March 24, 2011

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Richardson Olmsted Complex To Receive $200,000 Grant From Interior Dept. For Roof Renovations

Grant Will Fund Two Dozen Jobs, Help Return Iconic Slate And Copper Roofs To The Towers Building

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Richardson Olmsted Complex has received a $200,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, for the rehabilitation of the Richardson Olmsted Complex.  The grant funds will be to fund part of a slate roof replacement of the Towers Building 45 roof, estimated to cost $493,000.  At the same time copper replacement of the Towers roofs will occur, estimated to cost an additional $635,000. The state allocation drawn down through Empire State Development Corporation will be used to fund the remaining costs. 

“A solid new roof will save the landmark Richardson Administration building so that it can continue to stand as a proud example of Buffalo’s architectural heritage, and as a beacon of its exciting future as a destination for tourism, higher education, and commerce,” said Senator Schumer.

“This is a great investment for Buffalo,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The Richardson Complex is an architectural icon in the City, and this renovation will bring the landmark one step closer to becoming a key player in Western New York’s growing heritage tourism economy. When we renovate our historic buildings, we can support job creation, revitalize some of our most treasured landmarks, and help turn them into beacons of local businesses and local jobs to keep our communities thriving.”

The roof replacement project, to take place in 2012, will showcase the iconic Towers Building 45, and along with ongoing stabilization activities and a distinctive South Lawn landscape, prepare the site for new users. 

The original slate roof was removed in the 1960’s or 1970’s and replaced with asphalt shingles, now in poor condition.  The copper cladding is approximately 100 years old, beyond its life expectancy of 50-75 years old and also in need of replacement. 

The course of work was determined utilizing the Richardson Olmsted Complex Historic Structures Report, completed by Goody Clancy in 2008, and in consultation with the NY State Historic Preservation Office and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Heritage architect and RCC board member Clinton Brown stated, “Our Board is thankful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and to Congressman Higgins for securing this crucial Save America’s Treasures grant. The funding will allow the return of slate and copper roofs on the iconic Towers Building to celebrate the history and future of the Richardson Olmsted Complex, and we expect nearly two dozen skilled workers to be employed in this project.”

61 grants totaling $14.3 million were are awarded in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). With these funds, organizations and agencies conserve significant U.S. cultural and historic treasures, which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation’s history and culture.