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The Ruins @ Guild Hall

While touring the West Side with a group of BRO interns this past weekend, we stopped by the ‘ruins’ of Saint Mary’s on the Hill. While it was sad to see the condition of the site on such a glorious spring day, a couple of us also felt that the site was inspirational and could be put to good use. That’s not the first time that I have heard those sentiments. As of late, there have been a bunch of different ideas bandied about regarding the future of the West Side corner.

If the walls of the church can be braced, and the ownership of the property is somehow wrestled from the current property owner, maybe the walls of the building could act as a shelter for gardens, music and a variety of other summer uses and activities that would contribute to the neighborhood rather than detract from it. I’m sure that Grassroots Gardens would be invaluable when it comes to possible uses. Get ReUSe and PUSH involved… even the future organic market residents at the Horsefeathers building (just down the way). This could be a real opportunity to take a problematic issue and turn it around.


I am under the impression that the Guild Hall is still in good shape. Couldn’t that be sold off to raise money for stabilization of the church walls in anticipation for a community space? If this were to happen it would mean the addition of residential along with a very unique West Side destination. Something like this could only happen if the property could be transferred to a caretaker with a vision. As Tim Tielman told me, “Nothing is going to happen if The City does not begin proceedings to take over the building. They could easily do it since the out-of-city property owner is in arrears for trash pick-up and water bills. If The City does not force the hand of the delinquent owner, then you will never find a developer to even look at the project.” 


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Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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8100 posts
  • PoorPeopleSuck

    What a great place for an urban farm, dude…

  • JohnQBuffalo

    Its stories like this that make life in Buffalo at time untenable and filled with near outrage.
    I remember my father complaining in the days before the suburbs that the street sweepers had not come by…he wanted to see something visible for his taxes.
    Oh the city has no problem collecting taxes unless your a fined property owner ignoring their citations.
    Oh the city has no problem collecting parking tickets, ignoring potholes, ignoring property inspections, ignoring sidewalks, snow plowing, curbs, street lights, water mains, sewers, bridges, public pools…nope no problems there at all.
    Selective priorities. If its good for the Mayor and the unions and the inside business donors that fill the re-election campaigns then its a priority but if its good for the city….ehhh….fuh-ghed-ah-boudh-idh
    And so goes the story of St Mary’s and Our Lady of Lourdes…shhh…the Mayor is busy…
    Reminds me of Buffalo State’s (thank god she is gone) Howard…the lets build some dorms, a parking garage, new academic buildings and a stadium but please not while Im president…(aka it takes forever to get a decent hair appointment).
    But then…their right on par with “what floor is the Mayors Office” and “I like low hanging fruit” Masiello. Perhaps I beat up on Brown and Howard because they give me every impression that they have the intellectual capacity to do their job and wont rather than Masiello who didnt.
    Meanwhile the emerald city of the great lakes continues to atrophy…no wonder companies choose to locate in Rochester over Buffalo even though Buffalo is by far a superior city in all manner of quality of life.

  • MrGreenJeans

    Looks like a restaurant / tea garden – beer garden / outdoor wedding space, to me. Plenty of indoor space for receptions when the weather is bad, too.

  • grad94

    funny, i seem to recall suggesting the site for urban farming or a community garden at an earlier bro story and getting sorely ridiculed.

  • nickelcityem

    This is the first that I have heard of it, but it sounds like a fantastic idea. As a West Sider, I am eager to see this idea take off. Maybe we can stir something up…

  • forest

    Enough allready w/this site by the time anything get’s sorted out with the current owner all that will be left is a bigger pile of rubble than there is allready. Break out the Wreckin’Ball…