11/10/2010

St. Gerard's Fate - Update

The following story about St. Gerard's Church appeared on ABC News this past Sunday.   Built in 1911, this iconic neighborhood heritage structure is modeled after the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and is located at the corner of Bailey and East Delevan on Buffalo's East Side (google map).


Rev. David Dye and his congregation plan to move St. Gerard's to Norcross, GA.  They've included a catalog of naming opportunities on their site to help raise the $16.5m necessary for the demolition/move/re-building of one of Buffalo's architectural treasurers.  With increased national exposure and Buffalo's largest preservation organization - PBN's statement about St. Gerard's - signing off on the plan, the suburban Atlanta congregation may get their way.

The text of ABC's Sunday story is available here.

See - The Plundering of Buffalo with links to additional pics and writing about St. Gerard's including last February's USA Today article about moving St. Gerard's to suburban Atlanta.

Update - here's the full text of the Common Council resolution - sponsored by Buffalo Common Council President David Franczyk - designed to stop the plundering of the city's architectural resources.  The resolution was adopted by the Common Council and is currently being conformed into law by the City's Law Department.  According to Council staff it is expected to become law by year's end.  
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

LETIT GO ALREADY...EMPTY POCKET WANNA BE PRESERVATIONISTS WOULD RATHER SEE IT ROT IN FRONT OF THEIR VERY EYES,IN A NEIGHBORHOOD NO ONE WANTS TO LIVE IN, THAN SEE IT MOVED,REBUILT AND MAINTAINED , PUT TO GOOD USE BY A CONGREGATION THAT HAS THE RESOURCES AND DESIRE TO TRULY APPRECIATE IT. THIS IS WHY BUFFALO...WILL ALWAYS BE 2ND CLASS!!

jafafahots said...

Anon is right. Why have this ugly unused building sitting there when we can have yet another parking lot or muddy vacant patch of weeds?

Or a Delta Sonic!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Atlanta parishioners have already chimed in.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the only functional use of this vacant corner, based on the demographics, income per household in this neighborhood, would be a KFC restaurant, or a HEAP office.
The once faithful parishoners, and even the Bishop could see the writing on the wall....but the empty pocketted do gooders in Buffalo seem to know more and have a vision...perhaps a museum?
YES...Ican see it now, people standing in line around the corner to see what their tax dollars supported?...as as everyone knows, those who have the outspoken...dont have the resources...as usual!

Dan said...

Franczyk's resolution is snotty and bitter, beside being semi-literate, but that also describes Franczyk himself. I wish him luck, as he tries to force his will on the Church. Perhaps the Bishop will be threatened with jail, when pieces of this building start falling off.

Jackie said...

Personally I am torn with this subject. For one they are saving an old great building. However shouldn't the church being doing something better with their money for their community.

With the hundreds of abandoned buildings in the area, how do we choose what to save and where to focus our efforts on.

Aaron said...

So let me get this straight:
A viable comminity is willing to take St. Gerards, and turn it back into a viable, beautiful place of worship as it was intended to be. And David Franczyk would rather let it sit here and rot, like a number of other Buffalo churches, so it can be condemned in 10 years due to neglect? Has he looked at Transfiguration, St Matthew's, Lourdes on Main St, etc? Does he realize that the lovely corner of Bailey and East Delevan isn't exactly conducive to someone coming in and spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to refurbish the structure?
PLEASE let this building go, so that it can breathe new life. I would hate to see further deterioration of this beautiful building.
David Franczyk is going to drive me absolutely nuts. If he stops this move from happening, I wouldn't mind pushing for him to foot the bill for refurbishment. Would serve him right.

olcott_beach said...

David,

I think you are one of the most dynamic individuals in Buffalo fighting for a good cause – urban blight but even I think you need to step away from this topic as St Gerard’s only salvation is to be reassembled within a community that will breathe new life into this magnificent building.

I honestly don’t think this will be setting a precedent on plundering Buffalo’s architectural heritage based on the cost of relocating such a huge building.

We already have Transfiguration destroyed and St Mathew’s following in the same footsteps of neglect.

Mark

Library Diva said...

I too am rather surpsied to find myself OK with St. Gerard's moving. I'm sorry it's come to this. But one thing Buffalo has a glut of is neat old abandoned buildings. Churches become vacant because they're costly to maintain and because a large population base with money is required to sustain them. Atlanta has it. We don't. The area can only support so many churches converted to museums, restaurants, community centers, music venues and condos.

I am imagining that St. Gerard's was built through the sacrifices of blue-collar men and women who chose to put that dollar in the collection plate rather than buy something for themselves. Moving it and reusing it is a good way to honor them.

I don't think this will set any sort of precedent. It's a very specific niche of client that would prefer to pay more to move something than to just build exactly what they want new. This is one of the poorest cities in the nation. The needs here are so great. I hope the diocese uses some of the money they receive from the sale to help fill them.