Design Center

The Pines at
Machias Healthcare
and Rehabilitation Center

Type of Facility/Setting: Skilled Nursing Facility
Owner: Cattaraugus County, New York
Chief Administrator: John Ognibene, (716) 353-8516
Architecture: SWBR Architects, (585) 232-8300
Photography: David Revette Photography, (315) 463-4499
Resident Capacity: 117 beds
Total Project Area: 85,000 sq. ft.
Construction Costs: $12,000,000
Cost/Sq. Ft.: $141

County’s pride

Building on an existing site with more than 100 years of tradition in caring for those with health-related disabilities, Cattaraugus County, in the Southern Tier of New York State, presented its residents with a delightful new state-of-the-art skilled nursing facility while staying within a tight state budget. The Pines of Machias met preservation goals by renovating the county’s oldest standing structure, the Stone House (circa 1868). Located on the campus, the two-story stone-cut structure has been continually occupied by the county to serve the area’s healthcare needs, first as a poorhouse and now as a county office building.

A keystone and hub of the new facility is the signature Octagon House, which recalls a favored regional and historically significant late 1800s farmhouse’style. This building welcomes visitors and residents to the reception/parlor area, hearth, library, and piano, and is graced by the characteristic grand stair and cupola. Residents enter their rooms from this hub. Units include private rooms and well-configured L-shaped semiprivate rooms with each bed having its own headwall and window. There is also a dedicated wing for dementia care, which includes its own covered porch and enclosed courtyard.

Unlike typical county-run nursing facilities that tend to cluster approximately 40 residents in a unit, The Pines of Machias groups residents into ten 12-resident households, in which they share a dining room/country kitchen, activity space, a spa/tub room, living areas, and access to outdoor gardens. The facility design features more windows and includes specialty lighting, new furnishings, and accents of wood floors and bead board. Noting that the success of the project has led to five other county long-term care studies and project-related commissions in New York State, SWBR Project Architect Mark Lyons, AIA, discussed what heights can be reached on a county-owned and state-funded project with a strong vision, a design model that works, and the planning skills to bring the project in on budget and on time.

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