Council to consider landmark status for St. Ann's church

Nov 1, 2013

The fight to save an East side Catholic church is not over. A city lawmaker is vowing to save the building from demolition.

The Diocese of Buffalo wants to demolish St. Ann's on Broadway because repair estimates total millions of dollars. It closed in 2012.

Rev. Darius Pridgen says he would be arrested before St. Ann's is demolished.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

But Councilman Rev. Darius Pridgen says the church helps rebuild people who have fallen on tough times, so it should do the same for a significant structure as St. Ann's.

"It is my drive, right now, it is my focus to ensure that the wrecking ball never meets with the Ann's church," Pridgen said Friday.

Buffalo Preservation Board Chairman Paul McDonnell says the board will request landmark status for the 127-year-old building on Wednesday. If the Common Council agrees, McDonnell says St. Ann's, which closed in 2012, would be eligible for private and public funding.  

Pridgen said he would go so far as to chain himself to the building and get arrested if the Council fails to act on the request.

The Diocese, in August, said St. Ann's would no longer be used as an active worship church. Repair costs for structure have been pegged between $8 million and $12 million.

Officials held a press conference at the church on Broadway and Emslie late Friday morning to announce the dedication of a Save St. Ann's video in memory of longtime parishioner John Rynn. Rynn died October 21 at the age of 93.