NORSTAR PLAZA TO BE RENAMED FOR KIERNAN

Mark S.R. Suchecki Business writer
Section: BUSINESS,  Page: B21

Date: Thursday, September 14, 1989

The former Union Station building, now the Albany headquarters for Fleet/Norstar Financial Group, will be renamed for the firm's late chairman and chief executive officer, Peter D. Kiernan.


The imposing pink granite structure, located on Broadway near Interstate 787, had been named Norstar Plaza in 1986 when it reopened after an extensive $18 million rehabilitation program. At ceremonies planned for Wednesday


, at the 89-year-old classical Beaux-Arts building, the name will be changed to Peter D. Kiernan Plaza.


In 1984, Kiernan, then the top officer at Norstar Bancorp, led the effort to acquire and renovate the abandoned railroad station.


Before his death last September, Kiernan engineered the 1988 merger between Norstar and Fleet Financial Group Inc. of Providence, R.I., creating what is now a $30 billion, diversified, financial services company with dual headquarters in Providence and Albany.


The former railroad building currently houses about 300 employees, including Fleet/Norstar Services, Fleet/Norstar venture capital companies, Norstar Employee Benefits Services and Fleet/Norstar Financial Group.


The renovation was designed by Albany-based Einhorn Yaffe Prescott, P.C. Architecture and Engineering.


The addition of a fourth floor required the dismantling, hoisting and reassembly of cast-iron mezzanines. Another notable design feature is the three-story atrium that serves as a lobby.


Kiernan was president of Rose and Kiernan Inc., an Albany-based insurance firm, prior to joining Norstar Bancorp. He had been a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and president of the New York State Bankers Association. An Albany native, Kiernan graduated from Willams College. He also served as a trustee of the council of the State University at Albany, on the board of directors of the Association of Bank Holding Companies and was a member of several other business, civic and religious organizations.