DePaul Carriage Factory and Riverside Apartments both Win Excelsior Awards

Thursday, May 7, 2015

We were recently recognized by the New York State American Institute of Architects (AIA) with two 2015 Excelsior Awards for our work on DePaul Carriage Factory and DePaul Riverside Apartments. Both projects received honors for Historic Preservation. The Excelsior Awards honor the best examples of public architecture, focusing on neighborhood transformation, urban revitalization, site planning, exterior and interior design, and sustainability. 

The Carriage Factory renovation project consisted of the five-story former Cunningham Carriage Factory that served as one of the oldest manufacturing plants in Rochester. It was converted into 71 affordable and supportive apartment units. Construction began on the building in April 2013 and it celebrated its grand opening in December 2014.

We preserved much of the existing building and transformed the historic factory into a new, functional living space by adding a fully renovated central entry, new doors, windows and elevators, and a centralized community room for the residents. The rehabilitation restored many of the defining elements of the building, including exposed brick, natural light and original ceiling heights. The former atrium in the center of the building, long since tarred over, was re-glazed to create a bright and welcoming community space. Industrial pollution was reversed through brownfield remediation and a once-decaying  building now serves as a welcome reminder of Rochester’s craftsman heritage.

Buffalo’s Riverside Academy closed in 2002, after more than 100 years of service. The original building was constructed in 1896, with a major addition in 1921. After almost a decade of neglect, the building needed substantial rehabilitation. DePaul chose to renovate the vacant four-story building into 68 affordable and supportive apartments with SWBR.

The project included restoration of the original brick facade, a new building entrance and lobby with new elevator and restoration of the grand stairway and new resident mailboxes clad in historic chalkboards. The auditorium was also restored for use by the building residents and the community.