St. Ann's church given respite from wrecking ball

Aug 29, 2013

St. Ann's, the 125-year-old Gothic-style Roman Catholic church located on Broadway, east of downtown Buffalo, is getting a second look.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara has convinced the Diocese of Buffalo to try one last time to find a developer to take over the massive complex. The group's executive director, Tom Yots, says a formal timeline has not been established, but he admits the clock is ticking.

Credit File photo

"We will take as much time as we need but do it as efficiently as possible and the diocese has agreed to work with us on this," Yots said.

The diocese recently announced it would demolish the church complex because of the high cost of repairs. Spokesman Kevin Keenan says while a committee is being formed to help find a buyer for the property, the site will no longer be used by the church.

"The days of St. Ann's being an active worship site are now behind it. There will not be any more masses at the site and if it does get resold, one of the stipulations is that it would not be able to be used as a Catholic church at any time in the future," Keenan said.

While preservationists are optimistic a developer can be found, everyone admits it won't be easy. Repair costs for structure have been pegged between $8 and $12 million.