Transfiguration, again...

Thinking about Transfiguration this weekend and located the picture on the left Sunday evening. It appears to be from the mid 1940's - the height of Catholic Buffalo that I wrote about recently here - Dalai me this...
transbuf Transfiguration Church
click image to enlarge
Chuck LaChiusa's Buffalo as an Architectural Museum has a link to Transfiguration Church, documenting photographically some of the amazing architechtural detail - here. He also links to a brief history of the church and parish development written by Joseph Napora. The Polish Geneological Society of NYS has another history of the church.

Urbaneyes and others have reminded me of lower level green style re-development for places such as Transfiguration. Here, Christ Church Greyfriar in London - once destroyed during the Blitz in 1940 - remains standing, in part as a City park and part private residence. The other bombed out church, still standing in Europe on one of my favorite streets, the Ku'damm, is Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It was built during the same time as Transfiguration and destroyed in 1943. And considering Transfiguration's bombed out apocalyptic interior, we just might have two possible models, in lieu of complete demolition.
Christ Church Greyfriar
Local ecclesiastical artist Joseph Mazur (1897-1970) is responsible for the creation of the murals that are now literally falling off the church's walls. Sean Galbraith from Toronto captured the condition of these murals recently with this photograph. Mazur is also responsible for a more secular piece - the Chopin Monument which was on the grounds of the Buffalo Museum of Science until it was removed from the East Side and to its current home in Kleinhan's Circle on Richmond Avenue.

For additional back ground about issues raised here make sure to check out comments in my Journey to Avoid Housing Court - Part 3 from February 2006 and in David Steele's February 27, 2006 BuffaloRising post, A Peek at Heaven and Possibly Hell.

It's only going to get worse in the months ahead for buildings such as Transfiguration. It's going to be pushed further to the back burner as Bishop Kmiec prepares to close additional architectural treasures, mostly on the City's East Side.

Spent considerable time this weekend with two of Buffalo's finest video and film people on the inside...check back soon. Breathtaking...(possible soundtracks include Mahler's 2nd, this - sort of apropos, no? - or maybe even recently found, Rufus... ;)
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faqmy flickr
buffalo olmsted parks conservancy


MJ said...


Apparently in these modern times, he would move out to the burbs (or to the most expensive residence in Bufflo)and support the closing down of churchs around the poor and transportation challenged. The same ones that were most likely built by some of the hands of past craftsman parishoners. He would then open or expand new ones in more prosperous areas where those without transportaion challenges already have to commute to thier church anyways since it most likey is located in a buisness park or some other non-neighborhood environment where it is sheltered from the aforementioned poor.

And some people wonder why I can't get on board with the Catholic church...I've had a "letter to the editor" on such topic brewing in me for a long time. How many people do you think I could piss off? =)

london said...


gabe said...

The sad state of condition of Transfig speaks voulmes about our culture.

We are a people who will spend more than we make acquiring overpowered (and overweight) cars, endless piles of marginally useful techo-gizmos, and mountains of slave produced crap from china, yet don't give a shit about putting any resources into building and maintaining a quality built environment.

I call this phonomenon "box culture", an insidious disease that places convenience, anti-social values, immediate sensory gratification, and general apathy to anything that happens outside one's personal bubble (i.e. home, car, nuclear family, ect.)over just about everything else.

fix buffalo said...


Local religious leadership should lead by example. Just learned that the Society of Friends - Quakers - have sold their place of worship on Parade for a spot on Delaware. Post about that soon, too.


love to play bingo. Great game over on Amherst St!


Be my guest. Something brewing over on BRO about this one? Want to get the video to a wider audience. Down?

BuffaloRox said...

Fix Buffalo,

Transfiguration is a crying shame no doubt. Your highlighting it causes your readers to become emotionally vested in it. It is no longer just another abandoned building. It is a place that Buffalo immigrants built with their hard earned sweat & money. It becomes a modern equivalent of the Larkin Company Building - reminding people not to allow Buffalo's treasures to get thoughtlessly swept away.

Although being fixed up would be preferrable, I love the idea of turning Transfiguration into a park a la Christ Church Greyfriar. Great idea. Perhaps the reduced demo costs would make this idea more palatable to the City.

fix buffalo said...


Agree. Well said.

Look for a "Transfiguration Pic of the Day" post, soon.

aa said...

sorry for the delay, but i just posted some of my pictures of the bombed out coventry cathedral from last summer. sixty years later, it's still a magnificent place.

fix buffalo said...


thanks for this link... very cool looking church in Coventry, England.