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She’s Back- 591 Delaware Resurrected

Next time you see Matt or Chris Moscati, make sure you say ‘thank you.’ Heck, even a hug would not be out of line. The brothers have rescued 591 Delaware Avenue from the wrecking ball, proving once again that almost any building can be saved. The historic Allentown structure was extremely close to being demolished just a few years ago and has been painstakingly rebuilt at considerable expense.
The original owner of 591 Delaware (1899) was Clarence L. Bryant, one of the founders of Bryant & Stratton Business College. A devastating four-alarm fire ravaged the structure in February 1996 while under the ownership of Dr. Charles Battista. Due to the fire’s extensive initial damage and subsequent deterioration caused by natural elements, the building’s roof and a majority of the interior structural elements no longer existed or were left unsound.


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Matt and Chris Moscati of TRM Architecture, Design and Planning, P.C. acquired the property in December of 2001 at a City of Buffalo auction. As seen in the ‘before’ and early construction photos (slideshow), it took extraordinary vision and a love for the city to take this project on. Their goal was to not only rebuild a fire-scarred prominent property on Delaware Avenue, but also to reconstruct the 11,000 sq.ft. landmark designed by Esenwein & Johnson and bridge over a hundred years of design innovation.
Says Matt, “I am hopeful that the project can serve as positive example of adaptive reuse of a historic property that can maintain their original character while integrating modern environmentally sensitive systems and materials.”
The building now provides high-end professional office space integrating the latest sustainable building technologies (LEED certified) within the historical context of the original structure. There is also a two-story residential unit on the upper floors, a modern living space further promoting the benefits of mixed-use concepts within the downtown core.
O’Keefe Shaw & Co., Inc., a full-service investment firm, has moved into the building’s 6,000 sq.ft. of office space. The eleven year old firm relocated from North Forest Road in Amherst.
Thanks to Matt and Chris, 591 Delaware remains an invaluable part of Buffalo’s historical and cultural heritage, as well as economic future.
Founded in 1977 and located at 448 Delaware Avenue, TRM Architecture, Design and Planning, P.C., is a Western New York-based, 20+ employee, architectural firm with strong local ties and a broad spectrum of diversified clients.
Get connected, TRM: 716.883.3516; O’Keefe Shaw & Co: 716.362.9899
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Written by Bill Zimmermann

Bill Zimmermann

Bill runs Seven Seas Sailing school, and is a staunch waterfront activist. He is also heavily involved with preserving, maintaining, and promoting the South Buffalo Lighthouse. When Bill first started writing for Buffalo Rising, he wrote an article a day for 365 days - each article coincided with a significant historic event that happened in Buffalo on that same day.

View All Articles by Bill Zimmermann
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