The talk of moving St. Gerard Church generated a lot of controversy on BR over the weekend. In addition, it prompted local preservationist, blogger and board member of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo Chris Hawley to recall another lost parish on his site, The Hydraulics.
See Hawley’s story about the removal by demolition of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church that took place in 1982 at the corners of Emslie and Seymore Streets. In his blog, Hawley calls the demolition of the church “an act of vandalism against the public memory of the Hydraulics as Buffalo’s first Irish neighborhood – later, a largely German and Polish neighborhood.”
Likewise, Hawley says,”The demolition of St. Gerard’s, regardless of the future use of materials salvaged from the site, would permanently remove hope from the Delavan/Bailey neighborhood. The structure is a cultural marker that establishes a neighborhood identity and potentially represents an economic development opportunity. Its continued existence is the basis on which any neighorhood revitalization can occur and it simply cannot be removed.”
In an earlier BRO post on the removal of St. Gerard, Hawley felt strongly enough to comment, “Over my dead body.” Doubtless it will come to that, but there is still an absence of a solution to keeping St. Gerard here if the contingent in Georgia is able to raise the funds needed.
Images from The Hydraulics, courtesy of Tina Lewandowski.