TRM Architect


First Baptist Church Loft Apartments

Adaptive Re-Use

Allentown, Buffalo, NY


Ellicott Development commissioned TRM to design the adaptive re-use of the 21,000 sq. ft. former First Baptist Church, originally constructed in 1822, into eleven residential units and a future commercial space. The apartment units include a mix of studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom layouts and many of the units are multiple levels. TRM’s combination of successful historic preservation and adaptive re-use experience, as well as knowledge of local historic precedents, made it a strong fit for the project.


TRM was sensitive to the original character of the church which included the original detailing like stained glass, woodwork, decorative ceilings, and altar spaces. These details were preserved wherever possible to make each apartment unit a truly unique space. Two-story units include bedroom lofts with high ceilings that overlook first floor common spaces and provide dramatic views of the stained glass windows and the ornate details of the space. The existing second floor, consisting of balconies and open spaces overlooking the floor below, was largely reconfigured with new floor and wall framing to create the second floor lofts of two-story apartment units. Each of the units has an open floor plan for the kitchen, living and dining room spaces with modern track lighting, ceiling fans and exposed ductwork. Woodwork, including hardwood floors, were restored throughout. The entire building was upgraded with high efficiency M/E/P systems, with each unit having their own controls.


TRM’s experience in coordinating with local and state officials, accelerated the approval process. The renovation of the neoclassical, former church required careful coordination with local officials and the State Historic Preservation Office due to the historic nature of the property, unique structure and constraints of the site. This project provided TRM with an exciting challenge of creating usable, functional spaces within an existing shell that balance modern systems and spatial layouts with the original historic detailing. Other challenges to modernizing the historic structure included providing proper fire suppression and separation while leaving much of the surrounding shell and finishes in tact as well as accessibility considerations. TRM is experienced in dealing with many of the unique challenges faced when modernizing aging structures. Unlike many other residential housing projects this project was especially unique in that no two units are alike.






Project Type: Residential - Multi-Family



Ellicott Development Company


Project Schedule:

Estimated Date of Completion: May 2012

Actual Date of Completion: June 2012


Construction Costs:

Estimated Project Costs: Not Available

Project Costs (at bid): $ 1,313,000

Final Project Costs: $ 1,313,000



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