Lourdes on Main Street - For Sale, again

fixBuffalo readers may remember the auction here at Lourdes - September 2008 - when dozens of people gathered to glimpse and gawk at the devastated interior for the first time since the Catholic Diocese first closed the doors in 1993. Fast forward fifteen months and this amazing architectural gem is now available again.
This view, from the City's Ellicott Street parking ramp shows the missing south facing window. The boards covering the front window opening - no stained glass here - were missing as of yesterday.
Fred Occhino from Hunt Real Estate has recently listed 1115 Main Street at $199K. In a phone conversation yesterday afternoon Fred said the owner may consider holding a mortgage. With the staggering level of investment happening in the Medical Corridor only blocks away with the construction of the Kaleida/UB Global Vascular Institute - $500M - and the City Honors reconstruction - $40M - two blocks east, the future of Lourdes remains uncertain. Between Downtown and Ferry Street Lourdes is one of the last boarded buildings on Main Street, for now.
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Anonymous said...

So sad.

George Thomas Apfel said...

Really really want to see this turned around, I have the history of Lourdes on my website with more photos.  It has a great location going for it....

Mary/Bruce said...

I know where you can pick up a church, convent, and rectory for sale cheap. Interested? Call the Rev. Ronald Kirk.

Nate Neuman said...

What public subsidies are available for this type of project? Naturally, a combination of incentives would be required for an adaptive reuse of this church. Are incentives tied to use?

George Thomas Apfel said...

This Block
 from Chuck LaChiusa's Buffalo Architecture and History website has recommendations for the area: "Reconnecting Old Best Street to Best Street, rename to Lourdes Lane.  Reconnecting it to Best Street as a secondary one-way connection from Main Street, Curve the new Lourdes
Lane around to meet Best Street in a 90 degree angle, opening new lots up for redevelopment. (this change would result in traffic calming on Best Street because of the new midblock connection and additional onstreet parking)" The church is a clear-span structure so it has many possibilities for reuse.

Kevin said...

I noticed the building was back up for sale at an incredulous 199K when I was reviewing property potential for a business venture I am about to engage in. It seems immoral that the owner can ask for that much money considering he/she has devalued the property and left it in shambles for the next occupant. The auction couldn't get a buyer at more than 25K, the starting call was for 100K, and now the owner wants 200K because people are investing in the area and he knows he has one of the few properties left that are unaccounted for. This hints of gentrification in NYC in the 80s-90s. Pricing the building out of the reach of the local, start up consumer, yet low enough to entice wealthier developers. It is as if the owner is begging for the structure to be knocked down, as refurbishing costs, as witnessed from photos, would seem to exhaust most capital improvement budgets.

What power do we, as the Buffalo community, have of rescuing this iconic landmark on Main Street, and wrestling this building away from the owner to preserve this building as an adaptive reuse space to preserve some of the character of the neighborhood in the face of the newly developed/funded UB2020 medical campus initiatives? I know as a potential buyer of spaces like this in the community, I can't imagine paying anything over 100K (if that), as the assessed value is only around 135K and the building is in desperate need of a new roof, extensive window work, and either plaster or drywall work just to make it presentable as a blank slate in which to think about doing business.

I am interested in saving this property, and would be happy to work in concert with anyone else who felt the same way.

Margaret said...

I don't have any other pictures of the Church. Sorry.
Margaret Kane

Moving Company said...

Yes Kevin . You are right I also think that building was back up for sale at an incredulous 199K. And It seems immoral that the owner can ask for that much money considering he/she has devalued the property and left it in shambles for the next occupant.

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