The Central Trust Building

The Central Trust Building (1959, with 1964 and 1968 additions) was rehabilitated for apartment and commercial use, taking advantage of state and federal rehabilitation tax credits.  A first step in the process was achieving National Register listing for this under appreciated modern building, based on its importance as the best example of post-war International Style modernism in downtown Rochester and its rare, intact 1950s-60s curtain wall system.


To sensitively improve energy performance of the signature metal-and-glass curtain wall, original sash were replaced with custom-fabricated fixed and side-hinged sash with insulated glass and compression weatherstripping.  New sash frames matched the original in finish and size to ensure the building’s appearance would not change; the original frame system and window frames were retained.  This approach, which received State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) approval during design, substantially improved energy performance while fully preserving the original appearance of the curtain wall.

 The distinctive all-glass lobby, unsympathetically expanded in the 1980s, was carefully restored, bringing back the original drama of the glass enclosure and cantilevered overhang. During construction, it was discovered that distinctive multicolored glass wall tiles seen in original photos of the elevator lobbies were still present beneath the drywall and paneling that had concealed them at least since the 1980s.  The tiles were painstakingly restored in all elevator lobbies and are significant in bringing back some of the building’s original interior character.

 We are honored that this project was selected for a 2013 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award by the Preservation League of New York State and a 2013 Award of Merit in Historic Preservation by the Landmark Society of Western New York.