There are a number of building facades in Allentown that are currently undergoing significant transformations. We will start off by recognizing the work that is going into 257 Allen Street, the former home of Spirits of Allentown. While it is still not known if a new tenant has secured the space, it is great to see this building getting the required attention that it deserves (learn more).
Next up is Exchange on Allen, also located at the corner of Wadsworth – 256 Allen Street. This is another building that was in dire need of an improvement of this nature. Previously, the first floor facade was mostly a wood slat wall, with two little windows. The appearance was not very inviting from the outside, and even the inside was basically a nondescript wall that left much to be desired. Now, this new glass storefront will help to showcase the bar, which is actually quite nice.
Finally, we come to 166 Allen Street, home to Brad Wales Architecture and Pilates Loft (lead image). Here’s the scoop on that project, as details by Wales:
New storefront glass – the existing copper is being reused. Also new wood double hung windows are being installed upstairs at the Pilates Loft. Everything is being replaced to match in-kind. For example, the copper is being rebuilt and refinished, rather than outfitting with new (fatter) aluminum storefront framing. David Rowe and DMR Contracting are doing the window work.
The building was repointed to match historic standards, with the softer Type O mortar, and the front mortar was tinted to match the variated light mocha color of the original. The match is uncanny, and hardly distinguishable from the original. The masonry work was completed by John Warner of D.R. Chamberlain. The metal cornice is also newly installed to match the existing cornice which was deteriorate to the point of falling off the building. That work was done by Michael Zink of Century Sheet Metal on Niagara Street.
Also part of the project is a new mini-split air-conditioning and heat system installed by Millenium Mechanical. So–big news – the Pilates Loft will be warmer this winter and air conditioned next summer!
Building Owners Beth Elkins and Brad Wales are the Project Managers. The work was all submitted and approved by SHPO in Albany as part of the Grant process.
These three facade improvement projects are made possible thanks to funding from the Buffalo Main Streets Initiative Award, administered by the Allentown Association and Alma Brown. Altogether, six Allentown businesses were impacted in this latest round of funding:
166 Allen (Brad Wales Architecture & Pilates Loft), 203 Allen Street (Theatre of Youth), 256 Allen Street (Exchange On Allen), 257 Allen Street (previously Spirits of Allentown), 561 Delaware (Colter Bay – see project), and 567 Delaware (Clover Management.)