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Construction Watch: Jacqueline Vito LoRusso Alumni & Visitor Center

Buffalo State’s Jacqueline Vito LoRusso Alumni & Visitor Center is becoming more of a reality on Grant Street. The project broke ground back in May, and has seen steady work ever since.

“This $6.9 million project was made possible thanks to state grants and private donations. The building is being named in the honor of Jacqueline Vito LoRusso, who donated a $1 million gift to Buffalo State. LoRusso earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education in the ’60s. She is currently the owner of a rental property management firm called JVL Management Company, here in Buffalo. This is not the first financial gift that she has bestowed upon the college.”

This project is another big deal for Grant Street, as it livens up another dead corner. It also helps with connectivity between Grant Street and Amherst Street – two commercial districts that should be tied together with a solid Buffalo State knot.

This alumni and visitor center sits right next to Greenleaf’s Campus Walk development, which also goes a long way towards bringing life (student life) back onto the street. There is a first flow row of commercial storefronts that is yet to be filled at this project. Someday, those storefronts will contribute greatly to the neighborhood.

All in all, things are shaping up at this end of Grant Street. It would be great to see a strong commercial organization rise up, similar to something that Elmwood Avenue has with The Elmwood Village Association. There’s a ton of opportunity, which is still not being realized. But this is a good start.

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is ‘queenseyes’ – Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world’s largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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  • OldFirstWard

    Who designed that eyesore? I’d demand my $1 million gift back. What a lack of creativity. A masters degree in architecture produced this? You should have been an accountant.

    • Dylan Burns

      If you’re going to shit-talk people, you should have the courage to do it with your real name.

    • SpeaksTheTruth

      Hey there OFW, you might want to check that first thought that popped into your head.

      I happen to agree that this design is lacking, however…

      neither UB, nor Cannon Design had anything to do with this project.

      It was designed by the architectural team at HOLT, an Ithaca firm that has as its principal members: several architects with degrees from Cornell University, one from Syracuse University, and several associates from Pratt Institute.

      So please, as you are doling out your oh-so-predictable negativity in the future, remember to bash the architectural design that is emerging from Cornell, Syracuse, and Pratt.

      • OldFirstWard

        Never said they were involved. It’s a juxtaposition. But thanks for the contribution.

  • Not the most attractive design.
    Why are a lot of our new buildings still going with this brutalistic design? A Visitors Center should be eye-appealing, as well as very “open” feeling (eg: a lot more windows to bring in natural light). Instead, it looks drab and intimidating.

    • Matt Marcinkiewicz

      drab and intimidating are the words for this. I hope someday that this building realizes its true potential as a campus holding center…Buff State campus crime has been up lately, after all

  • wsq548

    I agree it’s a really ugly brutalist design. The orange columns against the mustard yellow walls are very 70s, and not in a good way. I don’t understand why anybody at Buffalo State would choose to go with such an unpleasant look for their new alumni center, some people have no taste. On the bright side at least it’s not another grey concrete bunker like so many other brutalist buildings. Maybe the end result will turn out better than the rendering, but that may be too optimistic.

    • You’re definitely being way too optimistic. Unless they make last minute changes to the design, usually the renderings look better than the final product.

  • Fly Street

    WOOF.

  • A J Hecha

    As a student on that campus I can say I don’t care how it looks however for the expense it cost for the not particularly important function it is serving, it was a bad idea from the start.

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    they should halt construction right now; it currently looks better than it’s ever going to look in the future

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    ‘It also helps with connectivity between Grant Street and Amherst Street – two commercial districts that should be tied together with a solid Buffalo State knot.’

    I do agree with the idea of aspiring to connect Amherst and Grant moving forward. Grant feels like a world away from Elmwood at present. Maybe sometime in the not-so-immediate future, it won’t.

  • Mr. B

    Looks great.

    .

  • Flyguy2pt0

    Feel like maybe they took some inspiration from Bulger Communications, Campbell SU, Butler Library in this design? Trying to tie in some similar style design? I agree should be much more openness, windows, natural light, etc based on the rendering but I do get a feeling of those aforementioned campus bldgs when I see this. Should be lighted and airy even during dark hours. I dont see the whole site plan here but street trees would be a nice add as well as they always seem under represented or afterthought in many BFLO projects. Appears to be some Burchfield Penney Art Center in this also. I guess it fits with the surroundings in that sense. As part of the Buff State undergrad Alumni I had hoped a center as this would break free however and stand out on its own.

  • Flyguy2pt0

    Feel like maybe they took some inspiration from Bulger Communications, Campbell SU, Butler Library in this design? Trying to tie in some similar style design? I agree should be much more openness, windows, natural light, etc based on the rendering but I do get a feeling of those aforementioned campus bldgs when I see this. Should be lighted and airy even during dark hours. Activate the roof for something, add a green roof up there. Something to break up the overwhelming brown panels and give some life to the place. Add a unique architectural element with an observation feature above to get a nice clean view to Tonawanda Street, Scajaquada Creek, The Blackrock Canal. A sort of Alumin Center “widows walk”. I firmly believe Buffstate should continue to expand towards the River. Extension of Letchworth to Tonawanda would help extend that spine. I dont see the whole site plan here but street trees would be a nice add as well as they always seem under represented or afterthought in many BFLO projects. Appears to be some Burchfield Penney Art Center in this also. I guess it fits with the surroundings in that sense. As part of the Buff State undergrad Alumni I had hoped a center as this would break free however and stand out on its own. Just my opinion.

  • ChronicWestSider

    Ugly, ugly ugly!
    Did I mention it’s ugly?
    More darkness on that edge of town…