2021 Preservation Awards
Click here to view the program for the 2021 Preservation Awards
Louise Bethune Award for Outstanding Project (over 10,000 SF)
616 Niagara Street
616 Niagara is a 3-story, 33,700 sq. ft. historic adaptive reuse project that creatively combines four buildings, built between 1908 – 1911 into one contiguous project featuring ground floor commercial space and seventeen residential units. This was accomplished with the addition of a one-story connecting atrium structure, several new openings in the existing load-bearing masonry walls, and new staircases and corridors. This project presented significant challenges with respect to floor heights, structural stability of the existing structures, and code compliancy, that resulted in unique, dynamic spaces that blend modern amenities with historic charm and saved some of the last remaining Italianate style buildings from this era in downtown Niagara Falls.
Louise Bethune Award for Outstanding Project (over 10,000 SF)
Silos at Elk Street
The Silos at Elk Street are a testament to creativity and devotion to remembering our past to build our future. This project involved converting the site of the former William A. Kreiner and Sons Malting Company buildings into office and residential spaces, along with space for a potential brewery tenant.
Built between 1894 and 1936, the buildings had been abandoned for more than 30 years when Young + Wright reclaimed them as the site of their firm. To make the buildings inhabitable, they repaired the brick walls, cleaned the concrete silos, replaced the roof, installed new entrances, and reinstalled windows in the existing masonry openings. While much of the graffiti was painted over, the firm kept some of the work of local artists. Much of the malting machinery was also kept including one of the original steeping tanks was turned into a “think tank,” and 5 circular ceiling clouds with corresponding areas of gymnasium flooring were installed where the tanks had been located. Rather than changing the buildings to suit a new office, according to Shawn Wright, “We are putting an architectural office in a museum dedicated to explaining the malting process.”
John E. Brent Award for Outstanding Project (less than 10,000 SF)
577 Niagara Street
Prior to 2018, this century old building – a slim, two-story, triple- brick shell – had experienced neglect and was deteriorating. Two large leaks in the roof had caused damage, windows were rotten, the rear brick wall was bulging due to years of water infiltration and freeze-thaw, and the ornamental millwork at the top of the front facade had blown off during a windstorm. The building was not fit for occupancy.
The planning and execution of the rehabilitation into residential and café space took place over three years. The design component of the project is open-ended and ongoing as change continues to occur in buildings – through weathering, repair, adaptation and addition. In revitalizing the building for occupancy, design interventions concentrated on the basic ingredients of any good space: increased natural light and air circulation, a restrained interior aesthetic, and timeless, durable surfaces and finishes. New elements inserted into the building do not pretend to be old but are humble and respectful of the existing building’s stature and presence.
The Robert T. Coles Award for Neighborhood Conservation
Western New York Land Conservancy
Preservation is about more than protecting individual buildings, it is also about protecting the special character of the places we love that are important to their communities. By providing permanent protection to land with significant conservation value, the Land Conservancy of Western New York provides a critical function in our preservation field. Their work ensures a future in which natural areas, working farmlands, wildlife habitats, and scenic beauties are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character
of Western New York. Significant achievements include the Stella Niagara Preserve, Owens Falls Sanctuary, and their latest project, the Riverline, utilizing an abandoned part of Buffalo’s railroad history to create a new public space.
The Harold Ambellan Award for Preservation Craft
SACRA Construction Skills Training Program
For preservation to be successful, we must have craftspeople who are able to care for our historic resources. SACRA (Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts) is a comprehensive, 15-week career training program in carpentry and woodworking that provides skill-building, work readiness and job placement services to unemployed and underemployed men and women in Buffalo. SACRA’s mission is to provide hands-on, experiential, community-based learning in the building arts while creating inspiring, wonderful places. SACRA students work with tradespeople, artisans, artists, architects, apprentices and others to design and build impactful projects that combine art, design and construction, create wonder in the built environment and empower people through creative action.
The George K. Arthur Award for Preservation Leadership
Representing several local historic districts, Council Member Mitch Nowakowski has shown tremendous leadership early in his career on the Buffalo Common Council as a staunch advocate for preservation. Tackling the issues both legislatively and with innovative solutions to persistent preservation problems, the representative for the Fillmore District has shown a willingness to bring stakeholders to the table to turn challenges into opportunities.
His understanding of the ways that historic preservation has a positive impact on neighborhoods has led Council Member
Nowakowski to roll up his sleeves to address the opportunities for preservation that exist in not only the Fillmore District, but across the region. He represents the next generation of legislators who will ensure our history is preserved as the best way to move us to a successful future.
The Robert J. Kresse Award for Education, Outreach, and Planning
Broderick Park Project
Buffalo Quarters Historical Society and Friends of Broderick Park have transformed Broderick Park into and International Freedom Memorial Park that utilizes the Niagara River to promote the history of the Underground Railroad in the Buffalo area, uncovering and sharing this site’s rich history and increasing international awareness of Buffalo’s role in the Underground Railroad. As the last stop on the Underground Railroad where thousands of enslaved Africans who had escaped human bondage, crossed the Niagara River into Canada in search of a better life. Thanks to their efforts, Broderick Park is a jewel in the City of Buffalo’s park system, steeped in international, national, and local history. Their continuing efforts have resulted in the park being designated a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site, in addition to a wealth of physical and interpretive enhancements to the site. Future plans include an ambitious public art initiative that will continue to add beauty to Broderick Park through art that reflects the importance of the site with regards to the Underground Railroad and Black history in Buffalo.
The Mary Talbert Award for Emerging Preservation Leader
Cats of Brutalism
Cats of Brutalism is directed by Emily Battaglia, Madelaine Ong and Michaela Senay; three Master of Architecture students at the University at Buffalo. The Instagram account originally started off as part of a studio project focused on the past, present and future of the Earl W. Brydges Public Library in Niagara Falls, New York, designed by American architect Paul Rudolph.
As a response to the Internet’s obsession with all-things-cats, the account aims to capture the intrigue of a cat-loving public in combination with a common architecture and design audience. The juxtaposition of brutalist buildings with super-scaled cats as a means of introducing warmth, softness, and whimsy to the often-perceived-as-cold, hard, and severe forms of brutalism is an intentional pairing, absurd but also fitting – the rough textures, complex forms, and often compartmentalized and/or aggregate massing of brutalism offers the ideal post for scratching, climbing, hiding, and perching, as cats do. We applaud their leadership in this area and in bringing a fresh new perspective to the art of preservation.