Author: Schyler Norton
Michael Anderson’s building on Broadway is inconspicuous. So far, the renovations taking place are in the interior of the building as to keep with its current aesthetic, only a few touchups here and there were necessary to bring it back to its original glory. It is a large three story building that was built in 1892, on the corner of Broadway and Cedar. From the front it’s hard to tell that Abstract Architecture is headquartered there. I walked around to the side and saw the sign for the business, and a door but no stairs (I was later assured that there will be stairs there very soon) luckily, a gentleman walking down the street told me that the front entrance was the only entrance, and for that I was forever grateful because it was very cold that day.
Michael Anderson has owned the building on Broadway for a little more than a year. The building was raw space, and he had to redo all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work. For an architect, having a three-story building to design yourself, in accordance with your own preferences, is exciting to say the least. Anderson, who is the owner of Abstract Architecture told me that he wanted to get back into the city for a while. He had looked at mixed-use spaces on the West Side, but the places he liked were too expensive. When Anderson found the space on Broadway he made an offer, but expected that he would be outbid by a developer – luckily he wasn’t.
As of right now, the back space, which is the headquarters for Abstract Architecture, is fully renovated. The team has been working out of that space for about five months now. The next step in the project is to redo the side entrance, which will be the primary entrance for the architecture firm. Anderson plans to live on the third floor of the building, move Abstract Architecture to the second floor, and rent the first floor, but because the project is self financed it’s a slow and steady process.
Before all of that can happen the goal is to have the first two floors done and rented by the summer, but hold off on the storefront since it is such a large space.
Anderson wanted to work and live in the city, so for him, this move to Broadway is very exciting. The goal of the company is to have as many Buffalo architecture projects done by talented Buffalo architects.
The neighborhood that Anderson is moving into is happy to have him. He says his neighbors are great, they talk often and he hasn’t heard any complaints about him moving in or renovating the space, and the church across the street is excited to have a neighbor. There is very little City-owned property in the area, and it is clear that the people there care about the neighborhood. Anderson sees that people are working on their houses and gardens when the weather and time allows. The neighborhood is strong and doesn’t need a lot, but growth is good anywhere and Anderson is excited to be a part of that – he hopes to see more growth in the area in the next couple of years.
Abstract Architecture mainly focuses on single-family homes, but they were the architecture firm for RiverWorks. The firm works on small-scale residential renovations, and smaller homes on lots. They’ve done a lot of work in the suburbs, but are starting to grow their portfolio in the city. Abstract Architecture also did some projects in Ellicottville and Rochester, but found it too time consuming and a difficult commute. Anderson wanted to be in the city because that’s where his heart is. Currently, there are a lot of cool opportunities and growth potential, and that’s something he wanted to concentrate on.
Abstract Architecture | 313 Broadway | Buffalo, NY 14204 | (716) 812-2596