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Home of the Week: A new home in an old factory

Tom and Louise Yots live in the Mattress Factory Lofts on Florida Street in Buffalo's Hamlin Park Historic District. The downsizers have lived there since May and are especially pleased with how the unit is ideal for displaying their artwork.

Tom Yots, who taught chemistry for 31 years at Lewiston-Porter High School, served as the city historian of Niagara Falls and chairman of the city's Historic Preservation Commission. A preservation consultant, he founded Preservation Studios in 2002 after earning a master's degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Louise Yots launched the Niagara Greeters Program and was its volunteer coordinator for eight years. She became a volunteer coordinator at Forest Lawn Cemetery. A 30-year member of the Rainbow Singers, she also is a past board president of the former Music School of Niagara.

The couple raised two sons in Niagara Falls and have five grandchildren. They owned Park Place Bed & Breakfast for 17 years in a historic neighborhood in Niagara Falls. It originally was the home of James Marshall, one of the founders of Union Carbide Corp.

Here is how Louise Yots described their new home:

"Recently, my husband and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. It has been a great journey and we discovered it to be enriching and enlightening.

"Throughout our 50 years, we have been collecting art and hanging it in the places where we have lived. As our houses grew from 2,000 to finally 4,200 square feet, so grew our art collection.

"Gradually the inevitable happened and we began to downsize our living spaces. We carefully chose over 130 pieces of our collection and, embracing a new lifestyle, we moved into a loft apartment.

Tom and Louise Yots' kitchen in their loft apartment. The ceiling is 14 feet high.

"We were fortunate to have the help of a decorator (Hayley Carrow-Janecki , owner of Ró on Elmwood Avenue) who accepted the challenge of hanging our collection. The artwork now enhances the loft walls of the 14-foot-high ceilings in the former Otis Mattress Factory.

"We love our new loft, and the building in which it is located in the Hamlin Park Historic District is now home," she wrote.

Do you love your house enough to show it off? This could be your chance.

The Buffalo News is looking for other beautiful local homes and the stories behind them and their décor. Those chosen will be displayed in a weekly feature at buffalonews.com and could be chosen as Home of the Month in a Sunday edition of The Buffalo News.

If you are interested, tell us about your home in 150 words or less, and email 10 images (in .jpg form) of the interior and exterior to homeandstyle@buffnews.com.

Those chosen for BuffaloNews.com will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. A phone number is helpful. Single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible. The News will include your name and the city or town in which you reside but not your exact address.

* Take a look at our last Home of the Week, a penthouse apartment at Canterbury Woods Gates Circle:

Home of the Week: Penthouse living in Buffalo

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