Elmira Savings Bank Receives Design Award

MariaHOLT News

Elmira Savings Bank was recently presented with an Historic Ithaca Design Award of Merit for the successful preservation, renovation, and transformation of 602 West Martin Luther King / State Street into their new Ithaca branch office.

The 5,000-square foot, two-story iconic building was originally built circa 1900 for the Ithaca VFW, subsequently housed other businesses over the years, and then sat vacant and deteriorating before Elmira Savings Bank purchased it to convert into their new Ithaca Branch Office.

Elmira Savings Bank understood the value of the building to the Ithaca community, and led by design team HOLT Architects incorporated historical research into the design to retain as much of the existing building as possible.

“Elmira Savings Bank’s investment in our community re-invigorates this significant local building into a lively, efficient, engaging and fully accessible facility that both embraces its past while welcoming the future” says Graham Gillespie, President of HOLT Architects.

“For us, it is truly the highlight of the year to honor those, like you [HOLT], who do the right thing in preservation and save our historic building stock.  The mix of purpose and mission is so great.” States Susan Holland, Executive Director of Historic Ithaca.

The exterior brick was cleaned of dirt and paint, repointed and restored to its original appearance as depicted in historic photographs. A renewed entry, new energy efficient replica windows, upgraded building envelope, metal sun shades, and a 1,600sf brick and glass addition bring new elements to the historic structure.

The completely renovated interior features state-of-the-art banking workflow elements including hybrid teller lines, collaboration zones, a light-filled waiting area with customer courtesy bar, decorative lighting to foster wayfinding, and optimized acoustics to ensure privacy for customers. Site work includes improved access, parking, a drive through service window with new canopy cover, and landscape features such as shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses all around to re-establish the building’s importance on the corner. With a focus on sustainability, the building also features an all-electric heating/cooling plant and many energy efficient elements.

Led by HOLT Architects, the project team also included Elwyn & Palmer Structural Engineers, Taitem Engineering, T.G. Miller Civil Engineers, Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architecture, General Contractor Edger Enterprises and major subcontractors AirTemp HVAC and John Mills Electric.

HOLT Architects has been providing socially and environmentally responsible architecture for community, housing, healthcare and higher education clientele since 1963. HOLT employs 35 professionals in Ithaca and Syracuse and has earned over 85 design awards.