeter. 

A leader in local historic preservation efforts, we have spearheaded the restoration of numerous buildings throughout the city of Buffalo, with several projects currently in progress. We are a full-service firm that also specializes in distinctive residential, adaptive re-use, commercial, health care, corporate, and education designs, with licenses to practice in the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Carolina. CWM is also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, and we also create handicapped-accessible structures for numerous projects. 

Our firm had an especially eventful year in 2016, with many celebrations and announcements: 

•    We reached a milestone anniversary, celebrating fifteen years as a firm.

•    CWM promoted Michael R. Bray, AIA to partner!

•    Completed the renovation of the Phoenix Brewery into loft apartments, which was then recognized as Buffalo Spree’s “Best Preservation Project in WNY 2016.”

•    Our work on the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (LAPC) Lofts was featured in a National Trust For Historic Preservation editorial. That project also won “Outstanding Project” in the 2016 Preservation Buffalo Niagara Preservation Awards!

•    Completed the construction of the Salvatore’s new boutique hotel, The Delavan.

•    CWM was honored as a Buffalo Business First “Best Places To Work.”

•    Promoted Paul Lang, AIA to an Associate!

•    Hired four new employees, and two interns.

•    Completed the redevelopment of the Bosche Lofts at 916-918 Main Street, Buffalo.

•    Partner Jon Morris was honored as a Business First C-Level Executive, which recognizes WNY’s most effective business leaders.

•    We completed the renovation of the sixth floor of our office in downtown Buffalo, and began work on the fifth floor reception area.

The principals of CWM: Steven J. Carmina, AIA; R. Christopher Wood, PE; Jonathan H. Morris, AIA; Pamela Timby-Straitiff, CID IIDA; and Michael R. Bray, AIA; credit the success of their firm to the attention to detail, aesthetics, and service given to each project and client. They are a dynamic team collaborating to achieve innovative solutions, grounded in core values, respected in their profession and community. Again, thank you for these sixteen years. Cheers to sixteen more!

Recreating The Falling Water House

Our interiors department did an amazing job recreating Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house out of gingerbread for the Millington Lockwood competition!! 

Newsletter .18

October Newsletter 2016: LAPC Lofts Interior

October Newsletter 2016: LAPC Lofts Interior

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Highland Park Apartments

In August, we featured our HCR funded project for People Inc., the Highland Park school conversion. Now, we have even more progress shots for you as this circa 1952 building transforms from an abandoned school into 38 apartments!


This month, we celebrated Jon Morris's hard work as he was honored as a Buffalo Business First C-Level Executive! Jon has been a vital part of our firm for over 12 years and we are so proud of all his accomplishments! 

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team

Adam Hanley | Engineering

Hobbies: Golf in the Summer, Hockey in the Winter

What do you listen to at your desk? WGR 550 Sports Radio

Favorite thing about Buffalo? Going to Sabres games

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Carrie Underwood

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: 1225 Niagara Street

Adding to the momentum behind Niagara Street's revitalization, we're partnering with Bill Breeser on the renovation of 1225 Niagara Street!

CELEBRATE: PBN Awards Ceremony

We announced last month that our work on the LAPC Lofts in the Elmwood Village was recognized as an "Outstanding Project" by the Preservation Buffalo Niagara, but this month we officially got to celebrate! Here's a snapshot of the award ceremony!

LET THEM EAT CAKE (or cookies)

Happy Birthday to Associate Paul Lang! 



It was requested to be noted that on October 4th at 1:14pm, Mike Bray said Joe Dorobiala was "absolutely right." And then we turned Mike Bray into a dog... his favorite. (ha-ha).


Happy National Boss's Day to the best bunch of bosses we know!!

Newsletter .17

AUGUST 2016 NEWSLETTER- Salvatore's The Delavan

AUGUST 2016 NEWSLETTER- Salvatore's The Delavan

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Highland Park Apartments

Project in Progress- An HCR funded project for People Inc., consisting of 38 one and two bedroom units. Classrooms from the Highland Park school are being converted into residential units maintaining the existing corridors and a majority of the walls, minimizing demolition. The original building was built in 1952, with an addition in 1983.

MONSTERS ON MAIN STREET: ChalkFest Buffalo 2016

Downtown Buffalo's annual event, Chalkfest Buffalo, was a scary good time! We're honored to sponsor such a wonderful event every year. This year our own Marketing Coordinator, Darra Kubera, designed the tee shirt and flyer artwork, pictured to the right:

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team!

Paul Lang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C | Associate

Hobbies: Home brewing, Volleyball, Following Local & Collegiate Sports

Person you most admire (outside of family): Winston Churchill

Favorite Novel: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Keys to Success: Hardwork and balance to life. "Take care of the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves."

PHOTO OP: Throwback Thursday

How's this for a throwback?! All of our current partners (plus Fred) at our 10th anniversary party in 2011! 

CONGRATS: Registered Architect

Congratulations to Joe Dorobiala, who passed all seven sections of the Architect Registration exam!

CELEBRATE: Delavan Hosts Grand Opening Party

We would once again like to thank and congratulate the Salvatore family on a successful partnership that resulted in the fabulous Delavan Hotel, which had their grand opening celebration party this month!


Thank you Buffalo Rising for naming Partner Jon Morris an honoree on this year's C-Level Executives List! The fifth annual awards honor Western New York's most effective business leaders.


Happy Birthday to two of our Engineers: Partner Chris Wood and Adam Hanley!


We hope everyone has had a safe and happy summer! Thanks for taking some time away from the sunshine to read our newsletter. As always, email our Marketing Coordinator at with suggestions for our next edition!

We Need Your Votes!

The Preservation Buffalo Niagara selection committee is hard at work selecting the winners of the 2016 Preservation Awards, but they're looking for YOUR favorite Outstanding Project! PLEASE VOTE by September 1 for either of our projects that are nominated: the Tishman Building at 10 Lafayette OR the Lafayette Lofts in Elmwood Village! Help us showcase these amazing projects!!

Vote here!

^10 Lafayette, The Tishman Building

LAPC Lofts

Newsletter .15




The Carmina Wood Morris team is excited to announce the grand opening of the redeveloped Bosche Building at 916-918 Main Street! The four-story, 33,000SF buildings circ. 1891 are now home to 23 market-rate apartments, with retail space on the first floor. All tenants have access to a shared rooftop patio space, overlooking the downtown Buffalo skyline. After more than seven years of planning and work to save this pair of long vacant buildings, we are thrilled to see this labor of love now open!

CONSTRUCTION WATCH: Kenmore Teacher's Federal Credit Union

From rendering to real life, the Kenmore Teacher's FCU is a renovation of a 48,000SF site on Sheridan Drive into new workstations, banking lobby space, private offices, conference facilities, break-room, and drive-through operations. 

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team!

Patrick Sheedy, Engineering

Favorite thing about Buffalo? The food.

Favorite Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Arnold Palmer


Help us reach 200 followers on Instagram! Find our fabulous photos here!


The Carmina Wood Morris family is excited to join Ellicott Development in redeveloping the George Washington School at 1 Delaware Road into a mixed-use building of 21 luxury apartments, a day care center, commercial and retail space, and a SPoT Coffee!


Happy Birthday to Partners Pam Timby-Straitiff and Mike Bray! 

AROUND TOWN: Hotel Lafayette Exhibit

From the beginning of June until October 9th, head over to the Buffalo History Museum for a special event focusing on the Hotel at Lafayette transformation! Images on display from Jackie Albarella "poignantly capture the restoration of downtown Buffalo's opulent Hotel Lafayette," according to the event website. You don't want to miss it! 


Buffalo Spree's "Best of WNY 2016" recognized the Phoenix Brewery Lofts with an award for "Best Preservation Project"! The adaptive re-use project should begin leasing top-line apartments this summer. 

Newsletter .12

March Madness with CWM! Check out our latest monthly newsletter:



WE'RE FAMOUS!! Well...kind-of ;-) 

In case you missed it, the CWM team was fortunate to be featured on WKBW's AM-Buffalo segment, where we got to toot our own horn a bit about all the great projects we've been a part of throughout Buffalo for the past fifteen years! Make sure you watch the video by clicking here:


From rendering to real life! The historic White Building restoration at 298 Main Street is moving right along!

OUR FACES: Meet the CWM Team!

Stephanie Lutz, Administrative Assistant

Favorite place for Happy Hour? Big Ditch

What do you consider your hidden talent? Singing

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Carrie Underwood

Best piece of advice? Never let anyone tell you that you can't have another piece of cake.

AWARD: Best Places to Work

Thanks to a survey sent out by Buffalo Business First, we were honored as one of the Best Places To Work! We truly are a second family here at CWM, and are so fortunate to be able to do what we love, with who we love! 


We're SO close to 200 followers on Instagram; make sure you're following us at carminawoodmorris


Happy Birthday to John Whaley from our Architecture Department!

GIVE BACK: 500 Block Student Project

Once again, we are partnering with Buffalo State and the 500 Block Association to provide the Sophomore Interior Design students with a unique class project. After a recent tour of the 500 Block, the students will now have the chance to create a four-unit mixed-use infill project, continuing the block's development and increasing awareness of the resurgence happening downtown! 


Hey reader, thanks for joining us! Tune in next month for even more CWM News and don't forget to send your thoughts or suggestions to 

Brick By Brick Awards 2015


Last night was the 12th annual Buffalo Business First Brick by Brick awards, honoring the best of the best in Real Estate, Construction, and Development. Carmina Wood Morris was a finalist in nine different categories, and ended up winning five of those categories! Congrats to all! Let's continue to make Buffalo a better place. 



-Best Restoration, 10 Lafayette (Tishman)

-Best New Construction, Compass East

-Best Retail, Cabela's (engineering)

-Best Education, Charter School for Applied Technologies 

-Best Sports Complex, Ralph Wilson Stadium


-Best Medical, BMG

-Best Green Project, Compass East

-Best Multi-Residential, LAPC

-Best Retail, Chez Ann


CWM: Where Leaders Are Made

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Danielle Johnson on passing her licensing exams this month! In addition, two of our interns are interns no longer - Shari Servillon is now a full-time member of our Architecture Department and Jessica Muehlbauer has joined our Interior Design Department! Well done you three, we couldn't be prouder! 



New York State Award Ticket

Carmina Wood Morris, DPC is proud to announce that we have been honored with three (out of eight total) NYS Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards for our work on 10 Lafayette (The Tishman Building), LAPC Lofts, and the Remington Lofts on the Canal! This will be CWM's third, fourth, and fifth time winning this prestigious award. We want to thank and congratulate everyone involved on these outstanding projects!

10 Lafayette

10 Lafayette

LAPC Lofts

LAPC Lofts

Remington Lofts

Remington Lofts

The Buffalo News picked up on our accomplishments, and featured one of our partners, Steve Carmina, saying "This recognition is so rewarding because we had three different projects with three different sets of challenges. We have been working with enlightened development partners that allow us to bring forth our special expertise to keep Buffalo’s historic past alive.”

In addition, VISIT BUFFALO NIAGARA PRESIDENT AND CEO PATRICK KALER SAID: "A spirit of preservation and restoration is helping to transform Buffalo into one of America’s great 21st century comeback cities. Buffalo’s renaissance is being realized through the hard work of firms like Carmina Wood Morris. The Preservation League's recognition of their work is a tribute to its excellence and the renewed energy and activity that can be found throughout Buffalo.”

AIABEP Animal House Competition

One of our Interior Designers entered this years AIABEP Animal House Competition and although he did not receive an award we are very proud of his submission and wanted to show it off!

Parakeet Elaviatorium

This abandoned elevator shaft has been converted into an enclosure that provides parakeets with all the luxuries of their natural environment and simultaneously offers building tenants a unique bird watching experience. The Elaviatorium is composed of essential regions that each play an integral role in maintaining the animals well being.

Food is located at the lobby level. Seed and fruit are bordered by a pool of perpetually circulating water. Visitors to the building can get an intimate look at the birds from either side of the glass.

An aluminum tower ascends from the ground floor of the building, rises through the shaft, and soars above the rooftop. The narrow tower structure and low profile perimeter treatments make the shaft ideal for unobstructed flying and travel between levels. The levels are in rhythm with the building’s floors and consist of areas to nest and perch. A commitment to smooth structure and finishes creates and absence of superfluous ledges and niches. This dictates where nesting and perching occur. Lining the shaft are living walls that provide nesting materials and synchronized light fixtures that replicate natural daylight in order to maintain the bird’s circadian rhythm.

Viewing balconies at each level give homage to highly ornamented historical elevators while using materials associated with modern “aircraft” style.

At the rooftop of the Elaviatorium birds will find grit necessary for proper feeding, bathing areas, and open flying space. Angled glass panels refract light so as to not pose a danger by appearing too clear and unidentifiable.