You may have already seen this USA Today story on a suburban Atlanta congregation that wants to purchase a closed Buffalo church, take it apart, ship it to Georgia and rebuild it there.
Some groups say it is a great way to preserve an otherwise vacant and unused structure. (The Diocese closed the church in 2008 because of declining enrollment – an issue many of our cities have faced that we’ve written about on this blog before.) You can see the web site for the parish that wants to bring the church south here. (Take a look- it truly is a beautiful building.)
Others say this Southern parish is pillaging Buffalo’s architectural treasures. The story quotes David Franczyk, president of the Buffalo city council: “Build your own church. We have enough vacant lots.” He compares the idea to Imperialists taking the Elgin marbles from Greece. It could also hurt Buffalo as the city strives to become a destination for those interested in the arts and architecture.
There’s a healthy debate going on at one of our favorite blogs, Buffalo Rising.
Maybe the fact that another community wants this so badly they are willing to pay millions of dollars to move it 900 miles will be a wake-up call to some in Buffalo to find another use for the building and preserve it there.
One thing’s for sure: they don’t build ’em like this anymore!
What do you think?