10/29/2005

Dodge Street...'Demolition by Neglect'

The future famous ruins of Buffalo may one day include this place at 564 Dodge Street near North Parade. Here's the map and cool satellite pic. You'll quickly notice the proximity of the Olmsted Park system to the German Roman Catholic Orphan Home and today's ever growing and increasingly larger "urban pairie" here in on the City's East-Side.
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On Wednesday I had the unexpected opportunity to tour the property with my "urbex" partner and tag along with the maintenance guy. He took some boards off and allowed the current owner's - Community Action Organization - real estate apprasier to study the structures and determine whether the property has any current economic value. The timing was perfect. The rain had stopped and my "urbex" partner and I were coincidentlly in the right place at the right time.

I've gathered the best pics and arranged them in two differnent slide shows.
DSCN2214 Buffalo's Old Orphan Home
I've placed this complex of buildings on a tour that I will be leading with the full support of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County next summer. Meanwhile check out the links below and especially this site for some of the early history and remembrances of this place. The pictures below are taken from that site.
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I first started writing about the former German Roman Catholic Orphan Home back in January. Here, I sited a positive move by a local congregation and used the GRCO as an example of piss-poor diocesan planning. Bishop Kmiec of course is planning to slam the door closed on a number of additional Catholic Church properties here in the City very soon - see, Journey to Avoid Housing Court - as he continues to live in the most expensive, highest assessed residential structure, in the City of Buffalo.

Again, here's the Bishop's residence at 79 Oakland Place.
DSCN1630

Transfiguration Church - Interior Buffalo's Old Orphan Home
While Bishop Kmiec continues to reside at 79 Oakland Place, in the most expensive (highest assesment) residence in the City of Buffalo, it's helpful to remember what happens to former Catholic Church property when it's "flipped" to unsuspecting and irresponsible owners on Buffalo's east-side.
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Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

6 comments:

Jim Online said...

I wonder where will the displaced residents go. Perhaps the government has already alloted a place for the people to move. If there are none, then the demolition should be postponed.

Anonymous said...

I see this post was made last year but you mention doing a tour this summer with 564 Dodge Street. Do you have any more information on this tour; date, etc?

Thanks,
Meagan

fix buffalo said...

M,

check out one of my newest posts for details. It's also a link in my new template...

Anonymous said...

It makes me ashamed to be Catholic the way the Diocese is treating its responsibilities to the community.

Yes, people have a responsibility to go to church and to tithe but even with the loss of population and attendence and wealth, these buildings could be sealed from the elements or partnered with other churches/groups or redeveloped as libraries or a number of other uses instead of just being flipped and abandoned covertly and secretly.

How can the church expect to set a moral, ethical, values oriented and leaderhips position in the community when their actions demonstrate so much to the contrary.

Shame on you Buffalo Diocese!
Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

Just a question, is the diocese paying taxes on these abandoned properties? If not why are they not forced to sell them so the city could possibly receive some monies to compensate for the patroling and monitoring these eyesores require?

fix buffalo said...

good question. There is a religous exemption at work here. Not only for property taxes but for housing court, too. Immune. Period.

That said there are some smaller religious organizations that are taken to Housing Court on a regular basis...this one right here God's Holy Temple appears to be in housing court. Google search my site for "Sattler" theatre and you'll find out more.

Last point. Re fees for empty churches. I understand there are some jurisdictions that impose a user fee if the building is vacant for more than 6 months.