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Community steps up to save First Presbyterian Church

The Board of Directors of One Symphony Circle, Inc (OSC) have announced that two challenge grants have been met, thanks to unwavering community support during recent fundraising initiatives. Altogether, the effort has managed to raise over $90,000 since December, putting the future of the church in a much better place as it sets out to repair, restore and preserve the majestic E.B. Green tower and roof of First Presbyterian Church.

“We issued the challenge and the community generously responded,” stated Ryan Nadbrzuch, OSC Board President.

Back in February, I first wrote about the fundraising efforts that were underway, along with the lofty goals that needed to be reached. While the majority of donations were local, there were also donors as far away as California that stepped up to meet the matching grant goals. A number of donations were also made in memory of First Church Interim Pastor Rev. Dr. Phil Gittings, who passes away just as the funding drive got underway.

First-Pres-Buffalo-NY-1“Our board is both humbled and very encouraged by the support that we have received from individual donors and from the New York Landmarks conservancy and First Church. These funds will go a long way toward helping us to accomplish our mission, especially as we embark on the new phase of engagement and fundraising.”

As we are all fully aware, life without the church’s iconic E.B. Green Tower would not be the same. The tower has come to be a stoic symbol along Richmond Avenue, standing at the foot of Olmsted’s Symphony Circle. In recent years, we have seen the restoration of the circle itself, the reflecting pool at Kleinhans, and the surrounding neighborhood that is now bustling with activity. Moving forward, it will be the tower’s turn to shine upon all that view it as they pass through one of the city’s most architecturally significant historic neighborhoods. 

All told, the entire restoration project (tower and slate roof) will cost approximately $1.4 million. There is a strategy in place to reach that goal.

The launch pad, if you will, is now in place thanks to the initial injection of funds. Next step toward this launch is an OSC stakeholder breakfast series called “Breakfast with Tiffanys” that will begin in June. Then, a Tower Garden Party will be held to benefit OSC – planned for Sunday, July 30, 2016, following the Garden Walk. Finally, a capital campaign will be orchestrated in the fall. All of these funding efforts will ultimately allow this architectural masterpiece to rocket forward, away from the hardships that have befallen it in recent years.

Photos: Barbara O’Neill


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, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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