LEED-Certified Adaptive Reuse in Buffalo Earns State Historic Preservation Award

The LEED-certified 257 Lafayette Center in Buffalo has won a New York State Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Adaptive Use and Commitment to Community Revitalization.

257 Lafayette Center - Buffalo

Yesterday, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation announced its 2010 New York State Historic Preservation Awards, which have been handed out annually since 1980 to acknowledge excellence in the protection of historic sites across the Empire State. Two of this year’s winners are located here in New York City: Red Top Architects’ renovation of a 1910 townhouse at 44 West 87th Street for the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc., and STV Group’s rehabilitation of the High School of Telecommunications Arts & Technology (P.S. 124) in Brooklyn, which dates from 1917.

What caught our eye here at gbNYC among the list of winners, though, was 257 Lafayette Center in Buffalo, which won for Outstanding Adaptive Use and Commitment to Community Revitalization. After serving as the Annunciation School for over 80 years, The Frizlen Group Architects transformed the building – which dates from 1928 – into a LEED-certified, mixed-use development in Buffalo’s up-and-coming Lafayette and Grant Street neighborhood, capturing a number of state-level historic tax credits. Each of what were once the school’s 20 classrooms are now loft-style rental apartments (each with 12-foot windows), and the building’s ground floor offers a childcare center and incubator business space.

A major emphasis for the design team was to demonstrate that historic preservation and modern green building practices can co-exist – no small challenge in a structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Specific green design and construction features at 257 Lafayette Center include:

  • Solar panels provide one third of the building’s electricity demand;
  • 50 percent of construction debris was recycled during construction;
  • Daylight harvesting;
  • A basement recycling center for residents;
  • Energy Star-rated appliances, including an Energy Star rating for the building itself; and
  • Restored windows and building envelope insulation.

“The Historic Preservation Awards honor the efforts and achievement of individuals, organizations and municipalities that make significant contributions to historic preservation objectives throughout New York State,” said Ruth Pierpont, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation. “The range of awards this year reflects the many ways that historic preservation serves as an important tool for economic development, creating affordable housing, and providing an effective approach to sustainable building design while preserving the unique character and heritage of our communities.”

gbNYC extends its kudos to all of this year’s winners!

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