Church of the Transfiguration (Buffalo)
Located in Buffalo, NY
Photo © 2006 Tom Kirsch, opacity.us
Church of the Transfiguration (Buffalo) History
The Polish immigrant population in Buffalo was steadily increasing in 1890, and the existing church of St. Adalbert soon realized that another place of worship was needed in the East Side neighborhood. The bishop granted permission to form a new Polish parish in 1893, under the instruction of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
A wooden church and a schoolhouse was built on the corner of Mills and Sycamore Streets, however both of these structures were replaced within a few years. The new church building that still stands today was constructed in Gothic-revival style at a cost of $76,000 and completed in 1897, and featured an 180-foot tall bell tower. The school building was rebuilt in 1914.
A dwindling number of parishioners led to the decision to close the school building in 1985; the church would eventually be shuttered in 1991 along with three other East Side churches after a vitality study performed by the diocese. The local parish ceased to exist in 1993, and all sacramental registers were transferred to the Diocesan Archives.
A permit to demolish the church was obtained in 1994 by the diocese, but was instead sold to Paul Francis Associates for $7,000 with a promise to restore the building. A $100,000 community block grant was obtained, but only a quarter of the money was allocated to the restoration of the church as money was diverted to other projects. The subsequent owner of the building let the structure deteriorate until 2007, when some repairs were made to the roof and protecting the stained glass.