Trautman plans renovation of former Stewart Title building at 130 Pearl | Business premises

John Daly is already designing a turnaround for a stretch of Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo.

Now he and his architecture and engineering firm, Trautman Associates, are aiming for a project in downtown Buffalo, around the corner from their Franklin Street offices in the Cathedral Tower.

Trautman is proposing to renovate the four-story masonry building at 130 Pearl St., which once housed Stewart Title Insurance Co. The vacant 13,996-square-foot former office building — which Trautman acquired from Stewart in August 2020 for $660,000 $ – would become a mix of 12 apartments in the basement and the two upper floors, plus a commercial space on the first floor.

Stewart moved to the Ellicott Square Building at 295 Main St.

The $2.5 million venture would revive the 1916-era gray marble and white terracotta building south of the Hodgson Russ Guarantee Building at Church Street and across Pearl from St. -Paul and the Cathedral Park.

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Current views of 130 Pearl St.

Buffalo Preservation Council

By recreating a “vibrant storefront,” it would “bring this section of Pearl Street back to life,” Trautman director Timothy Rider wrote in a letter to the Buffalo Preservation Board, which will review the proposal next week.


The current facade of 130 Pearl (left) and a rendering of its planned restoration (right).

As part of the historic restoration—which is designed to qualify for state and federal tax credits—plans include removing the existing but non-historic green marble first floor infill, horizontal windows, and a single door, and restore the original terracotta and glazed storefront to street level.


Stewart Title is launching a search for new offices in downtown Buffalo. His current office on Pearl Street would be marketed for sale.

Teams will also add private outdoor patios and concrete balconies to the back of the light-filled courtyard for each of the west-facing apartments, and construct a roof-level penthouse for mechanical equipment as well as service access. residents to a new roof terrace. Rooftop changes will not be visible from the street.

Inside, meanwhile, crews will replace the staircase, marble paneling and pressed metal ceilings to match historic details. And the apartments will benefit from large windows and high ceilings, providing “daylight-lit loft-like living spaces,” according to Trautman’s website.

“We are pleased to restore this gem and restore an important piece of Buffalo’s urban fabric,” the company wrote on its website.

“The residential units and rooftop terrace above will have some of the best views of Buffalo’s historic architecture,” Rider wrote, citing St. Paul’s, Guaranty and One M&T Plaza. And proximity to Canalside and area restaurants “will make 130 Pearl a popular destination, enhancing the urban fabric and quality of life in the neighborhood,” he added.

Besides the Preservation Board, the project also requires the approval of the Planning Board.

This is the latest redevelopment effort by Daly, who – along with his wife, Ruthann – has invested heavily along Hertel at Parkside and Parker Avenues. They bought an old gas station at 1585 Hertel, tore it down, and built a $7 million apartment building at Hertel and Parkside. The five-story building, completed in July 2021 after an extensive environmental cleanup of the site, has 34 apartments and three storefronts on the first floor.

The Dalys – through their O’Dalaigh Real Estate – also previously purchased the Del Denby Tavern at 1553 Hertel, the former IconZ Elite Barber Spa at 1598 Hertel, a building at 1854-1862 which houses JP Checker’s and Daily Planet Coffee, and more recently the former C-Me Marine Sales building at 1850 Hertel, a parking lot adjacent to 1845 Hertel, and a house at 1 Winston Road. In total, they spent $1.33 million.