The Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, Inc. (BNFSC), a non-profit agency acting as steward of the historic Michigan Street Baptist Church, is looking for architectural and engineering firms to provide design, bid, and construction administration and inspection services related to the restoration and structural repair of the historic building located at 511 Michigan Avenue.
In June 2013, it was noticed that the bottom chord of one of these trusses had cracked and posed a dangerous condition, which needed to be addressed quickly. This truss was shored temporarily (shoring remains today) and no longer poses a danger to the building or occupants, but nevertheless impairs the design integrity of the interior of the church. During the summer of 2019, an architecture/engineering firm examined the building and developed a condition assessment report used to help identify the funding need. In addition to the truss issue, severe bowing and settling was observed on the exterior of the foundation wall and severe bowing and displacement was observed on the exterior masonry wall in the southwest corner of the building.
The BNFSC is seeking to address building’s structural issues, accessibility, and historic renovations recommended in the condition assessment. Funding has been secured to complete the first two categories of work, which would be the first two phases of construction work. An application has been submitted to obtain grant funding for the historic renovations, which would be the last phase of work completed.
The design and construction budget has been set at $2.5 million. The Project will consist of various capital improvements to the building to improve structural conditions and allow for its expanded use as a tourism attraction in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. Due to the building’s existing state it has only been able to be used in a limited capacity. The vision is to expand its hours for visitation and the amenities provided within the site once renovations are completed.
The consultant will be responsible for working with BNFSC to complete design development for the structures, interiors for the required spaces, exterior/site lighting and signage. The consultant will complete construction documents, provide assistance during the award process, and provide construction contract administration.
Proposals are due April 6.