The renovated Hotel Lafayette opened to rave reviews locally. Developer Rocco Termini and the design firm behind the effort, Carmina Wood Morris, are now getting well-deserved statewide recognition. They will receive the President's Citation from the New York State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANYS) at the chapter's annual convention, held in Saratoga Springs today.
The award presentation is set for 1 pm at the Saratoga Springs Convention Center. Carmina Wood Morris, a leader in local historic preservation efforts, served as the lead architect and interior designer on the Lafayette project and spearheaded the historic restoration of the building.
The AIANYS President's Citation is awarded to a project or individual that has made a significant contribution to the field of architecture and is chosen by the current president of the organization.
Buffalo native Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, currently leads the state-wide organization and chose the Hotel @ Lafayette for this year's honor, in addition to architect Eric Goshow, AIA, for his contributions to the profession. Goshow will serve as president of the NYS AIA next year.
In choosing the Hotel Lafayette, Hayes-McAlonie cited the careful and loving restoration of the hotel's historic features, the restoration of the legacy of Louise Bethune, the country's first officially recognized female architect, and the positive impact the project had on the use and expansion of New York State historic tax credits as primary reasons to honor the project. The building is typically cited as Bethune's most important work.
The Lafayette is significant as one of the finest examples of a grand early-Twentieth Century hotel in the City of Buffalo and a remarkably intact example of the French Renaissance style of architecture. Nationally, the period of significance has been set from 1902, the beginning of Louis Bethune's involvement in the building's design, until 1929, when the last alteration to the building was completed in harmony to the original Bethune design. Locally, the building's period of significance begins in 1900, when the foundation was laid in preparation for the Pan American Exposition, until 1946, when the hotel underwent a series of interior updates during the World War II period.