Mon November 4, 2013
Effort building to save St. Ann's
City lawmakers will be asked to approve an important step towards saving a 127-year-old East Side church this week. The Buffalo Preservation Board is seeking landmark status for St. Ann's Catholic Church.
Approval by the Common Council could help stop the Diocese of Buffalo from following through on plans to demolish the old church at Broadway and Emslie.
The Diocese says St. Ann's needs repairs costing upwards of $12 million.
The church was closed in 2012, but Preservation Board Chairman Paul McDonnell says he recently took a tour.
"I think we had about 3 inches of rain that day. It was one of the rainiest days we've had all season," McDonnell said.
"Sometimes you expect the worst when you hear all these reports. And I'm walking around with my camera, all the lights are on, the church is beautiful. And I didn't see any water coming in the building. It was amazing...that it was in such good shape."
For a building to make the landmark list there are nine criteria, but McDonnell says it only has to meet one.
"I mean without anyone saying it's a landmark. Without any type of governmental acknowledgment, it is a landmark."
By getting placed on the official list, he says, St. Ann's will be eligible for public and private funding.
"We can save this church. This church is not in danger of falling. I work with old buildings all the time," McDonnell said.
"This building can be made totally suitable for the next hundred years with the money they're talking about."
McDonnell says people trying to Save St. Ann's have quote "the utmost support from the preservation board."
The landmark nomination goes to the Council Wednesday.