Media Mavens - Catching Up With CWM

A RUNDOWN OF LATEST NEWS BRIEFS FOR BUFFALO DESIGN FIRM:

There's so much happening in our offices lately we thought we'd help you catch up on some of the latest and greatest moments in the media!

Most recently, we were featured on Ch2-WGRZ for our project in progress at the AP Lofts on Swan Street. Ron Plants was kind enough to interview Partner Steve Carmina about the project, which will feature a residential renovation with 147 one and two bedroom loft apartments. Steve says, "It's really meant for easy access, pedestrian access to Larkinville, and also to the city, you're a stone's through from the medical campus. If you're working at Larkinville or the medical campus or in the city and you make $30,000 you could afford to live here." 


We were also showcased on AM-Buffalo, when Linda Pellegrino stopped by our offices to talk about our Fifteen Year Anniversary! All five of our partners were able to share with Linda the progress downtown Buffalo has made and how our firm has been, and continues to be, a huge part of that momentum!


We're not just video stars either, Jonathan Epstein at the Buffalo News focused two recent articles on some of our projects in progress. The first was on our partnership with the Kissling Interests LLC and our work on the historic White Building at 298 Main Street. 

Pictured left is the updated lobby, featuring a blend of natural white marble, porcelain, and limestone that seamlessly create an open and inviting entrance. Make sure you check out the story here!

The second Epstein article was for our work on the previously mentioned AP Lofts restoration (historic photo pictured right). Although the video includes quotes from Steve too, the print article discusses the plans to cut a big hole through the center of the building, creating an inner courtyard, allowing it to put apartments around the interior core. Read the full article here. 


As you can see, there's plenty of CWM News for you to catch up on! Don't miss out on current updates by signing up for our newsletter (see that box on the left hand side of your screen? Use that! All we ask for is your name and email and you're all set!). While you're at it, you should probably follow us on social media too (all of those handy dandy links are at the top of your screen, front and center!). Thanks for tuning in!

Why Historic Preservation Is Important

A Look Inside The Redevelopment Process

In Buffalo, our historic architecture speaks to the growth of our industries, the impact it has had on our residential stock, and the eventual fall from that perch. The opportunity to resurrect that culture in a current time of growth and confidence in our city sets preservation as a top priority. 

In order to find a balance between past and present structural importance, one must understand that Preservation is an all-encompassing term that is improperly used for any project dealing with a building older than twenty-five years, but preservation projects can range anywhere from restoration to renovation to reconstruction type developments. 

Although new structures may seem simpler to design and implement, redeveloping historic structures allows us to create a result that is both charming and unique. 

Why is preservation important?

  • Economic incentives spur development of otherwise typically undevelopable buildings 
  • Job creation and spin off investment
  • Further understanding of the lineage of a location or building and the impact on society
  • Opportunity for the architect to engage in a design that interacts with history
  • Opportunity to regain confidence in our city

When first approaching a historic preservation development, if it is identified as a possible project, it is critical to determine if it is eligible for National Registry and therefore tax incentives. It is also important to consider how to make the project viable by inspecting the surroundings to determine what made the building deteriorate, deciding who should be the caretaker or developer of the building, and breaking down the building’s condition and character. 

Tishman Building at 10 Lafayette

What are the greatest challenges of preservation?

  • Perception: negative stereotypes of the approach as one that prevents change and growth can be hard to overcome 
  • Dependent on the project, problems could arise based on financing or the building’s stability
  • Architecturally speaking, it is difficult to establish a new paradigm in a building that was not designed for that purpose while maintaining a high level of preservation standards

What are the greatest outcomes?

  • Seeing a building left for demolition restored and brought back to operation
  • Seeing business thriving and the public enjoying the project 

With the right team in place, you can likely find a solution that manages all interests and results in the project being created. The Historic Tax Credit programs at the State and Federal level are to thank for the restoration of major commercial buildings. It is important to maintain these tax credits, as many historic projects are being completed by individuals who are investing without much help. The passion and commitment that many have for preserving our region’s buildings is irreplaceable and the rebirth of our city hinges on our ability to support these individuals. To learn more about the Historic Preservation efforts throughout Buffalo, or to find out how you can get involved, visit: The Preservation League of NYS at www.preservenys.org or The Landmark Society of WNY at www.landmarksociety.org


Steve Carmina Headshot

About the author: Steven Carmina is a Partner with Carmina Wood Morris, DPC an Architecture Engineering and Interior Design firm, and has been a Buffalo Niagara Partnership member for two years. Steve’s experience spans more than thirty years of planning, design, and project implementation for a diverse range of projects. An AIA member, Steve is also an active board member of Buffalo Place, March of Dimes, Buffalo Hearing & Speech, and Traffic on Main Street.

LAPC Lofts Ready For Tenants!

This project was brought about by the congregation of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church tying to preserve its history and home, while reducing their financial burden. Adding loft units to this structure brought in revenue that allowed the church to maintain its structure as well as its community service. 

We converted the old chapel into multi level units that revealed the wood truss that have been concealed since the 70’s. We restored a parlor, added two-story loft units to the gymnasium, added handicapped accessibility where the church was not previously accessible, opened up the potential for weddings and receptions, and so much more. 

In addition, each loft has its own variation on the theme, some incorporating the old bowling alley lanes into the flooring, while others showcase the repurposed fireplaces and stained-glass windows. We loved being a part of this project and preserving some individual elements of the existing church; Buffalo Spree has all the latest details of the project here


Wayne & Waldorf Nearing Completion

The Wayne & Waldorf Apartments, 1106-1110 Main Street, were constructed in ca. 1897 on the west side of what was then considered “North Main Street”, just south of Summer Street. The Waldorf is located to the north of the Wayne. The four-story brick apartment blocks are identical, bilaterally symmetrical along Waldorf Place, a small lane running between the two. The buildings were designed by Buffalo architect William H. Archer for James Campsell, who was also a carpenter. We are excited to see so much progress in the restoration and renovation of these apartments!

 

506 Delaware Apt

 

Twenty-five apartments are planned for 506 Delaware Avenue! Buffalo Rising has the facts, and the project will "be six lofted apartments, one single-level unit, and 2,700 sq.ft. of commercial space on the first floor.  The second floor will contain six lofted apartments, five single-level units and 2,500 sq.ft. of office space.  Seven single-level apartments and 2,100 sq.ft. of office space will occupy the third level." 

The Calumet Elements

Buffalo Rising pretty much said it all for us, but we just wanted to give ourselves a little pat on the back for the Calumet Building's progress. One of our partners, Steve Carmina, shared in the article that the plan was "designed to create a welcoming, loft-like space with an urban feel while preserving as much of the historic details and design as they possibly could in order to maintain the Calumet Building’s status as an historical landmark."