Polish-American History in Buffalo - Index

Dom Polski / Polish Community Center / Matt Urban Hope Center  

1081 Broadway near Sears St., Buffalo, NY

Urban Center - Official Website (online June 2022)




Wladyslaw Zawadzki

Original name:

Dom Polski (Polish Home)

Original function:

Civic center

Home of the Polish Cultural Center:

Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Service Center of WNY:
Status: Contributing building in the Local  Broadway-Fillmore Historic District

On this page below:


Joseph C. Mazur Gallery


Dom Polski History

Lt. Col. Matt Urban

Urban Center posters

See also:

Broadway-Fillmore, Buffalo, NY Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey

June 27, 2022 photos


Romanesque Revival style

Dentil molding             Gibbs surround using header and stretcher brick bond

Voussoirs in round Romanesque arches            Corinthian capital

Gibbs surround                      Stone sills

“Dom Polski":  Polish Home


W. H. Zawadzki, architect

Next door children’s playground

Joseph C. Mazur Gallery

Joseph C. Mazur


Movie screen in the stage

Stage surround                 Cornice supported by modillions                  Dentil molding               Frieze decorated with applied ribbons and bellflowers             Paired Corinthian columns              Movie screen in the stage                         Details below:

Stage surround             Modillions

Stage surround                   Modillions.                    Dentil molding                  Ribbons and bellflowers

Stage surround                Paired Corinthian columns

Balcony                      Detail below:

Balcony paneled front 

Auditorium entrance                

Entrance surround                  Paired Ionic columns

Entrance surround                  Paired Ionic columns

Dom Polski History

Source: Polonia Trail (online June 2022)

Dom Polski History 

Dom Polski building at 1081 Broadway (1905-1906, W. H. Zawadzki, architect) is significant as an excellent example of a Renaissance-style institutional building constructed in the early twentieth century in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. Designed by W. H. Zawadzki, the building was originally constructed as the Dom Polski (Polish Home), a secular organization not associated with the church.

It is also historically significant for its association with the local Polish community. A central gathering place, this fireproof brick building had rental space and a restaurant on the first floor, offices and meeting rooms on the second floor, and banquet hall and auditorium with stage on the third floor. Here countless wedding receptions, banquets, dances, plays, and political events took place.

Many local community groups were headquartered here over the years, including the Polish Mutual Aid Society, the Polish Businessmen’s Association, Polish Savings and Loan, and several Polish singing societies; 48 Polish organizations where housed here in 1932.

Title to the building passed to the city in the 1970s, and was renovated as the Polish Community Center; it is now the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center, and was recently restored.

- Broadway-Fillmore, Buffalo, NY Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey


Lt. Col. Matt Urban

On November 11, 2000, the Polish Community Center of Buffalo was renamed in honor of Lt. Col. Matt Urban. Lt. Col. Urban was arguably the most highly decorated soldier in American History. He grew up at 1153 Broadway, steps from the Polish Community Center. In his youth he participated in the Center’s social activities and the traditions of the Broadway Fillmore Polonia neighborhood. The Center is proud to bear the name of a true American Hero.

A plaque hangs in the Center’s hallway as a reminder of this remarkable American Soldier’s achievements.  It reads:

Lt. Col. Matt Urban was born on August 25, 1919 in Buffalo of Polish immigrants and raised at 1153 Broadway and attended School #57. He entered the U.S. Army in 1941, serving as a Captain with the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in France during World War II.

He received 28 decorations, including the Silver Star (1 OLC), Bronze Star (2OLC) with “V” device, Purple Heart (6 OLC) and NYS Conspicuous Cross with 4 Silver and 1 Gold Clusters. In 1980, the U.S. Congress awarded Lt. Col. Urban the nation’s highest award for valor, the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. President Jimmy Carter described Lt. Col. Urban as the “Greatest Soldier in American History”. Lt. Col. Urban was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in March 1995.


Special thanks to Ben Hilligas, Executive Director of the Matt Urban Center, for his cooperation and assistance in 2022

Photos and their arrangement  © 2022 Chuck LaChiusa
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