Corpus Christi tower dome removed!

Recent images of the ornate dome being removed from the south tower of one of the city’s most grand east side churches is enough to strike fear in the heart of anyone interested in saving Buffalo’s precious heritage.  With so many Buffalo churches rotting, plans for St Gerard’s being sold off for use by an Atlanta parking lot church and the prospect of nearby St. Adalbert’s Basilica being forced into the Catholic Church’s cynically named “Journey In Faith and Grace” program (otherwise known as closing), the sight of this magnificent edifice being deconstructed could easily be interpreted as another major loss.

Fear not!  Broadway Fillmore Alive reports that the massive church (site) at 199 Clark Street has begun phase 2 of its building renovation plan. Dramatic video and pictures of the ornate south tower dome being removed marked the start of repairs to one of Buffalo’s most prominent landmarks.  The dome will be put back in place.  This work is part of a comprehensive plan to restore the entire building enclosure.  Since the church was taken over by the Pauline Fathers in 2004 the future of this amazing part of Buffalo’s heritage has taken a sharp turn to the positive.  Corpus Christi along with nearby St. Stanislaus have benefited from major recent and ongoing investments bucking the trend for abandonment in this struggling neighborhood.  Together they are anchors in this devastated part of the city and their parishioners intend to keep them that way for a long time.

See and read more on the building renovations here, here and here.  Buffalo Rising also covered interior mural restoration here.

Dome removal video.

Keep an eye on Broadway Fillmore Alive updates on this project and many more of the happenings in this very historic and interesting east side neighborhood.

Corpus-Christi-dome-Buffalo.jpg

About the author  ⁄ EB_Blue

44 comments
Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

Thank you for that summary of how the community feels. If the community isn't motivated to get the building landmarked, then it won't be. I still think it would be best to hold onto this one! It's a phenomenal piece of architecture. Buffalo has a simply magnificent collection of ecclesiastic architecture.

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

As for who would have to maintain the building, the owner needs to do so. Owning a building comes with responsibilities. This is the reason the State of New York had to fork over $100 million to stabilize the Richardson Olmsted Complex. They had a responsibility to the general public to maintain it. If the owner doesn't maintain the building, the city can fine them for code violations or the owner can get sued. If they can't afford to maintain it, they can sell it to someone else who wishes to maintain the building. If no one wants to buy it and maintain it, then the building has no value. They could give it to a community group or possibly to the city. This all obviously works much more easily in a city with a stable population and stable property values. However, it seems like a complete resignation to the decline of Buffalo to let the building to be moved to Atlanta. And no, this isn't about animosity towards successful places. It's about holding onto the assets that can make Buffalo successful and stable. Buildings like these differentiate Buffalo from other places. Buffalo does itself no favors by letting these buildings go without careful consideration.

This might all seem like a lot of meddling in property rights, but don't forget that a whole lot of other people are impacted by what the owner does to this building - surrounding property values will be impacted, and in the case of general deterioration, the building can become a public safety hazard. Further, there are very few communities -new or old- that don't have deed restrictions, HOAs, zoning, building codes, design commissions etc. It's a fact of modern life. It's messy business balancing private property rights with how it impacts the broader public. You might think this scares off development and investment, but most successful places that I can think of have such regulations. Very few developers wish to build a new condo project next to what could become a vacant lot or a slaughter house in the immediate future.

As for preservation, there's a spectrum of preservation possibilities. My top preference would be for the building to be maintained inside and out without major alteration. Hopefully, the building would be used in a manner compatible with the historic use of the building - that might mean using it as a community center, a daycare center, an art gallery or as a church. However, I'm realistic and open to the idea of adaptive reuse. Any adaptive reuse should take into consideration the wishes of the broader community. Also, consider that if it were moved to Atlanta, the interior would be destroyed and the building would be taken out of its historic context. Context is important. St. Florian's in Hamtramck, Michigan would offer a completely different experience if taken out of its simple, working-class context of modest worker's cottages. If left in Buffalo and adaptively reused, the church is preserved in it's original historic context, the exterior is preserved, but the interior is altered; in my opinion, two out of three ain't bad. Also, Buffalo retains and builds upon a piece of its past. Seems like a better outcome to me.

pampiniform
pampiniform

>First, it doesn't matter that it's a private transaction. As I pointed out my last comment, the Supreme Court has affirmed that cities have the power to landmark buildings and that doing such is not considered a 'taking.'

Ok, so it gets landmarked. Then what? Who's responsible for keeping the place from falling apart then? Is it supposed to be the diocese? Who says they have the money to do it? Do you think the city or state is supposed to? Even if they had the money, there are constitutional issues in play there.

>As I have already said, the best bet for Buffalo is to keep the building

I wouldn't worry about the church leaving anyways I'm pretty sure that the Norcross people are going to get a taste of how everything in Buffalo gets bogged down in redtape and bureaucracy and probably lawsuits. The kind of stuff that makes this area so attractive to business. They'll give up and the place can start on its way to becoming the next St Matthew's.

>As I have already said, the best bet for Buffalo is to keep the building. Either way - if moved to Atlanta or allowed to deteriorate in Buffalo - Buffalo ends up losing the building. I find it small comfort to know the building partially lives on in Atlanta, but I understand some people are more concerned with preserving this particular building, in whole or in part, at any cost

So you think it would be better for this building to be demolished rather than go somewhere else? You sound like you truly appreciate the historic and architectural significance of this church. I'm not sure, but it seems to me there's a little bit of an inferiority complex in that argument there. It seems like the old "I hate Atlanta(or Phoenix, or Orlando, etc) because it's doing better than Buffalo, so the hell with them" thing you see with some Buffalo people.

>Personally, I'm more interested in preserving and improving Buffalo. Removing this building does nothing to that end.

Letting it fall apart doesn't do much either.

>Lastly, who knows what usefulness this building might serve in the future. It could be a store. It could be apartments. A church in Cleveland is being used as offices for a tech company. Some new kind of economic opportunity might present itself that we can't even imagine right now. Preserving this building and the opportunities it may offer is the best move for Buffalo.

So if it becomes a store, or apartments, or offices, is that really preservation? That sounds like something that would really respect the historic nature of the building. It was built by religious working class people as a site for worship. Why bother saving it then if you're just going to turn it into apartments or office space?

whatever
whatever

nicholas>"Zoning, planning, building codes and landmarking fall under the legitimate policing rights of a city,"

The first 3 of those (zoning, planning, building codes) are irrelevant to this.

In theory, designating St Gerard's as a city landmark is a possible answer to my how the Common Council could block it's move.

However, in practice, much easier said than done. Even among the Common Council and local preservationists, it seems there isn't a censuses to try making that happen.

Even Council President Franczyk says so (also note that preservation org PBN favors allowing the move):

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-02-03-closing-churches_N.htm

"Some preservationist groups view the move as justifiable for lack of an alternative — "an odd-duck exception," says Henry McCartney, director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

Others vow to fight. Tielman of the Campaign for Buffalo History says he'll try to have St. Gerard's designated a landmark by the Buffalo Preservation Board (the city's landmarks commission) to delay or block its removal. Among his arguments: The move would leave the neighborhood without its greatest landmark and the city without one of its architectural gems.

But Franczyk acknowledges that because St. Gerard's is not an official landmark, its move probably can't be stopped. And Richard Fontana, the district's city council member, says there's no neighborhood opposition. Few community residents attended the church, so "to most people it's just another building on a corner. If there's no way to maintain it, it's probably better to move it."

..."

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

First, it doesn't matter that it's a private transaction. As I pointed out my last comment, the Supreme Court has affirmed that cities have the power to landmark buildings and that doing such is not considered a 'taking.'

As I have already said, the best bet for Buffalo is to keep the building. Either way - if moved to Atlanta or allowed to deteriorate in Buffalo - Buffalo ends up losing the building. I find it small comfort to know the building partially lives on in Atlanta, but I understand some people are more concerned with preserving this particular building, in whole or in part, at any cost. Personally, I'm more interested in preserving and improving Buffalo. Removing this building does nothing to that end.

Lastly, who knows what usefulness this building might serve in the future. It could be a store. It could be apartments. A church in Cleveland is being used as offices for a tech company. Some new kind of economic opportunity might present itself that we can't even imagine right now. Preserving this building and the opportunities it may offer is the best move for Buffalo.

pampiniform
pampiniform

I wasn't arguing that suburbs do go bust. I think there are some around here that are heading that way. What I'm arguing is that Norcross is not one of those suburbs. It is one of the suburbs that is farther out and that is definitely on the upswing. The fact that they have a testiment to that. In any case, whether or not the place goes bust has no relation on the fact that this is a private transaction that is supposed to to take place.

Look, I like the building. I don't want to see it go on an emotional level. But there is a part of me that thinks maybe if someone can take care of the place better than we can maybe we should let it go to someone who can.

Mothballing would be a fine option except for some problems. For one thing the place is going to need some not inexpensive repairs already just to keep it weathertight. Secondly, what good does it do to mothball the place? What is supposed to happen with it? If you're not going to use it what good does it do to keep it around if someone else can use it?

Good Point
Good Point

They'll be redistributed into poverty by the left first. How we stereotype.

georkkotts
georkkotts

Again, another demographic problem Buffalo has. Despite heated opinion we are shifting to a western Europe secular society. Religion will never be completely gone, but will no longer form the backbone of these communities.

I had the pleasure of watching this restoration happen (http://www.frontrangeliving.com/architecture/churchcondos.htm). I lived down the street. This is on old neighborhood that is rapidly undergoing gentrification. There was a wicked howl from local residents, but unfortunately without attendees these churches serve no purpose.

Of course this an apples to oranges analogy. But this neighborhood (historically black and poor) has a high concentration of churches (mostly baptist, but some catholic), local developers recognized that due to zoning laws new construction could not go above 2-3 stories so these churches provided the best view of the cityscape and mountain views. Units two blocks over are going for close to a million a pop.

Buffalo has these same resources, of course the situations are different, but never underestimate the love of good architecture. When the first church conversions were selling this was still a very poor and dicey neighborhood (well still is, my former place was broken into several times).

Reuse. Refurb. Look toward the future.

The Kettle
The Kettle

Do you guys actually think disassembling a huge building, then putting it back together on the other side of the country is "realistic?"

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

@Whatever: It's the same power that gives New York City the ability to prevent a developer from building a highrise above Grand Central Terminal. Property rights are not total. The Supreme Court has decided that. The owners of St. Gerard's own a church in a specific location; not a pile of raw materials with which they can do whatever they want. Read this Supreme Court Case and you'll see. Zoning, planning, building codes and landmarking fall under the legitimate policing rights of a city, which have been affirmed by the Supreme Court through multiple decisions.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

As an Agnostic I can't understand how anyone can truly believe they are all knowing. Your atheist brother and his partner are much like the fundamentalist Christians, so caught up in their own narrow view as to confuse hate with advocacy for their cause. We can find examples of excess in any group but when it comes to intolerance right wing Christians are by far the largest and most vocal group in America today.

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

My youngest brother and his partner are both atheists and they are among th most militant and intolerant people I know. They cannot stand organized religion regardless of the denomination and will protest anything that they believe mentions religion in public. They have even confronted and openly mocked strangers who may have a religious bumper sticker or t-shirt. They will become even more combative with a stranger if they have a bumper sticker or shirt that indicates that they may not fully accept their gay lifestyle. He has spent some time in jail as a result of his intolerance of religious views and his dedication to furthering the tolerance for the LGBTO community to those who may see things differently. He, and his partner and friends, truly hate those who they perceive do not agree with their cause.

I understand that this is just one example of one small group of people, but the same can be said of many who follow a particular religion. The majority of Muslims are not terrorists and many, if not most, christians are tolerant of the LGBTO lifestyle.

Acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general is as much based on age as it is on religion. There are many who are over 55 or 60 who still consider homosexuality as deviant and unacceptable. Those younger than 55, or maybe younger, are generally much more accepting.

whatever
whatever

nicholas>"I'm not in the mood to give away..."

"give away"? It isn't yours to give away or not give away. Just because something is in a location for any amount of time doesn't mean it automatically belongs to everyone currently in that location.

To those who say the Common Council should block the move - what law gives them that power? It isn't public property. Also there's the separation of church and state, which some of course very reasonably pointed to when the marriage issue was debated but now a few of the same people might want to ignore on this topic.

I doubt the Georgians will raise enough $ for a move. I'd bet St Gerard's will stay and probably rot away before it's ever reused, even if mothballing is ever tried for some time. But if they do raise the $, and if at that point the RC church leaders still favor the move, then it should be a decision of those two groups alone. People are free to complain or protest, but the government shouldn't try to block it.

grad94
grad94

as soon as the religious right discovers that they can't scapegoat of gays any more, they'll go after atheists. mark my words.

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

Lots of suburbs go bust. They get beat out by newly-formed suburbs with new malls and new McMansions and new, unused borrowing capacities that allow them to offer new tax giveaways precisely when the previous generation of suburbs needs to start raising taxes to pay down the debt it accumulated during its growth phase. Many suburbs form, quickly gain growth from new families with young children, then the children grow up, move to the city or to even more distant suburbs, which offer cheaper prices on brand new houses. The parents stay in place or move to a retirement community. At that point, the suburb starts to lose population and run into problems. Home values may stagnate or decline, forcing them to raise taxes rates to maintain service levels. Older suburbs also rack up legacy costs, like pensions, which further drive up the tax burden. As the accounting tightens, schools might begin to run into funding issues, further reducing the attractiveness of the area. Check out the older, run-of-the-mill car-oriented suburbs of a place like Cleveland or Chicago. In many respects, suburbs of that vintage are doing even worse than the city itself. They are not strongly differentiated from from newer suburbs and they have none of the qualities of a true city. They also lack the cache of a downtown for retaining corporate headquarters, so they eventually lose revenue from things like office parks to newer, unburdened suburbs that can offer tax incentives to businesses and developers. In a city like Columbus, Ohio, you can find many abandoned or half-empty office parks in older suburbs. So yes, suburbs can go bust.

Bottom line: whether St. Gerard's slowly decays in Buffalo or is moved to Atlanta - the city of Buffalo ends up losing another remarkable piece of architecture.

Personally, I'm not in the mood to give away the very things that differentiate an older city like Buffalo from new, disposable places like suburban Atlanta. Again, the best bet for Buffalo is to hope that it gets reused. Also, mothballing is vastly cheaper than demolition in most cases and with the aid of volunteers to monitor and provide minimal maintenance is not very expensive at all. A lot of the needed materials can probably be found in people's garages. Here's a good reference on mothballing.

grad94
grad94

just another quick follow-up: we already -have- atheist churches.

unitarian-universalism does not require belief in a supernatural, supreme being, though individual members may believe in god, christ, a higher power, or something under another name. a devout jewish friend once told me that belief in god isn't essential in judaism. most importantly, there is no supernatural, supreme being in buddhism, which is almost as old as christianity.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Tolerance and respect are expected for the mainstream religons but not usually offered to those with other beliefs. Atheists are treated as heretics and looked upon with suspicion and seen as a threat to established religon.

As for wars, I agree politics plays a part but much of the intolerance and hate we see in our society comes from those that claim god is on their side. The mistreatment of gays, women, and even the poor is justified by those that believe their own narrow religous beliefs are the will of god.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Doesn't cost much at all to mothball a building. I did a 6 story brick building totaling 160,000 sq ft in 2 days. We paid about $3000 to board the ground level and first floor and installed an alarm system for $30 a month. A weekly visit of about an hour to round was the only ongoing cost.

Who would pay? as I stated, it is not really a big ticket, the Catholic Church or some wealthy congregation could adopt the cause. We are not talking about a lot of money to hold onto this asset until a better use can be found.

grad94
grad94

amusing but wrongheaded and meanspirited.

being a nontheist is no different from being a non-anything else. if you are a nonchild, does that mean you're anti-children? if you are a nondentist, does that mean you're anti-dentist?

everyone is an atheist when it comes to the other guy's gods, be they zeus, athena, thor, or allah.

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

Actually, there are several special collections taken each year for projects like this one. Consolidating parishes is a tremendously contentious and difficult process and the Diocese does not take it lightly. They also do not take the relocation of churches lightly either. There are decades worth of ceremonies, memories, and lives enmeshed in every church, from the parishioners to the priests. To think that the Diocese is just flippantly closing churches on a whim is naive, this has been done out of necessity. There is a well publicized shortage of priests, especially in the inner cities. There is a decline in regular parishioners, and there is no longer a sufficient number of parishioners to support the basic upkeep and maintenance of these churches.

Personally, I would love to see the churches remain open, but I also know that the younger generation who is embracing the return to cities are usually not going to become regular Roman Catholic parishioners. New Urbanism is not hitting the east side of Buffalo with enough strength and numbers to make a difference to an architectural gem like this church, and we would be waiting a long time for them to reach enough of a critical mass to make a difference in this neighborhood.

The facts are that people choose to live where they do for any number of reasons. Some choose to live in the suburbs, others have moved away to greener pastures in other states. This is the reality of the situation, without people the church is just a building built on faith and dreams. Every person who moves away from the city is one more nail in the coffin for our built environment. It doesn't matter if that person moves to Chicago or Clarence, or if they decide that religion is not a part of their lives. These people are the cause for churches closing and for churches being relocated. I would rather see the church built by my great grandfather and maintained by generations of my family and their neighbors moved to a new parish than to see their memory disgraced by it becoming a roller rink, bar, or condos.

pampiniform
pampiniform

Well ok, has any order expressed interest in this church? The place has been empty for several years now and no one has apparently seemed interested.

And to be fair to the diocese, I can imagine there is an appealing aspect of letting another catholic church buy a redundant church so that it may continue to be used as a religious site of worship, even if it is in Atlanta.

>In the case of St Adalbert's, they were even given instructions from the Vatican itself to stop that kind of thinking. And then chose to ignore His Holiness's directives.

That's not really what happened there. The parashioners paetitioned the bureacracy of the church to keep their church open, and they won their appeal. That's different than saying that the church told the diocese not to close any more churches.

>If suburban churches can send collection baskets to Rome and Haiti and Alabama, why can't they take up an occasional collection to preserve the histories of the very families who still attend church every week in Clarence or Lancaster?

Maybe these churches would rather send money where it is needed rather than to use it to keep up old buildings that they don't need anymore? I would think that that would be the think that you would expect a responsible christian organization to do.

If you want to save the place, why don't you get some kind of funding together and do so? Or is someone else supposed to do it instead?

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

Atheists are no more responsible for wars, violence, and hatred than any other individual. Our country has started wars, committed acts of violence, and has promoted hatred towards other countries and religions based on our political ideology.

Politics, like religion, has led us into recent wars were nearly 1 million civilians and military personnel have been needlessly killed, and 1.6 million civilians and military personnel have been seriously wounded.

These atrocities have been committed by members of all religions and atheists alike.

There are some wars that are started as a result of religious differences, but there are others that are started out of pride and selfishness with no religious affiliation whatsoever.

I agree that everyone deserves tolerance and respect, regardless of what country they were born in, what religion they follow, or what ever their personal convictions and beliefs may be.

Remember when Americans were dancing in the streets, and waving American flags, over the death of Osama Bin Laden, well that wasn't because he followed Islam, it was because we as Americans were happy to someone killed over terrorism that occurred in our country. For this, we cheer and celebrate, but we condemn those in other countries when an American is killed.

Tolerance and respect should be universal, but unfortunately our barbaric society doesn't always work that way.

DeanerPPX
DeanerPPX

Apparently, for Corpus Christi, one realistic (and successful) option was KEEPING it a (Roman Catholic) church, and transferring care of the parish to an order of [not sure if they're monks, priests or friars] who actually had an interest in saving and preserving the building and the community.

It didn't get sold to another community or another faith. It didn't get converted into apartments or a roller rink. It just got cared for instead of being written off as a commodity to be sold or a burden to be demolished.

The same situation holds true with St Gerard's or Corpus Christi or St Barbara's... one single answer is not going to save every single church. But the Bishop's office can't continue to keep throwing their arms up in the air every time attendance declines and issue the same old orders to abandon all hope. In the case of St Adalbert's, they were even given instructions from the Vatican itself to stop that kind of thinking. And then chose to ignore His Holiness's directives.

If the Diocese feels it can overrule the Pope, why don't they do it by welcoming women and gays and married clergy, or some other action that actually has a chance at reversing the decline in attendance that is contributing to their problems? If suburban churches can send collection baskets to Rome and Haiti and Alabama, why can't they take up an occasional collection to preserve the histories of the very families who still attend church every week in Clarence or Lancaster?

Every year, the *worldwide* church takes up a special collection to help fund the Pope's special projects. The church in the US takes up an annual appeal to help fund retirement for elderly nuns and priests. What would be wrong with doing the same within the Diocese to fund the greatest needs of the Bishop? (of course, assuming that the Bishop had an active interest in mothballing or preserving older churches)

pampiniform
pampiniform

I don't doubt that the thing could be mothballed. But the question is who's going to put up the money to mothball the thing? Who's going to pay money to keep the place up for years until the neighborhood recovers? What are we supposed to do with it once we do? And say if the neighborhood does eventually recover, what then? Is it supposed to be a church again?

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

To my knowledge the "dreaded atheists" have not been responsible for any of the hatred, violence, and wars that continue to use religion as a justification. They deserve tolerance and should be treated with the same respect we so readily give to those who follow traditional religions.

sobuffbillsfan
sobuffbillsfan

Well really the sadest thing is that as St. Gerards maybe dismantled and moved new churches have to be built. I was at a mass a little over a year ago at St. Mary's in Swormville. I was taken back that the priest bragging about how they had independently raise the money to build a brand new church and needed no assistance from the diociese.

It seemed a strange commentary for a church, he seemed almost as much bragging as he was thankful. The whole thing rubbed me the wrong way. I understand in fact the church has to operate like a business and go where he people go. However, I couldn't help wonder if more good could come out of people with money in these new parishes doing a lot more cross over work with churches in these struggling neighborhoods.

I believe in god, consider myself catholic but reserve the right to disagree with my religion. That day I left mass feeling very unfullfilled. When I do attend mass now I make a point to do it in one of these old grand places of worship. It has a completely different feel.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

The cost to mothball a structure is not really as expensive as some would have us believe. I have worked for over 30 years in facilities and engineering and have been responsible for maintaining vacant buildings much larger and some even much older than St Gerard's. It comes down to the basics of a good roof, secure envelope, and the winterization of plumbing and heating systems. With an alarm system at very nominal cost and regular visits a building can be maintained indefinitely.

We need to respect our built environment and recognize the assets we have that are presently under appreciated. This neighborhood is challenged now but will eventually recover. It may take 20, 30, or even 50 years but we must protect and preserve our best architecture, not out of some misguided romanticism but as a long term investment.

Pegger
Pegger

Yes, I believe that it is time to updateus on St. Gerard's.I have lost track of it myself. Help anyone?

pampiniform
pampiniform

That still doesn't answer the question about realistic options are available to save the church. I'm sure most people on here do not want to see St Gerard's dismantled and shipped south. But who's supposed to pay for the mothballing? If anybody were interested, why haven't they taken it over yet? I drive by that church all the time and you can already start to see the beginning of serious damage to the exterior. It looks like we may have the option of two unpleasant choices. We can either let the church go and allow it to live again in a place that can better use it, or we can watch it slowly fall apart until it winds up having to be demolished. Either way we wind up with another lot in a neighborhood that is filling up with them.

>Besides, who's to say that suburb won't go bust in another decade.

What is that supposed to mean? I've been to Norcross. It's not particularily charming, but I doubt it's going to go "bust" anytime in the near future. Who's to say that Buffalo won't go bust in another decade? It's all speculation to say in either case.

If you don't think reusing just the shell of a building is preservation, what would you call it? It seems to me that a lot of what happens in Buffalo that is classified as preservation entails doing exactly that.

Look, I think it's a beautiful church. It makes me sad to think that we could lose it. It seems like it is just another example of the decline of Buffalo. But if anyone wants to save it, then why isn't anyone putting their money where their mouth is and taking up a collection to save the church? What should we do with it if we did save it?

Good Point
Good Point

Turn it into a atheist church, people from this site will flock to the church, until they are asked for a donation of course. "Oh shit man, I spent my last dollar on that dime bag, sorry dude, I do like the no god stuff though, keep it up, religion is bad, man. It's like the military, bro."

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

I, too, thought (and was excited to hear that) St. Gerard's move was blocked by Franczyk (sp). Any update?

I say-if it has to be moved, move it to another part of Buffalo!

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

I'd rather see it mothballed with minimal upkeep to preserve the structural integrity. Even if that meant the slow deterioration of the interior (they would just be moving the external facade to Atlanta, anyways). Besides, who's to say that suburb won't go bust in another decade.

If it stays in Buffalo, maybe it'll find use someday, maybe it won't. But I hardly call just reusing the external shell of the building, "preservation." Nor would its relocation to Atlanta have any chance of having any positive effects for Buffalo. The best move for Buffalo is to keep it.

Greenca
Greenca

Oh, on a positive note, I am glad to see this work being done on Corpus Christi. This parish is fortunate to have a viable congregation.

Greenca
Greenca

While the proposed relocation of St Gerard's to an Atlanta parking lot may not be aesthetically appealing, what are the realistic (I repeat, realistic) alternatives? Are there any congregations in the Bailey/Delevan vicinity that would be interested in this building? It's been empty for several years, and to my knowledge, there have been no viable local re-use proposals. Unfortunately it will most likely do nothing but rot where it is now, becoming a Bailey/Delevan version of Transfiguration. Better to be preserved in Atlanta than demolished in Buffalo in a decade's time.

I am not being a negative nancy. Just striking a dose of realism into the St Gerard's saga.

Lego1981
Lego1981

Good to know that we do have some positive activity happening on the East Side.

jim1234664
jim1234664

i thought st gerards relocation was blocked by the common council citing that this kind of thing was a slippery slope...? is it still going to atlanta???

DeanerPPX
DeanerPPX

Disagree. That's EXACTLY what's going to happen to St. Gerard's. It's going to sit in the middle of a Walmart-sized parking lot, completely devoid of its original context. The other parish buildings on the property are not located next to the relocation site. Because of exoburban Atlanta zoning codes, religious buildings are restricted to commercial areas, away from residential, to help control traffic concerns. There won't be any homes in sight of it, no pedestrian traffic to appreciate it, zero urban fabric surrounding it.

Meanwhile, the best that we can hope for the Buffalo neighborhood it's leaving is a cheaply landscaped empty field. Maybe a park bench and a plaque.

I have to wonder... why was Corpus Christi in decline, suffering physical neglect and shrinking attendance, teetering on the verge of closure by the Diocese... but now that the Pauline Brothers have taken control, they've managed to raise funds to maintain and restore the building, increase attendance, and give back to the community (all within years that are considerably bleaker than the darkest days under Diocesan leadership)? The same is true of St Luke's and other parishes that have been 'outsourced' to other religious orders that are slightly outside of the traditional hierarchy under the Bishop.

DeanerPPX
DeanerPPX

The church website says those crosses are filled with letters from the original parishioners. I wonder what shape they're in, and if any could be removed like a time capsule.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

STEEL:

If you put less comments like "by an Atlanta parking lot church" in your articles. More people would take your posts seriously, and not think of you as just another homer preservationist. On a good note I'm glad to see the church being rehabbed. I've been in it a couple of times for service over the years and it really is an amazing church on the inside.

townline
townline

Right, really impressive to see the size of this thing.

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

It's so interesting to see the dome surrounded by people. It's hard to get an accurate sense of scale for these kinds of architectural details.

DeanerPPX
DeanerPPX

Nothing like a good heart attack to start your morning!

© 2014 Hyperlocal Media. All Rights Reserved.