Buffalo’s vacant Riverside Academy, built in 1896, was falling into serious disrepair DePaul Properties saw its potential and hired SWBR to transform it into affordable and supportive care apartments.
The design takes advantage of as many existing features, details and materials as possible. The original high-ceilings and large window frames – complete with new energy-efficient windows – flood the building with natural light. The auditorium, gymnasium and locker rooms were repurposed into apartments, a community room, and offices. Classroom doors, hardwood gym floors and marble shower partitions were also repurposed throughout. A new main entrance, opening up to the main lobby with reception area and central elevators, makes the building handicapped accessible.
Riverside Apartments received tax credit funding from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the National Parks Service. Through creative funding and adaptive reuse design, DePaul saved a beautiful structure from further deterioration and repaired a hole in the neighborhood by creating a new vibrant community for 68 residents and the staff that serves them, receiving the prestigious Excelsior Award in 2015.
AIA NYS Excelsior Award for Public Architecture
New York State Historic Preservation Project Achievement Award