Project Groundbreaking

On August 3 2017, Michigan Broadway LLC along with State and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nash Lofts Project at the corner of Michigan and Broadway in the city of Buffalo. 

Plans include turning this trio of buildings along the so-called Dallenbach Block into a mixed-use development anchored by 18 apartments, a restaurant, and office space for the local NAACP.

In case you missed it, read up on thoughts and best wishes from the attendees courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo here

Architect Preserving Buffalo

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Business First.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Business First.

This weekend, our own Paul Lang, AIA LEED AP BD+C, was featured in Buffalo Business First! Thanks for recognizing and appreciating the talents of Paul Lang as much as we do! This is a great read about an even greater architect, and we couldn't be prouder to have him on our team. Read the full article here.

Greater As One

This year instead of giving gifts to one another, our staff gathered a donation (which the partners generously matched) which we chose to share with our friends at Journey's End today! 

Pictured Left To Right: JERS Director of Finance, Jeff Knapp; Steven Carmina, Partner; Karen Andolina Scott; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, Partner. 

Pictured Left To Right: JERS Director of Finance, Jeff Knapp; Steven Carmina, Partner; Karen Andolina Scott; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, Partner. 

Journey's End is an immigration legal services program in Buffalo, "Where home beings again." From family reunification to permanent residence services, the team at JERS welcomes refugees without regard to ethnic origin or creed and assists them to become healthy, independent, contributing members of the Buffalo community. They even conduct the only free legal walk-in clinic in the Buffalo area that services refugees, immigrants, and U.S. citizens with their immigration needs and language support in 32 languages! 

We are happy to support their work! 

CANstruction 2016: The Season of Giving

WGRZ tells the story of how our CANstruction creations come to life! Made possible by a $10,000 donation from Tops Friendly Markets, all 8,000 cans used to create the display are donated to the Food Bank of WNY when the display comes down; helping those in need in an event called Food2Families. This year, we broke one of last year's records, completing the project in just two and a half days! This is our eighth year participating in CANstruction and we couldn't be happier to present this replica Silo City, complete with Barbie kayakers! There were so many donations the silo is literally pouring over with food! 

Day 1 of construction!

Day 1 of construction!

Day 2 of construction!

Day 2 of construction!

Silo's overflowing with donations to Food Bank of WNY

Silo's overflowing with donations to Food Bank of WNY

Silo City

Silo City

Canalside Kayakers 

Canalside Kayakers 

Chatting with Mix96 about our inspiration for our replica Silo City CANstruction display!

Chatting with Mix96 about our inspiration for our replica Silo City CANstruction display!

Shop Small, Shop Local

Shop Small, Shop Local, & Shop Downtown!

By shopping and eating locally you show your support of the Downtown Buffalo Small Business Community and directly contribute to their success. The wide array of restaurants and retail venues offer something for everyone this holiday season! 

All of the shops and restaurants are listed in the Buffalo Place guide book and can be found at their website here

The fun downtown doesn't end there! Special Holiday Events include:

-Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26th from Noon-4pm

-Main Street Blitz, Nov. 28th - Dec. 2nd. Keeping the Shop Local momentum going, the downtown retailers are offering a variety of holiday shopping specials!

-Pre-Tree Lighting Activities, Dec. 3rd from 10am-5pm. Come down before the Tree Lighting and make a day of it! Many shops downtown will have special activities and sales to get you in the holiday spirit!

-Tree Lighting Celebration at Fountain Plaza, Dec 3rd from 5pm-8pm. Kick off the holiday season with Buffalo Place at this family friendly and free to the public event.

Restoring Buffalo And Beyond

Thanks to Buffalo News reporter, Jonathan Epstein, for this wonderful article on partner Steve Carmina and our entire firm! We're excited for the continued efforts towards Buffalo's resurgence, but we’re also moving to other cities. We’ve got projects in Utica, and we’re looking at buildings for clients in Albany. The future is bright for CWM! 

Read the full article here

BN360 Spotlight: Look East to the Next Frontier

Last October, The Buffalo Niagara Partnership young professionals group, BN360, posted a blog from Paul Lang, one of our project architects. In honor of Buffalo's continued rebirth, we decided to repost Paul's article here. We hope you learn a little more about what great things are soon to come for this great city!

"Our region, specifically our city, has been experiencing a renaissance as of late, fueled in large part by our rediscovery and reutilization of our heritage.

While some in the community look for a downtown football stadium or a new convention center as the next steps in our rebirth, I believe our renaissance will continue with development gravitating toward the East Side of Buffalo.

I believe the East Side’s existing infrastructure, historical building stock, and sense of community will lead to investment and the ongoing resurgence east of Main Street, specifically to the Historic Polonia neighborhood.

Admittedly biased by my volunteer efforts throughout this community and specifically my involvement in the Central Terminal Restoration Corp., I see tremendous potential at a reasonable cost which would ultimately create one of the most dynamic and culturally rich districts in the City.


Anchored by the historic Broadway Market, which now functions as a  year round indoor farmers market with community service components, the neighborhood is an extremely short commute from the downtown core, and only one mile from Larkinville. A walkable community, the East Side is home to three cathedrals and other active congregations, interspersed among commercial shopping districts, and intact residential blocks.

Adding to the uniqueness and desirability of the existing district, is the growing urban farming community where Wilson Street Urban Farm and others are re-imagining the vacant lots as active fresh produce producing fields further supporting the growing green initiative inherent to this area.

The potential of this district is where it truly shines. Despite the region’s craft brewing boom, the former Schreiber Brewing facility sits vacant.  Imagine a brewery moving into the historic facility reactivating the frescoed tasting room on the second floor.

Equally exciting are the other historic structures in the district such as Union Stock Yard Bank and Eckhardt Department Store who wait patiently for a new use, despite being in remarkably good condition. Both properties are eligible for Historic Tax Credits and other related redevelopment funding.

There is even a growing movement to create a historic designation for the neighborhood in order to make  additional properties eligible for grants and tax credits.

The most iconic of the historic structures is the Buffalo Central Terminal, which serves as the southern boundary of the neighborhood. The Central Terminal Restoration Corp. will be reopening the concourse for rentals and events in 2016 while reinstalling utilities and moving forward with other critical projects.

As progress advances on restoration of the 523,000 square foot facility, the public will get an enticing taste of what full building utilization will be like. To accomplish this, the organization will be looking for talented and motivated volunteers to help market and manage the facility, as well as explore critical grant funding to finance renovation efforts.

I would encourage all of those who want to make a difference in Buffalo, especially our region’s future leaders, to get involved now and help re-envision a uniquely Buffalo neighborhood.

Not everyone can buy and redevelop a historic property, but simple acts like volunteering, attending events in the area, or simply shopping at the market all goes a long way to advancing the progress. Buffalo’s renaissance is moving east.

Now is the time to get involved to help change the perception of this neighborhood and create a new reality for Buffalo’s East Side. To learn how you can get involved with redevelopment efforts on the East Side, please visit:

Buffalo Central Terminal
Wilson Street Urban Farm
Broadway Market

About the Author: Paul Lang serves as Project Architect at Carmina Wood Morris D.P.C. and also is the Vice Chair of Central Terminal Restoration Corp. Paul has worked on many projects in Buffalo, restoring buildings for mixed-use including The Hotel Lafayette."


WGRZ - Channel 2 News tells the story of how our CANstruction creations come to life! Made possible by a $10,000 donation from Tops Friendly Markets, all 8,000 cans are donated to the Food Bank of WNY when the display comes down; further helping those in need. This year, we broke two records: this was our largest display to date with 8,428 donated items and it was also the fastest we have ever completed it, on a Wednesday night! 

Day one construction progress

Day one construction progress

The finished project! 

The finished project! 

BNP Member Spotlight

This month, our friends at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership invited us to be their Member Spotlight! Below is the finished article written by Martin Haumesser: 

Imagination Unlocked

Since its founding in 2001, Buffalo Niagara Partnership member, Carmina Wood Morris DPC, has made its mark across Western New York as a leading architecture, engineering and interior design firm. The firm’s talent and creativity can be seen across the region in a variety of award-winning projects from luxury lofts in historic Lafayette Square to renovations at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“Carmina Wood Morris has earned a distinct reputation for our design and technical skills, specializing in historic preservation, adaptive re-use, multi- and single-family housing, and commercial work, “explains Darra Kubera, Marketing Coordinator at the firm. “We offer a comprehensive scope of services with full capabilities to take a project from concept through design to completion.”

With headquarters in downtown Buffalo, Carmina Wood Morris is home to a dynamic team of 23 professionals including architects, engineers and interior designers who collaborate to deliver unique, innovative results for their clients. The firm’s name is associated with countless projects that shine as examples of the resurgence underway in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Building the community

The Hotel Lafayette. Seneca Street Lofts. The Phoenix Brewery Apartments. Those are just a few of the projects that demonstrate the firm’s philosophy of doing great work that help to make our community better.

It is a company culture instilled by firm principals Steven J. Carmina, AIA; R. Christopher Wood, PE; Jonathan H. Morris, AIA; and Pamela Timby-Straitiff, CID, IIDA, and shared by every member of their team.

“We believe in making a difference, in our work and in what we can do to support the community, from volunteering to getting involved with organizations such as the Partnership,” says Steve Carmina.

Carmina himself has been called one of downtown Buffalo’s biggest boosters, evidenced not only in the firm’s work, but also by the fact that he makes his residence in a restored historic building on Genesee Street.

The Partnership in the plans

Carmina Wood Morris became a member of the Partnership more than two years ago, citing the networking opportunities as a major reason for joining. As the firm has become more familiar with the Partnership, they recognized all that their membership has to offer, and firm associates continue to get more involved. Partner Pamela Timby-Straitiff is a member of the Partnership’s Executive Exchange Commitee and a number of associates are part of the Partnership’s BN360 program for young professionals.
In fact, firm architect Paul Lang was recently named as a 2015 BN360 Spotlight Professional, an annual BN360 program that highlights individuals in our area who exemplify today’s rising, young leaders. Paul recently wrote an article for the BN360 Spotlight Series that centers on re-envisioning Buffalo’s East Side neighborhoods. Read the article HERE.

Going forward

Obviously, revitalization efforts and new development in the Buffalo Niagara region has resulted in an increased demand for services provided by Carmina Wood Morris. The firm currently has several positions open in its engineering department and it recently recruited a young architectural intern to Buffalo from Florida. Darra Kubera notes that all the exciting things going on in Western New York were added incentive for the emerging professional to make the move here.

While projects in downtown Buffalo have garnered plenty of attention, the firm is finding success throughout the region. Work currently underway includes interior design for Courtyard by Marriott in a signature building in Niagara Falls; design work at Crescendo apartments in a circa 1911 former Bison Storage and Warehouse complex on Niagara Street; and design work at the Delevan, a 60-room boutique hotel that will adjoin Salvatore’s Restaurant in Lancaster.

As Carmina Wood Morris continues to grow, Darra Kubera sees the firm’s involvement with the Partnership growing as well. “We are pleased to be a part of the Partnership and have found them very responsive any time we’ve had a question or needed assistance,” she concludes.

Women In Business: What the ladies of CWM bring to the office

October is celebrated as “Women In Business” month. According to the National Women’s Business Council, women account for 28.7% of all businesses nationwide while the United States ranks first for female entrepreneurship. In honor of this celebration, we took some time to interview the ladies that make up the Carmina Wood Morris team, resulting in some surprising insights! 


When asked to name a woman in business that has been inspiring, Partner and Director of Interiors Pam Timby-Straitiff named Ann Freer, the owner of Chez Ann Salon, saying “she has tremendous passion for her business, clients, and employees. I trust her judgment implicitly and often say to myself, ‘what would Ann do’.” Lee Schlatterer from our interiors department says her younger sister, who is a MSS MLSP LCSW licensed therapist, is a woman in business that inspired her by giving a voice to those struggling with incredible difficulties and “always being up for the next challenge in life.” If you ask Shari Servillon and Danielle Johnson (both from our architecture department) that same question, their answers would be Tina Fey and Leslie Knope, respectfully (which we think is quite a fitting pair of answers; if you are familiar with the “Parks and Rec” character, you would agree).

Our team is pretty inspiring in their own right too. We asked Jessica Muehlbauer from our interiors department to share her passions, interests, and goals. Her response? “I must admit I love plants. I love to take care of something and then marvel at the beauty of your labor.” She aspires to one day open her own boutique, featuring a unique way to shop for interiors. Our Administrative Assistant, Stephanie Lutz, is currently attending college to reach her goal of becoming a financial advisor. When we asked Stephanie what impact she has had on the CWM office she said, “Making people happy here, whether it’s joking around to make them smile or always giving a cheery ‘good morning’. They also like to hear me say I’ve made coffee.” 

One of our associates in the architecture department, Wendy Ferrie, feels her impact on our firm stems from her strong relationship with clients, coworkers, and consultants. By treating people with respect and compassion Wendy has made our entire team feel at home, which is just how she’s felt here personally. Her advice to anyone: “be honest with yourself and those you work with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t think that you are above or below anyone. Work with people as peers and show your appreciation.”

Our next question to the ladies of the office: What motivates you? 

  • Pam: “The people I have around me. I’m fortunate to have great relationships and people in my life that spur my imagination, make me strive to be better, and catch me when I fall.”
  • Lee: “Making others happy. Simply said, but it’s what makes me, me. I love seeing our clients at home in their new space, hearing others impacted by a renovation we helped bring to life, or making someone happy with a batch of my “famous” chocolate chip cookies!”
  • Shari: “Selfless people, acts of kindness and love, and our beautiful planet.”
  • Danielle: ”A deadline, feeling a sense of accomplishment.”
  • Jessica: “A challenge- I love learning something new and having to work hard to figure it out.”
  • Stephanie: “My little brothers. Knowing that they look up to me makes me want to do the best and be the best person I can be.”
  • Wendy: “I want to be proud of the work I did at the end of the day, whether that is with work or with family.”

We couldn’t celebrate the success of women everywhere without asking our team for their perspective and advice for other women looking to make their start! Pam simply says “If you want something, go for it and never give up.” Jessica answered, “Be bold! Have a personality and never apologize for it.” From Shari, “Stand out, create value, and take risks.”

Finally, we asked: what is the first thing you do when you wake up and start your day? Whether it be drink coffee, exercise, snuggle with families or pets, or turn on The Today Show- these ladies come to work every day with a passion for what they do. Thank you for being such inspiring members of our team, not just this October, but all day every day. 

About the author: Darra Kubera is our Marketing Coordinator, and although she made all the ladies answer these “silly” questions she feels weird answering and writing about them herself. So all she’s going to say is that she brings plenty of organization to the team, paired with an annoying obsession for turning things in on time (aka early), and a lot of loud laughter.


The Ultimate List Of Wild Architecture: U.S. Zoos

As you can tell from some of my previous posts, I love visiting the news section of the Architizer website. They recently published a post titled "Safari Architecture: 7 Wild Zoos," but I have to say I was a little disappointed by their list! They featured zoos from around the world, but never really focused in on what wonders we have here in the United States; don't worry- I already did that research for you! Read on for the Ultimate List of Wild Architecture: The United States Zoo edition. 

          The Buffalo Zoo. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor. 

          The Buffalo Zoo. Image courtesy of Trip Advisor. 

Obviously I chose to look right in my own backyard to start off this list! The Buffalo Zoo, pictured above, is actually the third oldest zoo in the United States and is considered the second largest tourist attraction in Western New York. Residing in the middle of an urban area, the Buffalo Zoo's design cleverly unites people and animals. One of the newest additions is the Rainforest exhibit, where the back wall "resembles a flat-topped mountain...complete with a live working waterfall." A bridge and balcony provide breathtaking views, completing this marvelous architectural attraction.

                                            Cleveland Zoo. Image courtesy of City Guide.

                                            Cleveland Zoo. Image courtesy of City Guide.

Next up, The Cleveland Metropark Zoo, which recently received LEED certification for their African Elephant Crossing exhibit. The LEED program is the nationally accepted standard for green buildings, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council. I visited this zoo myself back in March, and although some areas were blocked off from the snowy weather I still had a great adventure exploring the twists and turns of this 183-acre zoo. 

Philadelphia Zoo. Image courtesy of Landscape Architecture Magazine. 

Philadelphia Zoo. Image courtesy of Landscape Architecture Magazine. 

In 1874 the Philadelphia Zoo opened, and still only has its original 42 acres today. Last spring, the COO introduced a new design plan that created "a radically different experience by giving [the animals] this opportunity to travel and explore." Three trail types were constructed, as shown in the photo above, that allowed animals to wander and explore while being eye to eye with patrons. Definitely worth a visit in my opinion! 

Smithsonian National Zoo. Image courtesy of PJA Architects. 

Smithsonian National Zoo. Image courtesy of PJA Architects. 

Last on my list is the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C., recently renovated by PJA Architects. An Asia Trail Elephant Exhibit covering three acres was updated; their website describes the project: "two large water holes for swimming were incorporated into the site topography and are maintained by a state of the art water treatment facility. The project incorporates green technologies throughout , is sensitive to the historic building and context, and greatly expands the space for animals and public viewing." 

My short list certainly does not cover all the architecturally inspired zoo's that the U.S. has to offer, but I hope it sparked your interest and raised your awareness of what lies in your own backyard. Comment below and share what YOUR favorite zoo structures are (you may even inspire a future blog post!). 

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