North Presbyterian Church / Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation - Table of Contents

History - North Presbyterian Church / Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
1000 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222

Original name:

North Presbyterian Church




George E. Newton (Boston)


Charles Bericks & Sons


Joseph & Sons


English country Gothic

Sale to Hellenic Orthodox Church:


2002 Interior restoration (after arson fire):

Beth Campano and Tracy Dulniak
2003 North transept recreation of staind glass windows: J&R Lamb Studios


Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information

The North Presbyterian Church. Demolished

Residence of E. S. Dann. Present site of the second North Presbyterian Church

Second North Presbyterian Church. Now the Hellenic Orthodox Church

History - North Presbyterian Church

The first North Presbyterian Church was so called because it was near the north end of early Buffalo near Chippewa, just south of it on the west side of the street. It was wrecked to make way for the old Shea's Hippodrome Theater (now site of the Fountain Plaza), about the time the congregation built a new cut-limestone, English-village-Gothic edifice on the southwest corner of Delaware and Utica. The 3,500 pound bell from their original church was hung in the bell tower. The church was built just after the turn of the century when mass transportation networks had opened up new residential districts.

In 1952, the constituency moved to the suburbs, into a modern church on North Forest Road in Williamsville.

History - Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation

In 1907, the first Greek Orthodox Church was a rented hall at 961 Main Street. After several moves to temporary locations to accommodate the growing Greek community, the leaders recognized a permanent church was necessary to create a center for faith and culture.

A certificate of incorporation for The Hellenic Eastern Orthodox Church of the Annunciation was filed in County Hall on November 11, 1911. 1t is the name the church still bears.

In the spring of 1912, the cornerstone was laid at 361 Oak Street and a simple, yet classic Byzantine church was built with the first liturgy celebrated on Christmas Eve, 1912.

The Church purchased, before World War II, a lot on the corner of Delaware and Lexington Ave. but had not been allowed steel for building during war time, and because of zoning regulations, they had been denied a building permit, because lot was too small to provide enough parking space.

In 1952, the community outgrew the Oak Street church and plans were made to either build or move to one of a number of larger churches that became available at the time. The North Presbyterian Church at Delaware and West Utica was chosen and the community sold the Oak Street church and property, as well as the 1205 Delaware Avenue building, which had been purchased as a community center earlier.

Because these regulations did not apply to the existing North Church, the Orthodox congregation agreed to pay exactly what the building had cost in 1907. This was in 1952, not the equivalent of the old dollar, "but an interesting coincidence." The lot had cost $201,000, masonry, $54,800, and carpentry work $22,689. or approximately $117, 489.

North Church held its last service in your Church on the last Sunday in December of 1952.

The Greek Orthodox congregation held its first service there that same afternoon, followed by a dinner at which more than $100.000 was "handed to the visiting bishop" as a down payment on the property.

When the church was purchased by the Hellenic Church, some changes were made to conform to the orthodox tradition:


Plaque at Main and N. Division St. in Downtown Buffalo

See also:

Special thanks for the Rev. Protopresbyter James A. Doukas for his cooperation.

Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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