Buffalo Project Wins Excellence in Preservation Award

Hotel @ Lafayette to be recognized in May

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The Lafayette. Photo by James Cavanaugh.

ALBANY, NY (04/24/2013)(readMedia)-- The Preservation League of New York State has selected the Hotel @ The Lafayette in Buffalo to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage.

"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," said Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League. "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."

Contributing to the success of this project were Carmina Wood Morris P.C., Buffalo; Signature Development, Buffalo; Schenne & Associates, East Aurora; room for home, Buffalo; R&P Oak Hill Development, LLC, Buffalo; Northeast Mechanical, Buffalo; Frey Electric, Buffalo; and H&M Plumbing, Buffalo.

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.

According to Jonathan Morris of Carmina Wood Morris P.C, "This has been a tremendous journey of discovery for us, peeling back and uncovering the story of Bethune's Hotel Lafayette, revealing and preserving the evidence of the building's transformation over time. We hope that our work has resulted in that story being evident for a whole new generation of visitors and patrons."

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: the New York State Capitol, Restoration of Skylights and Laylights, Albany County; East 180th Street Station, Bronx; Keramos Hall, Brooklyn; Hotel @ The Lafayette, Buffalo; The TAUNY Center, Canton; The Central Trust Building, Rochester. Albany Housing Authority will be honored for organizational excellence. The Buffalo News: Dawn Bracely, Editorial Writer and Stanford Lipsey, Publisher Emeritus, will be honored as an outstanding publication.

"As we launch our 40th Anniversary celebration in 2013, the Preservation League is looking forward to exploring not just the past, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2013 award winners provide valuable examples for other practitioners by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the renovation of the Hotel @ The Lafayette and to commend Signature Development for their stewardship."

The Preservation League's Excellence in Historic Preservation awards program is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation.

The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs all across the state.