Projects > H.H. Richardson Olmsted Complex Phase II Stabilization

H.H. Richardson Olmsted Complex Phase II Stabilization

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and the Richardson Center Corporation (RCC) stabilized three buildings of the H.H. Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, NY.  

The Phase II project included the asbestos abatement, limited demolition and installation of temporary shoring in Buildings 10, 44 and 45.  Watts provided design services for the abatement, interior demolition and structural shoring in the three buildings.  

Watts investigated the three buildings to determine the extent of asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint or other environmental hazards within the structures.   In particular, the investigation of Building 44 was a challenge since the plaster is asbestos-containing.  Years of deterioration had created piles of asbestos-containing plaster and lead-based paint throughout the building.  Therefore, all of the investigation work was performed wearing personal protective equipment (protective clothing and respirators).  Watts then prepared abatement plans and specifications as part of the construction documents.

Watts also evaluated the building structures and found that some floor joists had rotted in stone masonry beam pockets, that there was fire damaged framing needing replacement and masonry that needed to be restored.   Portions of the third floor of Building 45 needed to be re-framed with new floor joists, plywood sub floor, and underlayment.  Building 44 had substantial rotted floor and framing replacement was needed on three floors throughout the building.

In October 2011, the National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted their annual conference in Buffalo.  For this conference, the RCC hosted some events, including limited tours of the complex.  Therefore, it was critical that the project was performed on schedule.  Watts worked with an aggressive design schedule to bid the work and complete construction on time.  Watts provided architectural, environmental and structural engineering design services on this ACEC award winning project.


  • 2012 Diamond Award of Engineering Excellence

    ACEC of New York for the Stabilization of the Richardson Complex, Buffalo, NY