Diocese decides to demolish landmark church

Aug 19, 2013

The end is coming for  St. Ann's Church & Shrine, one of Buffalo's landmark churches. Worn down by age, the structure's fate may have been doomed by poor construction a century-and-a-half ago.

St. Ann's has been a Buffalo landmark on Broadway for over 150 years.
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The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo said design and construction flaws from the beginning have left St. Ann's falling apart. With repair estimates approaching $12 million, Bishop Richard Malone said the building has to go.

"We've had our contractors and our architects come in from different companies and give us an evaluation about it (the repair work)," said Dick Joya, a for St. Ann's student who remains an ardent supporter of keeping the church alive. "We've had appeals in Rome. That's still in limbo somewhere."

Diocesan spokesman Kevin Keenan says the timetable and the cost of demolition aren't yet clear. He says diocesan experts and parishioners from Saints Columba-Brigid Parish will examine sacred articles from the church and make some decisions on where they will go.

Fencing has surrounded St. Ann's since engineers determined the crumbling structure might collapse.
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The bishop says the shrine of St. Ann will be removed and placed in another church.