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URBAN Luxury

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

For many, living well today means urban luxury, and that’s what The Knights at 506 Delaware is all about. 
    The ultimate setting for city dwellers who relish a walkable community, these apartments are sleek, sophisticated, contemporary. They’re one of the newest offerings as the demand for high-end residential living continues to explode in downtown Buffalo.
    “It’s such a unique address – it’s a building with so many treasures,” says Tom Zulawski of ZDesign Inc. “Every apartment here is different.”
    A three-story staircase atrium, hand-carved moldings, fireplaces and mahogany and walnut doors are among the restored features of this former mansion, which was constructed in the 1870s for a steel tycoon and his family.  At 7,000 square feet, the Second Empire-style building is located in the arts-centric Allentown District. It’s more popularly known as the Knights of Columbus Building, after being sold in 1916 and converting to commercial use.  A 47,000-square-foot addition is at the rear.
    “The bones were still good in the mansion,” Zulawski says. “The grand staircase is still gorgeous and the original woodwork is in beautiful condition in some of the old rooms.”
    The transformation into 25 apartments is sure to carry on its distinctive history in Buffalo. Developer James Jerge purchased the property in 2003 and embarked on an exciting adaptive-reuse project. The result? A much-sought-after address with an ultra-cool ambiance in a historic district dotted with shops, restaurants and businesses.
    Zulawski’s selections for one of the residences? An assortment of neutral finishes in walls, floors and more, punctuated by color in artwork and accessories. Ginger-hued quartz countertops atop creamy cabinetry. Modern, “clean” lighting fixtures.
    “The treasures in the building (including 16-inch walnut baseboards) are first and foremost because they can never be replicated. So to be able to bring those back and use them as part of the design, I think, was paramount in this project. But then to pair them with current design, current tastes of the people who are living an urban lifestyle, who want more minimalist – that’s where you have to really look at how this is all going to blend well without overpowering the space.” 

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