Carmina firm picked for Hotel Niagara work

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 7:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 7:18 AM EDT

Canadian developer Harry Stinson has retained the Buffalo firm of Carmina Wood Morris PC to handle the interior design work for his planned restoration of the historic but currently mothballed Hotel Niagara.

Carmina Wood Morris joins a development team that includes the Buffalo architecture firm of Young & Wright on the project.

The hiring of both Carmina Wood Morris and Young & Wright are significant milestones in the restoration of the 15-story, circa 1924 building that dominates the Niagara Falls skyline. Stinson took over the project last year and has pledged a complete makeover of the landmark building.

Stinson said he selected Carmina Wood Morris based on the interior design work - along with other work - at the recently restored Hotel@the Lafayette in downtown Buffalo.

"The restoration of the Lafayette is very impressive and it was clear to me that Carmina Wood Morris has a great appreciation and understanding of what it takes to restore an historic property," Stinson said.

Carmina Wood Morris will handle all interior details for the including interior planning and designing of the hotel's guest rooms and public spaces and for the coordination of purchasing and installation of all design materials. The firm will design the public areas such as the lobby, grand ballroom, and family "play area" in the lower level, the dining and bar areas, as well as the design of the individual guest rooms.

Carmina Wood Morris will be responsible for all aspect of the interior design including choosing color schemes, furniture, soft goods, as well as the smallest details including dishes and glassware.

Pamela Timby Straitiff, a senior associate and director of interiors at the firm, is overseeing the project.

The revamped Hotel Niagara is slated to have 160 suite-style rooms plus guest rooms, conference and meeting space. The building's roof top conservatory is being eyed as corporate and meeting space.

The lower level play space will include a host of interactive games, a pool, and hot tub.

Stinson said he expects the hotel to re-open by mid-next year.

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