At one point in the history of Downtown Buffalo, The Gutman Building, located at 19 Elm Street, would have been a dime a dozen. Today, the historic building stands alone, on the corner of Elm and South Division. The rest of the block is essentially one giant parking lot. Thankfully, the winds of destruction never managed to blow this beauty down to the ground, because it now stands as a reminder of “what could have been” in this architecturally sparse downtown corridor.
The five-story, 22,000 sq.ft. Gutman Building was built in 1909 by Nathan Gutman and William Sperling for the manufacture of men’s and boy’s trousers. In 1910, Bates Jackson Printers and Engravers occupied a portion of the building. By 1919 Gutman and Sperling were out of business and primary businesses were Bates Jackson and, over time, an artisan jewelry collaborative. Gallagher elevator moved into the ground floor in the 1940s.
Back in 2014, Developer Roger Trettel (owner of the building since 2012 – REVIVAL Development Co.), proposed converting the building into the Buffalo Green Technology Center (BGTC). In 2015, ECC was eyeing the Gutman Building to make room for a Consolidated Nursing School.
Earlier today, it was announced that a longstanding Buffalo creative firm, OtherWisz Creative, will be relocating to a 4,000-square-foot space on the fourth floor, which is tremendous news for this historic gem. OtherWisz Creative principals and husband and wife team Mark and Jill Wisz have decided to take the leap from a 1,600-square-foot renovated barn in the Elmwood Village to a sensational, expansive floorplan within The Gutman, which will hopefully help to attract additional tenants.
The added studio space will allow the OtherWisz team to expand its client base, as it will now have the room that it needs to design and construct oversized exhibits onsite. The expanded space will also allow OtherWisz to expand its staff as it grows its business in state, and out of state.
“Our business continually adapts to the changing needs of our growing client base and new available technologies,” says Jill Wisz, president of the woman-owned small business. “Our previous studio was a convenient location that reflected our personal nature and suited us well for the past 18 years, but it was time for a change.”
Part of Trettel’s plan for the Buffalo Green Technology Center (BGTC – announced in 2014) was to accommodate small and woman/minority-owned business enterprises (W/MBE). OtherWisz falls within that designation, although it is not apparent if BGTC is still part of the overall vision for the development. Regardless, this is another major win for Trettel and downtown Buffalo.
“Moving downtown gives us a space that is no less unique, and provides additional square footage to further expand our business as we acquire and serve our national clients,” adds Mark Wisz, vice president and art director.
OtherWisz has been operating since 2000, specializing in brand identity, exhibits, website design, and marketing services. Current OtherWisz clients include Boston Valley Terra Cotta; Rigidized Metals; Benson Industries; Pegula Sports & Entertainment; Urban Roots; Joe’s Deli; Jack Hunt Coin Brokers; University at Buffalo School of Management, and the Cheektowaga Police Department.
Get connected, visit otherwisz.com.