Archive for News

The Graystone Building Restoration

We are very proud of our recent contributions to the restoration of The Graystone Building, one of the most significant projects Optima Design has been involved with from a historic preservation standpoint.

“Designed by Buffalo architect Carlton Strong and constructed between 1894 and 1897, the Italian Renaissance-style structure was intended to be a luxury apartment building stretching to the west of Delaware, [Buffalo’s] most prestigious street. When it opened in late 1897, it was an apartment hotel [and] it hosted visitors to the Pan-Am Exposition just a few years later,” reports The Buffalo News. Redeveloper Ellicott Development expands on how The Graystone is, “listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is architecturally significant as one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete technology in the construction of large-scale multi-story buildings in the United States.”


“After years of abandonment and decay so severe that trees grew through the roof of the six-story building, the former Graystone Hotel in downtown Buffalo has been given new life as a 42-unit apartment complex, following a two-year reconstruction and redevelopment effort by Ellicott Development,” reports The Buffalo News. Ellicott CEO William Paladino tells The Buffalo News, “The complete structure had to be reinforced. Just to fix the building structurally so people could go in and work, that took six months.” Paladino continues, “It’s very satisfying to finish this project and have it be so well-received. People have given us many compliments. It really improves the look on that block and brings something that was dormant for 30 years back to life.”

Optima Design’s Lauri Traynor was the structural engineer on the project, saving this historical building.




Photos courtesy of Ellicott Development.

Eric Liddle New To Our Team

Optima Design would like to welcome a new member to our team, Eric Liddle. Eric has over four years of experience as a field, civil, and structural engineer which has given him a practical understanding of design. This invaluable experience paired with his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University at Buffalo have made him an excellent addition to our design team.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Buffalo

The latest Dinosaur Bar-B-Que location in Buffalo, NY is slatted to open February 12th. Optima Design is proud to be a part of the improvement of downtown Buffalo’s theater district by contributing civil site design and structural design to the new Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant on Franklin Street.

The building was formally a Universal International film vault and reports, “workers uncovered the marble logo under the ugly 1970s-era exterior they ripped down during construction.” The marble facade was then kept and incorporated into the design of the restaurant. “You start with the bones of the building, and the building really tells you what it wants to be,” company founder John Stage told The Buffalo News. “It’s not the easiest way to build, but it’s a lot of fun.” elaborates that, “in addition to the Syracuse original, [Dinosaur Bar-B-Que] has locations in Rochester, Troy, Harlem, Brooklyn, Newark, and Stamford. All were built from older, existing structures. The Syracuse location had been the N&H tavern for decades, and once housed a Cadillac dealership. The Rochester site was a former train station overlooking the Genesee River, the Brooklyn restaurant had been a tool and die shop, and the Newark location had many prior uses, including a boxing club where Ruben ‘Hurricane’ Carter once trained.”

Optima Design is excited to be a part of the development of downtown Buffalo in a way that preserves the city’s character.




12-064c Dinosaur BBQ -PBR - 02.19.2013.pdf

Renderings by smartDESIGN architecture.
Architectural design by smartDESIGN architecture.

Holiday Inn Express Ithaca

Optima Design is doing the civil engineering, structural engineering, and landscape design for a new hotel in Ithaca, NY. The Holiday Inn Express will be a 4-story, 76 room hotel located at 371 Elmira Road. Construction is projected to start in spring of 2014.









Renderings by Optima Design.
Architectural design by Silvestri Architects.

Happy Holidays From Optima Design

Happy Holidays