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Big Reveal: Apartments at the Lyceum

Community Services for Every 1(CSE 1) is proposing to covert the former St. John Kanty Lyceum at 97 Swinburne Street into apartments. Thirty-seven apartments will fill the historic school and community center under plans drawn up by Carmina Wood Morris.

CSE 1 is seeking a variance for a proposed parking lot along Swinburne Street. Ten vacant lots would be combined to create parking for 48 cars along with green space and a playground. The landscaped green space will provide a buffer between the single-family homes on Brownell as well as to Swinburne Street.

The building will contain 26 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units along with community services space for CSE 1.

Building history from the St. John Kanty website:

By 1927 Fr. Garstka, who served as Pastor from 1910-1941, was pressed for the need of a new school auditorium. The school basement could only accommodate 300 people and was already condemned by the Fire Authority as unsafe, since it lacked proper exits and ventilation. After three years of deliberation, Fr. Garstka chose J. Zakrzewski & Son to construct a new Lyceum Building. Eight parcels of land (including homes) were purchased at a cost of $53,000. Bishop William Turner granted a loan of $350,000 for construction.

Groundbreaking for the new Lyceum took place on June 30, 1930. Envisioned as a center for the moral, physical and spiritual development of the community, Bishop William Turner laid the cornerstone of the Lyceum on September 29, 1930. The main hall could hold 2000 people for concerts, movies, dances, plays and meetings. Equipped with the latest sound and lighting equipment, the movie sound projector was on par with downtown theaters. The Lyceum also housed two classrooms for 8th grade, six bowling alleys, club rooms, meeting rooms and a gymnasium. On September 13, 1933 the Lyceum was finished and officially dedicated by Rev. Msgr. Francis Kasprzak. During the depression years the Lyceum served over 1200 students through a Federal Grant for an adult education program.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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