No Plans to Sell 79 Oakland Place

While many eyes were focused on the findings of the BRAC Commission last week as it related to the future fate of the Niagara Falls Airforce Base, another re-alignment commission held it's first meeting in East Aurora, NY.

Today's BN article...
"Journey to Avoid Housing Court" Part I

Bishop Kmiec was leading a “grass roots” commission composed of 24 selected and I presume highly influential people towards the eventual downsizing of the Buffalo Diocese’s real-estate portfolio. If past experience is to be our guide...brace yourself Buffalo…we are in for a whole new round of “demolition by neglect.”


Transfiguration Church - Interior Buffalo's Old Orphan Home

While Bishop Kmiec continues to reside at 79 Oakland Place, in the most expensive (highest assesment) residence in the City of Buffalo, it's helpful to remember what happens to former Catholic Church property when it's "flipped" to unsuspecting and irresponsible owners on Buffalo's east-side.

We’ve experienced this before here in Buffalo. Recently Bishop Kmiec closed the doors of the Immaculate Conception (Elmwood and Edward) last month and two years ago Bishop Manzell closed Turner-Carroll High School on the city's east-side. Both buildings now sit abandoned and empty.

Years ago the entire campus – school, rectory, convent and church – known as the Transfiguration Church (above left) was abandoned just like the German Roman Catholic Orphan Home on Dodge Street (above right). I don’t know which Bishop initiated that “journey to avoid housing court” yet as I've said, if past experience offers any indication of future performance we know two things are going to happen. One, Bishop Kmiec will abandon and close additional buildings on Buffalo’s east-side. And two…No one will hold him accountable for the maintenance of these buildings. Bishop Kmiec will get a “free-pass” and never end up in Judge Nowak’s Housing Court.

If you haven’t seen the video of Discovery Channel’s recent “urbex” venture (couresty of BuffaloRising and WNYmedia.net) in the Transfiguration Church it’s totally worth seeing. It totally reminds me of pics my Serb and Croat friends used to show me of war torn Sarajevo…three miles from Elmwood. In that short 8 minute video, one of the “urban explorers” climbs the steeple, discovers the bells of Transfiguration are still there and rings them. He claims that because the bells are still in place the building hasn’t been “de-commissioned” and is therefore still a catholic church.

Not being catholic, I’d really never thought about the this...if anyone could verify this sort of claim…I think it would be sort of cool. Ok. I’m just trying to figure out how to make sure the place doesn’t collapse under Katrina’s wrath or this winter’s snow. And if the place is still a catholic church…perhaps Bishop Kmiec might be able to sell his residence on Oakland Place…move to any of the diocese’s abandoned rectories…and use the proceeds to repair the place…just wondering.

Look for "Journey to Avoid Housing Court" Part II from the Buffalo News on Monday.


I’ll be tracking this "journey through faith and grace" and compare how other Catholic dioceses across the country deal with down-sizing, “demolition by neglect” and housing court. I’ll call this archive…

Annals of Neglect

Related Posts: Flipping Churches & Flickr Slide Show: Former Catholic Orphan Home. Flickr Slide Show:Demolition by Neglect Meets Urbex -- all about the Transfiguration Church. "Falling Down" about other former church property.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Bishops whole goal is to become Cardinal Kimiec and go to the Vatican. He doesn't care about us, we are a stepping stone for him to wipe his feet on to impress the pope.