Rich & Gardner Partners with Buried Acorn Brewing to Renovate Custom Taproom

Rich & Gardner is pleased to announce the completion of their taproom renovations on the ground floor of the Sylvester Building in partnership with one of the building’s developers, Chris Geiger, and the storefront’s new tenants, the Buried Acorn Brewing team.

Rich & Gardner has had the pleasure of partnering with Geiger on past projects, which led to the offering of this specific opportunity. It was an easy decision to accept the project, and the entire Rich & Gardner team was excited to not only work closely with Geiger again but for the chance to build a new partnership with Buried Acorn Brewing’s team.

Not only did this project’s completion provide Buried Acorn Brewing with its third taproom, but it was an opportunity for Rich & Gardner to work on another historic building within Syracuse, NY.

See Rich & Gardner’s work with Buried Acorn.

Sylvester Building’s History

Historic buildings hold sentimental value to those within the community, so it is a top priority when working on a historic project that Rich & Gardner preserves the building’s history while still meeting their clients’ design, development, and construction needs.

The Sylvester Building, located at 900 E. Fayette Street, is now an apartment development that combines a modern feel with the original century-old building. Despite its recent renovations, the building has been designated as a historic landmark by the State Historic Preservation Office. This designation was granted due to the building’s representation of 20th-century style and its association with the progressive era.

While the building’s exterior speaks to century-old designs, it also has a fascinating history regarding its original owner. The first owner was Mary B. Hand, one of the city’s best-known madames. Hand was the one who had the structure built, hiring Syracuse’s City Hall designer, Charles Erastus Colton, to design it.

Mary Hand first opened the building in 1910 as a 12-unit apartment and retail building with the intention of housing the growing middle-class population, helping her become a legitimate businesswoman. The building’s name originates from Hand’s brother Sylvester, who had passed away before its development but lived on through a stone plaque featured on the front of the building.

In 1913 the building was advertised as having steam heat, hardwood floors, and hot water, while the building itself boasted six three-story iron bay windows on the upper floors. It also featured a light well that ran down the center, allowing sunlight to reach the interior.

The building was most recently purchased in 2014 by developers Chris Geiger, Scott Smith, and Andrew Charles after remaining vacant for ten years. They originally intended to demolish the building, but considering its history and ease of restoration and renovation, the three men agreed to expand and renovate it instead.

The building now has its original exterior and storefront restored to its former historical glory and features an additional 30 apartments. With the expansion of the ground floor, there was plenty of space for Buried Acorn Brewing to design and develop their third taproom.

Partnering with Buried Acorn Brewing

Thanks to Rich & Gardner’s ongoing partnership with one of the Sylvester Building’s owners and developers, Chris Geiger, Rich & Gardner was presented with the opportunity to carry out the brewery’s renovations.

Tim Shore, Buried Acorn Brewing’s owner, worked closely with Rich & Gardner to ensure his vision for the new taproom aligned with his brand. The partnership was a huge success; Shore was focused on building the taproom’s custom bar himself, sharing his thoughts and vision for the other key components of the project with the Rich & Gardner team, while the team focused on restoring and renovating the building’s original look and feel.

What resulted from the collaboration and partnership between Rich & Gardner and Buried Acorn Brewing is a ground-floor taproom that accurately reflects the desired look and feel of a craft beer bar while also incorporating and restoring the original look and feel of the historic storefront.

This partnership succeeded because of both parties’ love and appreciation for their crafts, combining their expertise and skillsets to produce a final project that resulted in a beautiful and historic taproom in which many Syracuse locals enjoy spending their time.

The taproom is housed in the older part of the Sylvester building, located at the corner of Fayette and Irving streets. Through the collaborative efforts of all partners involved in the renovation, Buried Acorn Brewing’s new location is spacious. It features multiple rooms and seating areas, all of which surround the large circular bar Shore built, located in the very center.

Rich & Gardner would like to thank Geiger for presenting such a wonderful opportunity that strengthened the existing partnership between the Rich & Gardner team and Geiger while simultaneously introducing the team to a new partner – presenting the opportunity for further collaborations in the future. It was an enjoyable project to complete, and that’s all due to the fantastic partners who made it possible.

Completed Project

The project started in late spring of this year and concluded in July, which enabled the taproom to open its doors to the public for the first time on July 30, 2022.

This taproom is a spinoff of the first Buried Acorn Brewing Brewhouse, which opened in 2018, and follows the addition of a second taproom in 2021. The primary purpose of this new taproom is to showcase the various craft beers Tim Shore and his assistant, Sean Place, brew, featuring 20 different taps. The taproom also boasts its very own kitchen run by Shore’s wife and trained chef, Crystal, offering a variety of delicious sandwiches and meals best paired with Buried Acorn Brewing’s craft beer.

The renovation itself focused on the ground floor of the historic Sylvester Building. Rich & Gardner was tasked with a variety of specific alterations and restorations, some of which include the design and construction of the bathrooms and a handicap ramp. Rich & Gardner’s foreman, Al Fredericks, offered his industry knowledge to Shore, who utilized these insider tips and assistance to help him construct the large bar featured in the center of the taproom. In addition to adding these new features, there was also the challenge of preserving the building’s original historic elements.

Shore decided to select this specific storefront to reach more people and sell more of his local craft beer. For this reason, the taproom has many seating options, allowing for a maximum seating capacity of approximately 175 people.

This location aims to reach different people, particularly those who have yet to venture to the Inner Harbor. Its historical value and local charm will undoubtedly draw in new customers looking to expand their craft palette.

To see more of Buried Acorn Brewing, check out the project gallery here.

Next Steps

Rich & Gardner owe their successes to all of their phenomenal partners, whether that be continuous partnerships such as that with Chris Geiger or new partnerships such as that with Buried Acorn Brewing. These projects would not be possible if not for Rich & Gardner’s exceptional partners, who not only make the process enjoyable but bring their own skills, expertise, and personality to each job – ensuring that the results are above and beyond what was initially expected.

To become one of Rich & Gardner’s project partners or to determine if Rich & Gardner is the right fit for your next project, reach out to the team now. Because at Rich & Gardner, partnerships are mutually designed, developed, and constructed to last – even after the project concludes.

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