Today, Buffalo's East Side and St. Gerard's Church are in the national spot light. Here's the USA Today story - NY Church's Move to Georgia: 'Preservation by Relocation'?
Some, such as Preservation Buffalo Niagara, accept the move as a necessary evil; others oppose it as what Tim Tielman, director of the Campaign for Buffalo History, Architecture and Culture, calls "a demolition and salvage operation. They want to harvest our architectural heritage and put it in a box."David Franczyk, president of the Buffalo city council, has a message for the Georgia parish: "Build your own church. We have enough vacant lots."
Two weeks ago a post about St Gerard's - Moving St. Gerard's South - introduced the suburban Atlanta parish's new website. You'll be able to observe their plans for dismantling, moving and reassembling of one of Buffalo's architectural and heritage assets.
Some preservationist groups view the move as justifiable for lack of an alternative — "an odd-duck exception," says Henry McCartney, director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.Others vow to fight. Tielman of the Campaign for Buffalo History says he'll try to have St. Gerard's designated a landmark by the Buffalo Preservation Board (the city's landmarks commission) to delay or block its removal. Among his arguments: The move would leave the neighborhood without its greatest landmark and the city without one of its architectural gems.A tree sprouts from the roof of St. Gerard's bell tower. Inside the church, paint is peeling and plaster is falling. The roof leaks; before the church closed, several sections had to be roped off when it rained. read the rest...
With limited resources, what's a City and civic minded community to do? Two years ago the City's three leading preservation organizations - including the Campaign for Buffalo (Tim Tielman's organization) - commissioned a study about the state of preservation in the City. Here's that story from a post about another threatened heritage property and landmark, 16 Harwood Place.
Consider joining the Campaign for Buffalo and support the landmarking of the City's architectural treasures, before they disappear.
Update - 2/5/10 Buffalo News reporter Jay Tokasz has the following story about St. Gerard's in today's B/N.
Update - 2/6/10 Buffalo Rising has the following story about St. Gerard's.