On October 1, 1892, George B. Bassett established the Buffalo Meter Company in order to manufacture water meters from his own patents. In 1915, growth of the company facilitated the need for a new building to house operations. The company enlisted the nationally prominent firm of Lockwood, Greene & Co., based in Boston, Massachusetts, a firm also known for their role in designing Buffalo's Pierce Arrow Factory and the Larkin Exchange building. Construction of the new Buffalo Meter Company Building was completed in 1917.
Housed in their new facility on Main Street, the Buffalo Meter Company continued to be one of the nation's most prominent makers of liquid meters during the first half of the twentieth century. In the late 60’s, the Buffalo Meter Company left the Main Street building because their multi-level manufacturing facility was outdated, and in 1971 the building was purchased by the University at Buffalo and was used to house the Department of Art, the Architecture Department and also portions of the Division of Continuing Education. It was renamed as the Louise Blanchard Bethune Hall, after the first professional woman architect and the first woman fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
The building had a role in the 1983 movie "The Natural" starring Robert Redford; it was one of many Buffalo-area buildings and sites filmed for the movie and was used as a stand-in as an early 1900s industrial building. By 1994, the University had vacated the structure and the building was auctioned in 2005 by the State of New York. It was purchased by a Ciminelli led partnership in 2010.
After completing a comprehensive structural conditions assessment and over 4000-sf of concrete restoration, reinforcing and renovations to its 4-story concrete framed structure, the Bethune Lofts bring life back into the abandoned daylight factory. The building now houses 87 loft style apartments in 1 and 2 bedroom configurations ranging from 700 - 1300 square feet in size. A penthouse style apartment occupies the 5th floor and offers exceptional city views. A fitness center, secured on-site parking, laundry, bicycle storage, hardwood floors, modern hardwood cabinetry, and functional electric fireplaces in select units combine to make living at Bethune Lofts very comfortable.
Winner of the Preservation League of NYS Excellence in Historic Preservation Award 2014, this building has been added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and has received LEED Silver certification.