Plans for the former Cloister site at Delaware Avenue and Virginia Street have been revised. Property owner Scott Croce has brought on architect Karl Frizlen to redesign the previously approved plan and increase the number of residences from three to nine. Croce, a chiropractor, plans to move his office to the first floor of the building.
The previous proposal for the site called for a 20,000 sq.ft. medical office building fronting Delaware Avenue and three, three-story townhouses along Virginia Street (above). The contemporary design faced tough sailing with the Preservation Board when two neighbors objected to the plan calling the design insensitive to the historic Allentown neighborhood. The Board’s vote on the project was 4-4 meaning it didn’t take action on the project and thus authorized it.
Revised plans (below) were approved by the Preservation Board on June 28 and will be reviewed by the Planning Board next Tuesday.
According to the cover letter submitted to the Preservation Board by attorney Robert E. Knoer, Croce “has agreed to consider a more traditional look in closer keeping with the preservation district standards.” He went on to write, “We believe that this will result in an even better project for this prominent site on Delaware Avenue.”
The building will feature a corner glass atrium with office space in the three levels fronting Delaware Avenue and the nine apartments in the portion along Virgina Street. The exterior will be clad in red brick, adobe-colored terra cotta manufactured by Boston Valley Terra Cotta. Cultured stone sills and cornice are planned. A fourth level recessed along Virginia Street will have hardiplank siding and a metal hipped roof. Windows will have a “light gray tint” and will be anodized aluminum framed.
Three private garages would be accessed along Virgina Street along with two residential lobbies and one studio apartment. Four, one-bedroom units will occupy the second floor. The four apartments on the third floor will be two-bedroom units on two levels. The master bedroom on the mezzanine level will be accessed via a circular staircase. Each of the upper level apartments will have a terrace facing the interior of the site. Nineteen non-garage parking spaces, 11 of them covered, are provided on site.
The property previously contained a residence where Mark Twain lived from 1870 to 1871. It was destroyed by fire in 1963, but the carriage house remained. The Cloister, one of Buffalo’s fabled restaurants, was opened by James D. DiLapo, Jr. in 1964 and closed in 1989. Business First and the Buffalo Law Journal occupied the building until 2001 when the publisher relocated to the Lafayette Court building on Main Street. The building was vacant until demolished earlier this year.
A brick carriage house on the Holloway Alley side of the property remains (below). Its future use is not clear from the submitted documents.