Let’s get to work on St. Ann Church
Recent letters regarding St. Ann Catholic Church, and its possible demolition, have expressed various viewpoints. One stated that European churches are maintained and preserved as national treasures. Another stated that a large, ornate building is not needed to contact God. These views differ, but are not necessarily diametric opposites.
It is undoubtedly true that the Buffalo Diocese and its treasury seem to prefer that worship be exercised in more manageable, smaller buildings that accommodate current congregations, while still generating financial support sufficient to maintain diocesan projects.
What the diocese and “smaller, affordable” advocates seem to forget is that St. Ann is a one-of-a-kind building in Western New York. It is considered the most European-looking Gothic church in Buffalo, and except for location has even been suggested as a candidate for the Diocesan Cathedral that is architecturally superior to the present one. While some buildings advocated as preservation projects have been vacant or in disrepair for decades, St. Ann is not in that state of disrepair, despite the engineering firm’s high estimate. If a current or new owner begins work very soon, the building can be stabilized to prevent further deterioration. All needed work could take years to accomplish, thus the cost can be spread over time. Let’s get busy.