For years, whenever Matt Meier was on the phone giving the name of his architectural firm, he had to go through a rather lengthy explanation.
“It’s almost second nature, but I would sit there and go, ‘It’s Hamilton … Houston, spelled like the city … and Lownie,” Meier said.
He doesn’t have to do that anymore.
Hamilton Houston & Lownie kept its legal name but shortened its “street” moniker to HHL. reflecting the initials of founding partners Mike Hamilton, Fred Houston and Ted Lownie. Houston, by the way, is pronounced “how-stan.”
“It’s easier now just to say HHL. And besides, around Buffalo that’s what we’ve been called for years, even by ourselves,” Meier said.
The company also has a brand-new logo. And it made official what many had assumed for years – that Meier and three of his longtime co-workers were full partners. Lownie was joined by Meier, Kenneth Riter, Jerry Strickland and Chris Guerra as partners.
Hamilton retired nearly 10 years ago. And while Houston maintains an office in the Allen Street headquarters, he works on a more relaxed schedule these days.
“We’ve been gradually working toward this,” Meier said. “I know myself, Ken, Jerry and Chris all feel like we are carrying on a special legacy and attitude that Ted, Mike and Fred fostered.”
HHL was formed in 1969 and currently has 20 employees.
Its portfolio includes design work on projects such as the Darwin D. Martin House complex, Park Country Club, the Canadian Consulate, Roswell Park Cancer Instutite and Kleinhans Music Hall.
Out-of-town work, meanwhile, includes helping Delaware North Cos. with an extensive renovation of the historic Gideon Putnam hotel in Saratoga.