In America. and especially Buffalo, historic well-crafted irreplaceable buildings like the two buildings shown here are no longer valued. They are as useful to us as our trash – they often don’t even rank as high as our household recycle bin. The ugly buildings of homogenized America is what we now value. Buffalo and WNY spends its limited resources expanding the cheap Styrofoam sprawl scape, while removing these great buildings that could have centuries of usefulness if properly managed. These buildings cannot be replaced.
This gorgeous church (still intact) is the former Sacred Heart Church at 198 Elmslie. It has been scheduled for the dump. City Housing Court Judge Patrick Carney recently signed a demo order. This is a very beautiful building. The thought of it being demolished makes me feel sick. Look at the power and beauty of that massive front window. I can’t even let myself think of the steel demolition claw clamping down and crumbling it into dust. The church is reportedly owned Rev. Ronald Kirk and his congregation called the Witness Cathedral of Faith. They currently worship at the former John the Baptist Church at 60 Hertel, another extraordinary Buffalo church. The Sacred Heart Church was purchased by the congregation in 1988 and has been empty since 2008. A year ago its neighboring school building was demolished at the expense of the tax payers of Buffalo to the tune of $160,000 after a portion collapsed in a storm. Great huh? I wonder if the congregation invested anything into the maintenance of its complex of buildings in the decades it has owned them. I wonder if City inspectors ever suggested that perhaps they should investing in basic things like roofs.
David Torke of Fix Buffalo is thankfully back blogging on a more regular basis and he has more on this church and many other East Side heart aches. He has been keeping track of this one for years and also documented the destruction of the school.
The second image is of the Holy Apostles S.S. Peter and Paul School not far from Sacred Heart at 787 Clinton. It is already being torn down. I don’t have the back story on this one. Reports are that it was loaded with wonderful woodwork and details. From the looks of it, the building was in decent condition and nothing is being salvaged. Look at the gorgeous set of front doors. That is garbage to us. Garbage! This is what constitutes waste in America. It is insane and it is shameful! The neighboring structure is a rare wooden Church building in Buffalo. Is it next?
Check out the Preservation Ready Facebook Page for more discussion on these buildings.
Sacred Hart Picture – David Torke | Holy Apostles Images – Christopher Byrd