It’s been nine years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. Given I never expected to be celebrating nine years on lockdown (week 6) due to the novel corona virus global health crisis. But I still plan to present 5 positive stories from the past year this week to celebrate nine years in business.
Moving into a New Office Just Before We Began Sheltering at Home
The best thing to happen in the past year was moving into a new office in a historic factory in Buffalo. After eight years of sharing my office with my home in a two-story loft in downtown Buffalo, it was time for some separation. At the same time my sister chose to take an early retirement from her commercial banking career and started a business consulting firm, Illuminate Business Consulting. We decided it would make sense to find a space that our two businesses could share. After an intense summer of looking at every possible office space option, we chose the Tri-Main Center further up Main Street from my loft. It’s the perfect location and space on so many levels.
Tri-Main Center was the first factory rehabilitated in Buffalo. It has become a wonderful community of over 100 companies of professionals, non-profits, and art galleries. In 1915, famous architect Albert Kahn designed the building as Henry Ford’s plant at 2495 Main Street. Over 600,000 of the 15 million Ford Model Ts were produced here by 1927. The plant then continued producing Ford Model As until August 1931, when Ford decided to sell the Main Street facility, and all activities were transferred to another Buffalo area plant. Over the years the complex was leased to other manufacturing companies including Bell Aircraft and the Trico Products Company (the world’s largest maker of windshield wipers.) until it was bought and transformed by the current owners in 1989.
We may just have the best office in the building. It is on the corner of Main Street, has the original steel windows and lofty ceilings 12’ high, original concrete mushroom columns and concrete floors. We have separate offices for our businesses that open onto reception and conference areas and an enclosed kitchen. Our modern aesthetic of red, gray and white with simple and clean modern lines supports the open, airy and light-filled spaces. Unfortunately, we had just finished having all of our furniture installed in February when we went into a state of emergency with everyone directed to work from home.
Many people are finding new ways to integrate historic preservation and green building practices, which makes my nine-year old venture a delightful and intellectually inspiring one. Moving our offices into an existing building is one of the greenest actions we can take. We look forward to welcoming you to our offices once the pandemic settles us into a new normal.
(I apologize for the wonky formatting; the website is under renovation and its updates are on hold during this global health crisis.)