In February of 2014, 467 Richmond Ave LLC acquired the former Richmond M.E. Church on the corner of Richmond Avenue and West Ferry Street in Buffalo, NY. The project development team plans to repurpose the space for dance, theater and music performances; rehearsal and workshop space; music recording and production; and visual art exhibits. It will serve as a hub for community events and cultural heritage tourism. The original building was completed in 1898 and, in 2008, nominated to the National Registry of Historic Places. Its floor plan is comprised of two major components: a large Sanctuary space with balcony; and a smaller Chapel with basement and second floor. The building has been vacant since 1998.
Watts was hired to provide full architectural and engineering design services for the renovation of the Visual and Performing Arts Center. The project development team includes and owners and representatives of the Rosanna Elizabeth Foundation as well as a number of stakeholders representing the visual arts, performing arts, and other members of the local arts community. Renderings of the two primary performance spaces were developed prior to the onset of schematic design to jumpstart the fundraising process.