CFCU Transformation Center Wins Design Award!

MariaHOLT News

CFCU Community Credit Union’s Transformation Center recently received Historic Ithaca’s Award of Merit in Historic Preservation! HOLT Architects and CFCU worked together to transform two floors in an existing historic bank building into a bright, light-filled, and vibrant space – creating an immersive banking experience for all members and employees.

“CFCU is a very forward-thinking client who was interested in a leading-edge banking process that was manifested in the design.”

Cindy Kaufman, HOLT Principal Associate and Project Manager for the CFCU project.

HOLT Architects and CFCU worked together to transform ta historic bank building into a vibrant Transformation Center incorporating retail banking and administrative offices for 35 employees. The project was the recipient of a Historic Ithaca Award of Merit in Preservation!

CFCU’s new space features an exciting new design & direction for retail banking


Photo of CFCU's new Transformation Center in Ithaca, NY

CFCU’s new Transformation Center features an exciting new design and direction for retail banking, achieved by strategically selecting and placing technology and furniture throughout the retail space and creating an immersive banking experience for all clients and employees.

Photo of CFCU's new Transformation Center in Ithaca, NY

Modern design elements act as an intentional intervention within the historic envelope of the two-story bank hall. Contemporary finishes, lighting, bright colors, glazing, and technology-infused client service areas integrate into and enliven the customer experience.

Photo of CFCU's new Transformation Center in Ithaca, NY

The light-filled mezzanine with executive offices is open to the bank hall below. All of these elements come together to showcase a beautifully articulated historic space that has been redesigned to reflect today’s needs and technology.

Photo of CFCU's new Transformation Center in Ithaca, NY

Support areas flank the great hall and include conference rooms, offices, collaboration spaces, and an enclosed outdoor patio.

CFCU was truly vested in restoring many of the historic elements & a significant amount of time & resources went into achieving this goal.


Original Conditions

Photo of the existing conditions for CFCU's Transformation Center in Ithaca, NY

CFCU found a home for its new Transformation Center in one of the most prominent historic buildings in downtown Ithaca – the old First National Bank, a seven-story building constructed in 1932. There were several additions and renovations that modified the building and removed numerous historic features from the main bank lobby.  In 2001 the bank space was modified by Bank of America to recapture many features that were obscured by previous renovations. When CFCU began its project, the building was in overall good condition but stood mostly vacant.

Hidden Historic Elements – Many historic elements were indicated in the original drawings but were covered up by previous renovations’ ceilings and walls making it extremely difficult to locate and bring into the design. The team undertook extensive hands-on investigations and using a cherry picker and flashlights, peered into holes, and under ceiling tiles to find and identify elements that were still remaining. Once historic details were found, including a trayed ceiling, cornice, coffering, fluted dentils, and column capitals, the team prioritized what pieces to restore and bring into the new design.

HOLT’s additional Bank and Credit Union projects include Tompkins Financial’s Corporate Headquarters, Elmira Savings Bank’s Ithaca Branch, First Heritage Federal Credit Union new Headquarters in Corning, and CFCU’s Seneca Falls BranchCheck out this work in the video below or contact our team who has worked on these projects: Steve Hugo, AIA, Principal, Quay Thompson, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, Principal, or Cindy Kaufman, AIA, Principal Associate.

Congratulations to CFCU for a well-deserved award!