Journey to Avoid Housing Court...Part 3

Front page of today's Buffalo News Trying to More with Less. Based on the church flipping scandal of the 90's when the Buffalo Diocese closed the first round of churches and left many neighborhoods with rotting gothic hulks of brick and stone, why shouldn't we be expecting more of the same. I mean, is hope really a plan?

Frequent readers of this blog have been following the story here in, Annals of Neglect, which is an attempt to document the various problems neighborhoods are facing as a result of the church closings. Catholic complexes used to dot the City's East side, now many of them sit abandonded, boarded, derelict and mostly vacant.

Yesterday, a frequent reader of my blog and Chicago based architect David Steele wrote A Peek at Heaven and Possible Hell over at Buffalo Rising.
79 Oakland Place
79 Oakland Place
Meanwhile the Bishop has no plans to sell the property at 79 Oakland. And yes there is still an outstanding housing court warrant out for Pauline Nowak, the mother of local attorney William Trezevant the presumptive owner of the former Transfiguration Church.
Transfiguration Church - Interior
Transfiguration Church, 2004

From today's Buffalo News.

Diane Dryja, a member of St. Gerard parishfor decades, doesn't want to see a repeat of Transfiguration Church,which the diocese closed in 1993 and sold. The church sits at the corner of Sycamore and Mills streets, idle and crumbling. "To see it standing there the way it is now, is heartbreaking," Dryjasaid. "That reflects on us being Catholics, Christians. We want to makesure the neighborhood doesn't deteriorate because of one of ourbuildings."

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


fixBuffalo said...


Blame? I prefer to think of it as an abdication of responsible ownership. Here the Buffalo Diocese fails to properly maintain their buildings, closes them and in the past sells them to un-qualified buyers.

Transfiguration and the Orphan Home on Dodge St along with Sacred Heart on Emslie street come to mind. The Immaculate Conception, on Elmwood Ave is now closed and the Bishop sited the fact recently that it was structurally unsound and in need of 800K of rehab. Hmmm...no inspection, no housing court for the Bishop...

I was raised in the 'burbs and now live on the City's east side. Here, my task is to raise awareness of various issues surrounding the systemic abandonment and neglect of the City's east side. I routinely profile positive investment opportunities and often lead neighborhood investment tours.

As far as your question regarding starting a seminary...hmmm..I'm sure some lay people would be interested when the issues surrounding the Bishop's CASTLE on OAKLAND are resolved and he leads a life by example. Perhaps moving into an abandoned East Side rectory and by example attracting suburban catholics to the 'hood would be a good start.


fixBuffalo said...


Thanks for the recent historical perspective especially your points 1-3.

I imagine you've already seen Mary Kunz Goldman's piece in yesterday's BN. I've linked to it in a recent post "Pew News"...hard hitting.

I wonder how many suburban and rural Polish and German folks would return to the City if the Bishop encouraged the adoption program the Mary outlines.

I think I'm the only ethnically German "settler" in Cold Springs in the last 10 years.

If you know of any recent histories or studies of Polish and German late 20th C migration from central city areas to the burbs, please let me know.

Thanks for visiting as often as you do.



fixBuffalo said...


I appreciate your interest in the subject and willingness to share your information with readers, here.

Much of my critique about the diocesan plans to close has to be seen with in a context of the same diocese building new "McChurchs"...I wonder why this is being done.

As you know on Northampton street, behind the long abandoned German Roman Catholic Orphan Home, is the new diocesan McPoor. Really bad looking place, that mocks the real integrity of the surrounding campus.

I haven't been over to Hickory and Eagle recently, yet the same sort of thing is morphing into another McChurch. This development again, within a stones through of crumbling church structures.

Please understand that I am not expecting Bishop Kmiec to move to the City's east side. I'm simply illustrating how one place can be maintained no matter what the expense when others are crumbling.

Looking at the deed for the Transfiguration sale in 1995 a number of restrictions were placed on the sale by the Dioscese. They are now not enforced. Do you know why? Let me know,