City for Sale - Part III

According to City records the congregation known as Witness Cathedral purchased Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and three adjacent religious buildings in 1988. Twenty years later the property - sans school, see the devastating demolition from last February - is now on the City's auction block.
The three buildings, situated on a one acre lot, include the church building, the priest's residence - immediately behind the church - and convent, both of which front on Watson Street. The Larkin Company's expansion nearby in the Hydraulics led to the construction of this complex in 1913 when the company needed a parking lot. The local Diocese sold this space in 1977 to a Ukrainian congregation. They reportedly struggled with the complex after a neighborhood propane explosion in 1983 blew out the stained glass windows. The current owners, according to neighbors, abandoned the church in 2007 and are currently mired in what appears to be an eight year long housing court case, according to city records.
While the Church building appears intact and structurally sound there were a couple dozen slate shingles in the alley between the church and an adjacent city owned house yesterday afternoon. Interior pictures over the years have been impossible to get. These two other buildings appear to have a few small roof openings, yet appear rather sound.
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click image to enlarge
Here's the post and complete listing for next week's annual tax sale - City Sale Part I. The spreadsheet and database are user friendly. If you're interested in other religious and heritage properties on this year's list, make sure to check out City For Sale Part II for another amazing live/work possibility.

Check back next week for some auction follow-up and for tomorrow's post - the last of three heritage properties will be profiled that will be available at next week's tax auction.
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olcott_beach said...

I realize that location is everything but I am currently working in Medina and, since I am probably going to be employed in the area for awhile, I decided to join the local YMCA.

The “gym” is in the former Medina Armory which was constructed of, you guessed it, Medina Sandstone in 1901 – a total fortress.

Awesome building.

And, trust me, the YMCA has placed very little money into this complex but the square footage is ideal for exercise equipment, palate, and, where the mobile armory equipment was once stored, is now the basketball courts which also double for volleyball.

Adaptive reuse in Medina, NY – go figure.

Anonymous said...

GREAT PICS! I wonder what shape the interiors are in.perhaps the inspections dept would have some answers...Michele j

Anonymous said...

Someone is living (squatting) in one of the buildings. The church is being used as some sort of storage facility. There is a YMCA right down the street from this complex at the corner of William and Emslie Streets. I don't think the Y will be expanding.

Mary/Bruce said...

It cost taxpayers thousands of dollars to tear down the school building. It will cost many more thousands to demolish the church, rectory, and convent. "The Church" took the money of the parishioners when they were alive, why is it not responsible when they are dead. Just like a strip mall, here today gone tomorrow. If adoptive re-use is not feasible, "The Church" ought to do the right thing and pony up the dough for demolition!

Bruce Beyer

Anonymous said...

Re-comment here:

I keep thinking of the reuse of religious buildings and kept meaning to send you links to see what has been done in Pittsburgh. So here are some examples:


James Center

Great Hall

Gregory Patterson-Tanski

Anonymous said...

Also in Pittsburgh is "the church brew works" a microbrewery and restaurant. Old churches converted to bars and restaurants would do amazingly well in buffalo!