Elmira rehabilitation projects named an Excellence in Historic Preservation award winner

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Arbor’s Gerard Block, the Gerity Pharmacy and the Carroll Street Warehouse Rehabilitation Project in downtown Elmira has been named one of this year’s Excellence in Historic Preservation award winners.

Arbor Development’s adaptive reuse of two historic commercial buildings and one industrial building into artist and affordable housing is a boon to the Elmira community. The three three-story buildings at 118-126 Lake Street and 414-418 Carroll Street went from being vacant to providing 28 residential units, five storefronts, eight artist studios, and an art gallery.

“It has been an honor and a joy to be part of this exciting project and an especially rewarding experience to have such special and unusual historic elements to re-incorporate into space that is being used for artist work studios, artist housing, and affordable living space,” said Elise Johnson-Schmidt, Principal Architect/Owner of Johnson-Schmidt Architects, P.C. “Elmira’s renaissance, of which this project is a significant part, is moving forward full-throttle thanks to the people and organizations who have worked hard to seek competitive state and federal grant funds; the craftspeople who have so beautifully executed the work; the beautiful old buildings waiting to be rediscovered; the historic preservation tax credits that allow this work to be financially viable; and in this case, Arbor and their team who have dedicated four years to making this project a reality. Thank you to the Preservation League for your much coveted award recognition!”

Since 1984, the Preservation League’s statewide awards program has highlighted projects, organizations, publications, and individuals that exemplify best practices in historic preservation and recognize the people who are using historic preservation to build stronger neighborhoods, create local jobs, provide affordable housing, open our eyes to overlooked history, and save the places that are special to the community.

“The Gerard Block Apartments project exemplifies how the adaptive reuse of historic buildings can directly address a community’s pressing needs,” said Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo. “The creation of affordable housing and artist live/workspaces in such prominent downtown buildings will have positive effects on Elmira for years to come.”

The Arbor Gerard Block and the Carroll Street Warehouse Rehabilitation Project was funded thanks in part to NYS Homes and Community Renewal, state and federal Historic Tax Credits, DRI / City of Elmira, NY Restore, and Chemung County IDA.

The Arbor Gerard Block and the Carroll Street Warehouse Rehabilitation Project team included: Arbor Housing and Development, Developers and Owners; Johnson-Schmidt, Architect, P.C., Architects and Historic Preservationists; Hamilton Stern Construction, LLC, General Contractor; MM Development Advisors, Development Consultant; Fagan, Jensen BRV, and EC4B, Engineers; Sustainable Comfort, Energy Consultant; Borrelli & Yots, Attorney; NYS Homes & Community Renewal, NYSERDA, City of Elmira, and Chemung County IDA, Funders; Redstone Equity Partners and Five Star Bank, Financiers.

2021 Awardees:

  • Clinton Avenue Historic Apartments | Albany, Albany County
  • Proctors Collaborative: Capital Repertory Theatre + Universal Preservation Hall | Albany, Albany County + Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County
  • SUNY Broome Culinary & Event Center | Binghamton, Broome County
  • Arbor Gerard Block and the Carroll Street Warehouse Rehabilitation Project | Elmira, Chemung County
  • Steven Engelhart | Keeseville, Clinton County
  • Preservation Buffalo Niagara | Buffalo, Erie County
  • Whitcomb’s Garage Adaptive Reuse Project | Whallonsburg, Essex County
  • Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel | Brooklyn, Kings County
  • Central Presbyterian Church Exterior Restoration | Manhattan, New York County
  • @syracusehistory (Instagram by David Haas) | Syracuse, Onondaga County

The 2021 Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards are sponsored by the Arthur F. & Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation.

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