ALBANY, NY (04/12/2016)(readMedia)-- The Preservation League of New York State has selected the Renaissance Albany Hotel (at the historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel Building) 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.
"Opened in 1927 as the DeWitt Clinton Hotel, this prominent building just east of the New York State Capitol and South of Albany's City Hall had suffered a long decline, and served as subsidized housing before closing in 2006," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "A $51 million restoration used tax credits and delivered a historic hotel to New York's Capital city. This project very clearly illustrates the power of rehabilitation tax credits and the role of historic preservation in economic development to New York's lawmakers."
The project team included Columbia Development Companies, Albany; MacRostie Historic Advisors, Boston; BBL Construction Services, Albany; HBT Architects, Rochester; Cauhaus Design, Frederick, MD; DoublEdge Design, Reisterstown, MD; Jewett Restorations, Saratoga Springs; MMC Millwork, Albany; O'Donnell Metal Maintenance, Leeds; Williamstown Art Conservation Center, Williamstown, MA; and Poulin & Sons, Troy. The project utilized State and Federal Historic Tax Credits and received support from Empire State Development, the City of Albany IDA and National Grid's Main Street Revitalization Program.
The exterior of the eleven-story building, with Classical Revival and Beaux Arts-inspired elements, was returned to its former grandeur. Interior renovation focused on returning the main floor – main lobby, elevator lobby, ballroom, and arcade – to its historic configuration. Local artisans and skilled workers restored the chestnut wood paneling and painted finishes, marble and terrazzo flooring, barrel-vaulted ceiling and plaster medallions in the arcade and the ornate plaster ceiling and columns in the ballroom. Four conservators from the Clark Art Institute were engaged to restore the lobby murals depicting a dozen events from New York State's history.
"This is one of the highest honors achievable for a historic preservation project in New York State. We at Columbia Development and The Renaissance Albany Hotel are extremely privileged to be recognized by the Preservation League of New York." said Brandon Stabler of Columbia Development Companies.
MacRostie Historic Advisors served as the historic consultants for the project. "We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work on such an important building for the City of Albany and with such a great team that was committed to bringing the 1927 hotel back to its original splendor," said Albert Rex, Partner and Director of MHA Northeast in Boston. "The real success of the project can be seen in the public spaces on the ground floor and the mezzanine level where original murals and paint schemes reflecting New York's Dutch heritage were restored and the return of the arcade to its original configuration."
The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.
The complete list of award winners is: The Renaissance Albany Hotel (Historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel) – Albany; Apple Store, Upper East Side – Manhattan; United Nations Campus Headquarters Glazed Façades Replacement – Manhattan; Babcock Shattuck House – Syracuse; Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial – Saratoga Springs; 845 Commons (Historic Mica Insulator Co. Building) – Schenectady; T. G. Hawkes Glass Co. Apartments – Corning; and Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock.
"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2016 award winners provide valuable examples for others 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 rebirth of the historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel as the Renaissance Albany, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."
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.