Congratulations to the 2013 Excellence Award Winners
As we kicked off our 40th Anniversary, the Preservation League committed to explore not just the past, but the future of historic preservation. The restoration of our historic neighborhoods, Main Streets, and underutilized buildings continues to create jobs, provide housing, promote tourism, stimulate private investment, and conserve energy, resources, and open space. Our annual Awards program on May 15, 2013 highlighted projects that provide new examples of best practices in historic preservation.
The New York State Capitol, Restoration of Skylights and Laylights, Albany County
The approach taken by the New York State Office of General Services towards the reintroduction of skylights and laylights of the New York State Capitol Building will leave a beautiful legacy for generations to come. Their attention to detail and careful restoration has not only visibly brightened the Assembly and Senate staircases for all who use them, but has improved the overall impression of the building as a whole. The intricacies found within the glasswork and in the paint show dedication, care and skill; they have demonstrated that the Capitol Building is something all New Yorkers should be proud of.
East 180th Street Station, Bronx
It is fitting that this handsome building be restored to its former glory in time for the centennial of its completion. Designed by Alfred Fellheimer of Reed & Stem, the station is a contemporary of the firm’s better-known work, Grand Central Terminal. As a sparsely populated area on the edge of the city changed to a working-class neighborhood, maintenance and upkeep on this building was deferred, and the station fell into disrepair. Now, following a $65 million restoration, the Metropolitan Transit Authority welcomes Bronx residents and tourists en route to the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden to a beautiful and universally-accessible station. Designed to compete with the bustling Grand Central Station, the East 180th Street was planned as a catalyst to kick-start the Bronx into something reminiscent of mid-town Manhattan. This project has restored the previous New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad (NYW&B) station to its previous grandeur in the style of an Italian villa. With the incorporation of ADA compliance, it is now able to be enjoyed by all.
Keramos Hall, Brooklyn
Keramos Hall recalls the prominent industries in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood in the late 19th century – shipbuilding, china and porcelain fabrication and glass production. A whimsical addition to the street, the half-timbered Stick Victorian was built with an Italianate-style tower and Swiss Chalet-inspired pediments and brackets. Intervening years had taken a toll, with the original ship-lap siding covered in composite shingles and most decorative elements lost. The restoration of the facade has, in the words of the Pastor of The Greenpoint Reformed Church, ‘improved the quality of life and dignity of the street.’
Hotel @ The Lafayette, Buffalo
This project has transformed a landmark building in downtown Buffalo from a neglected shadow of its former self to a bustling hub of residential, commercial and hospitality activity. First designed and then expanded by Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first woman admitted to the American Institute of Architects, the Hotel Lafayette began as an opulent French-Renaissance style hotel. After being remodeled in the mid-20th century, the Hotel Lafayette fell into disuse and disrepair in the 1980s. Now, thanks to the business savvy of developer Rocco Termini and to the incentives afforded by State and Federal rehabilitation tax credits, the Hotel has been reborn. This is the fourth project Carmina Wood Morris PC and Rocco Termini of Signature Development have tackled together, bringing back to life the original luster and luxury of Bethune’s turn-of-the-century hotel. Through their careful and dedicated restoration, the entire story of the Hotel’s evolution has been represented. One of the most visible buildings in downtown Buffalo has been restored to a vibrant hub of activity.
The TAUNY Center, Canton
The TAUNY Center purchased one of downtown Canton’s historic brick buildings, constructed in the 1870s after fires tore through the business district in 1869 and 1870. The building was altered in 1930s to meet the needs of the J. J. Newberry department store. The historic character of the interior and exterior of the building has been maintained while it has been renovated to provide gallery, performance and gathering space for North Country artisans.
The Central Trust Building, Rochester
Constructed in 1959, the former Central Trust Building is the “youngest” building in Rochester to benefit from rehabilitation funded by state and federal tax credits. Painstakingly adapted to a new use by Bero Architecture, the building now stands as a proud recipient of the title “Rochester’s Best Example of 1950’s International Modernism.” This project has not only proved that preservation can balance multiple interests, but that it can also be used to promote a variety of positive objectives, including bringing a post-war-era piece of period architecture into the twenty-first century.
Albany Housing Authority, organizational excellence
Albany, like many upstate cities, has struggled with the issue of vacant and abandoned buildings. While other municipal organizations have made the decision to raze and rebuild, the Albany Housing Authority has committed to retaining and restoring the historic buildings that give the city’s neighborhoods their distinctive, historic ambiance. The rehabilitation of houses in Albany’s South End and Arbor Hill neighborhoods is a sustainable choice that bolsters the desirability of urban living for clients of the Housing Authority and neighbors alike. Finally, by providing space for the administrative offices of the Albany County Historical Association in the renovated King’s Place property, the Housing Authority has forged a strong partnership with one of the beacons of Arbor Hill’s cultural, historic and artistic renaissance.
The Buffalo News: Dawn Bracely, Editorial Writer and Stanford Lipsey, Publisher Emeritus, outstanding publication
This year marks a decade of editorials written by Dawn Marie Bracely and published by The Buffalo News in support of historic preservation tax credits. In an era when the news media typically maintains interest in an issue for only a day or two, The Buffalo News became a dedicated, informed and passionate supporter of meaningful rehabilitation tax credit programs for New York State’s historic residential and commercial properties.
From the Darwin D. Martin House to the Richardson Olmsted Complex, the leadership of Stanford Lipsey has left a lasting mark on some of Buffalo’s and the nation’s most significant landmarks. His support for reinvestment in historic properties and the advocacy by The Buffalo News for New York State’s rehabilitation tax credits programs promise to have an enduring impact.
By highlighting the best preservation projects in New York State, the League recognizes the dedication and skill of the advocates, architects and the craftspeople that make preservation happen.
These statewide awards also serve as case studies for neighborhood revitalization, adaptive use, building restoration and architectural excellence.
The Preservation League awards program is supported by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation.