BUFFALO ALLIANCE FOR SACRED PLACES LAUNCHES TOURISM INITIATIVE
First Presbyterian, Blessed Trinity, Corpus Christi & Buffalo Religious Arts Center Join Statewide Open House
Buffalo, New York – The National Trust Conference, hosted in Buffalo this past October, put our city’s architectural treasury of civic, sacred and residential landmarks “front and center” for a national audience. In the aftermath of this high profile event, a new collaborative, titled the Buffalo Alliance for Sacred Places, has been formed “to promote the preservation and appreciation of the art, architecture and history of Buffalo’s houses of worship.” The member organizations, which began meeting in January, are First Presbyterian Church, Blessed Trinity Church, Corpus Christi Church and the Buffalo Religious Arts Center.
The group has chosen to participate in The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Open House Weekend on May 19-20 as their first collaborative initiative. These sacred sites join dozens of religious institutions throughout New York State in welcoming the public to special programming during this unique event, as follows:
Blessed Trinity Church – 317 Leroy Ave., Buffalo
Church Tours Link Preservation of Faith and Art
Saturday, May 19, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, from 12:00 noon – 2:00p.m.
Members of the local arts community are particularly welcome, and invitations have been sent to neighboring art and photography studios.
Blessed Trinity is recognized as the purest replication of Lombard-Romanesque architecture in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The extensive use of terra cotta in its construction (1923-1928) provided for one of its most unique features: an elaborate display of medieval iconography created by Rev. Thomas Plassman, then President of St. Bonaventure University. The church contains more than two thousand symbols which depict this “summa” or summary of Christian beliefs in ceramic tiles, paintings and sculpture, and docents will be available to help interpret them.
Buffalo Religious Arts Center – 157 East St., Buffalo
Saturday May 19 & Sunday May 20 – noon – 3:00p.m.
The Buffalo Religious Arts Center is located in the former St. Francis Xavier Church, in the heart of historic Black Rock. This unique gallery is dedicated to the preservation of Buffalo’s rich religious heritage through the collection and display of art and artifacts from many of the area’s closed houses of worship. The artifacts on display include stained glass, statuary and paintings, all of which reveal the story of the many immigrants who settled in Buffalo. As an added attraction the Center’s Herman Schlicker organ, cited by Organ Historical Society, will be featured in concert the two days.
Corpus Christi Church – 199 Clark St., Buffalo
“Meet the Authors” reception & booksigning
Saturday, May 19 – 1:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.
Sophie Knab – Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore
Deacon Michael P. McKeating – O Timothy!
Gregory L. Witul – Adorned In Light: The Stained Glass of Corpus Christi Church, Buffalo, NY
Edward Zawadzki – The Poles in the New World
Corpus Christi Church is located on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and was honored in 2010 with a Preservation Buffalo Niagara Preservation Award. The iconic mural above the church altar, considered one of the most significant pieces of ecclesiastical artwork in the United States, was recently restored to its original splendor. This exquisite artwork is a rendering of a Vatican masterpiece by celebrated, Renaissance painter Raphael Santi. The mural was originally painted in the 1920’s by Marion Rzeznik and Gonippo Raggi, both of whom are considered premier, 20th century artists of ecclesiastical paintings.
First Presbyterian Church – One Symphony Circle, Buffalo
New York American Choral Directors Association’s
Western New York Invitational Choral Fest
Saturday May 19 – 7:30p.m.
Jubilee Worship and catered reception in honor
of First Presbyterian Church’s Bicentennial
Sunday May 20 – Celebratory Service – 11:00 AM,
followed by a gala reception and fellowship
First Presbyterian Church, a Buffalo city landmark, was the first faith community in Buffalo. Founded in 1812, it is often referred to as the “Mother of All Churches.” Even Teddy Roosevelt worshipped here! The Romanesque church was designed by Buffalo architects Green and Wicks. Notable features include the main dome, towering 64 ft. above the floor of the nave, decorated in a Persian design. The apse features four medallions depicting the Four Evangelists, adapted from carvings on the doors of St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy, while the chandeliers are copies of those in Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Since 1986 The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program has supported more than 675 religious institutions throughout the state which have received over $7.3 million in matching grants. Sacred Sites is the country’s oldest and largest statewide grant program to help landmark religious properties. Corpus Christi, Blessed Trinity, First Presbyterian and the Buffalo Religious Arts Center have all received matching grants from the Sacred Sites program.
For additional information on the Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, contact Ann Friedman, Director, Sacred Sites at the New York Landmarks Conservancy at 212/995-5260 or visit http://tinyurl.com/SSOpenHouse.