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Preservation Buffalo Niagara launches 'Save Our Sacred Sites' initiative to protect at-risk churches in Buffalo being closed by Catholic Diocese

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Fri, Jun 14th 2024 12:00 pm

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Press Release

Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) is proud to announce the launch of the "Save Our Sacred Sites" initiative (SOSS) aimed at funding and submitting local landmark applications for churches within the City of Buffalo that are at risk of closure by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

The initiative will focus on two key actions: submitting a local landmark application for each church to the City of Buffalo and submitting a “determination of eligibility” application to SHPO as needed.

Local landmark status provides a layer of protection for these iconic buildings, ensuring that any significant changes are reviewed by the preservation board. The complete research and application can also put the churches in a position to potentially qualify the buildings for critical historic tax incentives needed for future owners and future redevelopment.

Local landmarking is a critical step to saving our churches and we are ready to help make it happen!

We are seeking donations from the community to complete the necessary work for the 14 church buildings that are very vulnerable. Each application costs $2,500 to complete due to application fees and the staff time needed to research and attend four (or more!) community meetings. The donations page is broken out by church to accompany people and groups who love a specific church – just scroll down to see the list.

The campaign details and list of churches within the City of Buffalo and their historic status can be found at https://preservationbuffaloniagara.org/special-projects/saveoursacredsites/ .

PBN will also update and try to provide valuable information on grant funding available to religious institutions. We will also follow up this ambitious landmarking effort with virtual talks related to adaptive reuse, local landmarking, and more for those church groups in need.

If you have a church you are worried about across WNY or have any questions on how to donate or volunteer to help, please email us at [email protected].

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