I have come to many churches not because I am religious, but because they are the best architecture. They were from the tallest buildings of their time, full of fantastic sculptures and stained glass. They are built with great acoustics and size in mind.
Growing up in one of the most beautiful churches in Buffalo (St. Paul’s Church) made me my first lover of church architecture. Everywhere I went, I always scouted and went to amazing churches and temples.
In our city, I was recently saddened to see the condition of the historic historic church on 198 Emsley Street in Buffalo.
The reason I fell on the East Side side was because of the state of the Transfiguration Church at 929 Sikamor – the day before its roof collapsed. The front doors were open and I followed a city overseer and saw a huge ruin. I took these photos on my cell phone and left.
That sad journey made me examine the status of the Church of the Holy Heart. What I saw was a church that might have already been lost without repair. At the same time, some of the original architectural beauty still remains in the church, which has been destroyed with all intentions.
The wide open frame at the back of the church was not sealed, making it easy to enter. The altar area was completely cleared of all bearings and the back wall was sprayed with tags. Dirt and garbage can be seen everywhere.
The wide area of the stained glass window in front has lost much of its glass – broken, although some panels are inaccessible.
Since it was abandoned 12 years ago in 2008, the structure has gone through so much.
Historically, the congregation began in 1876, initially in the Larkinville area of the city, but was eventually purchased. Larkin’s company bought the original church in 1912 for $ 135,000 and then built the current church in 198 Emsley. The congregation worshiped in the new church of 550+ people and even built a hall, a school and a rectory. The church worshiped there until 1988, when the congregation sold the church to a group that later left. In previous years, the parking lot was torn down and the school was forced to collapse from the roof after a snowstorm.
Unfortunately, the city paid $ 160,000 for the demolition of the school. The city tried to spend the church to destroy it, but to no avail. The same group still owns the church and it just sits there and sits there. It’s very sad … if something doesn’t happen soon, the city will definitely look like it’s going to destroy the church at everyone’s expense.