Developer Anthony LoRusso celebrated the official opening of his Casa Shelby apartment building project yesterday. Located at 250 Virginia Street, the building has been rehabilitated at a cost of $1.1 million and utilized historic tax credits. Preservation Studios is working on completing the National Register application. The listing allowed LoRusso to utilize historic tax credits funded through the state and federal government.
Formerly known as The Virginia, the building was designed Canadian architect Henry Perram in 1889 for Wilham Mickle. The Virginia was built between 1900 and 1902 and stands as an excellent example of a turn-of-the-century apartment building on Buffalo’s West Side.
The exterior is characterized by elaborate hooding over the windows, swag motifs, and quoins at each corner of the building. Interior spaces include a marble wainscoted lobby with apartments featuring natural wood features, all of which has been retained through the rehab. Since its construction the exterior of the building has not changed much, only the cornice and original entranceway have been lost over time.
The building was listed on the National Register because it is a “rare and substantially intact example of a type of apartment building that emerged from the growth of Buffalo’s Lower West Side neighborhood” according to Preservation Studios.
This type of living was very fashionable at the time of construciton and many wealthy citizens of Buffalo originally lived there. The Virginia was only built three stories high in order to keep with the character of the surrounding neighborhood. Located in a largely residential area, the apartment complex offered residents a life in a fashionable neighborhood.
The completed building now boasts 22 apartments, which have all been leased. Rents range from $630 to about $700 to keep the apartments affordable for lower to medium income residents. Parking is available across the street on the corner of Virginia and 10th streets.