Preservation Buffalo Niagara is recognizing outstanding preservation projects and those contributing to preservation efforts at its annual awards ceremony May 30, 11:30 AM in the Statler's Golden Ballroom. Award categories were established to acknowledge distinguished contributions to our community through preservation activity. Recipients will be recognized in several areas including: preservation craft; rehabilitation/adaptive use; stewardship; neighborhood conservation; planning/reconstruction; and preservation journalism. Buffalo Rising will profile this year's winners leading up to the May event.
Lofts @ 136 is being recognized in the Rehabilitation/Adaptive Reuse category.
The Alling & Cory building at 136 Elm Street, constructed in 1910, provided a unique opportunity for an adaptive reuse, student housing facility. Its proximity to Erie Community College's city campus, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and availability to other area colleges and universities touched a market with a projected capture rate well beyond that of the 290-bed student facility. The development team was committed to creating a state-of-the-art student housing apartment facility that not only satisfied the Department of Interior's guidelines for historic preservation but also a building that is environmentally friendly.
Originally constructed as a paper warehouse, the Alling & Cory Building is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and its development and construction was greatly aided by Federal and NY State Historic Preservation Tax Credits.
The investment team, AC Lofts, LLC, played active roles in the delivery of various professional and construction services. The design work was led by principal investor and architect Jake Schneider. The construction management firm was R&P Oak Hill.
The successful adaptive reuse of the historic warehouse required the demolition of three existing structures: a cinder block one-story dock structure built in 1949 which was attached to the south face of the historic building and two structures located at 376 Michigan Avenue, a 1980 one-story cinder block warehouse and a two-story brick and masonry structure estimated to have been built around 1930. This demolition was done with the approval of the Buffalo Preservation Board.
Plans demanded the construction of a new stair tower located on the south face of the secondary elevation facing N. Division Street. New entrance landings and canopies were added to both the north and south elevations. Historic windows were reconstructed and new, reproduction, vintage-era, windows installed. The interior today provided 92 student apartment units housing up to 290 students. Security is provided throughout the building and the site. Interior and exterior community areas are available for students to socialize and study. An on-site Seven Eleven provides a wide range of staples. Shared laundry facilities are also provided.
The project team was committed to providing a "green" building. The student housing facility incorporates electrical, heating and cooling systems that are a minimum of 32 percent more efficient than systems required by NYS code. Renewable and green products were specified throughout the restoration and students are required to sign a pledge promising to reduce waste, conserve energy and participate in a building-wide recycling program.