St. Joseph's Cathedral - Table of Contents

2005 Photos
Exterior - St. Joseph's RC Cathedral

AKA St. Joseph's RC Old Cathedral
50 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY

St. Joseph RC Cathedral - Official Website
Visitor Information: (716) 854-5855




Patrick Keely (also designed St, Michael's on Washington St.).
Irish; emigrated in 1842; designed almost 600 RC churches in US and hundreds of other institutional buildings for the Roman Catholic Church or Roman Catholic patrons in the eastern United States and Canada, particularly in New York City, Boston and Chicago.


Gothic Revival

Primary exterior stone:

Lockport dolomite and brought down the Erie Canal.



Unknown photographer
"This rare photo is listed as 'Views on the Line of the Erie Railway.' L.E. Walker Publishers, Warsaw, NY. The date is unknown. It looks similar to the famous C.L. Pond Collection of photos in format." - Photo courtesy of

2015 photo  ...  Looking north  ...  Note Old County Hall in background

St. Joseph's Park, in front of the rectory and adjacent the south elevation of the Cathedral

St. Joseph's Park: one of two crosses from the "New" Cathedral, demolished in 1977


Telephone Building in background

Broached spire (detail below:)  ...  Spire lucarnes

Broach:  A half pyramid above the corners of a square tower to provide a transition to an octagonal spire; a sloping triangular section of masonry.

Buttresses at corners  ...  Clock surrounded by blind arch ...  Note foils at top of photo, detailed below:

Paneled trefoils flanked by quatrefoils  ...  Lockport dolomite stone

Louvered belfry  ...  The completed south tower originally housed a 43 bell carillon. Executed by the Bollee Brothers of LeMans, France, it was once considered the third best carillon in the world. The bells were later removed, leaving only two remaining.


Rose window with two flanking lancet windows

Rose windowTrefoils ...  Mouchettes  ...  Center quatrefoil.
Voussoirs and label molding frame lancet windows

Lancet windowVoussoirs  ...   Label molding with stops  ...  Compound Gothic arch  ...  Engaged jambs  ... Leaded lattice window

Ribbon  stained glass  lancet windows  ...  Vertical pier buttresses  ...  Compound Gothic arch in main center portal

Vertical pier buttresses

Combination ogee arch over Gothic pointed arch in niche holding St. Joseph and his "son," Jesus

Compound Gothic arch in main center portal

South and North Elevations

Slate roof  ...  Roof snow guards

Upper clerestory windows  ...  Nave aisle windows with exterior flanking vertical pier buttresses

Upper and lower cornices supported by modillions  ...  Quatrefoil and trefoil traceries

White colored lines on stained glass window are the lead came

Voussoirs  frame hoodmold and label molding  ...  Trefoil arches in windows  ...  Stringcourse

Vertical pier buttresses

Voussoirs  frame hoodmold and label molding  ...   Quatrefoil and  trefoil arches in windows 


Liberty Building and Rath Building in background, detailed below:

Telephone Building and Main Place Tower in background

Telephone Building  in background   ...  Cross bottony  finial atop spire, detailed below:

Cross bottony  finial atop spire

Special thanks to Rector Msgr. James F. Campbell for his cooperation in 2005

Except where noted, photos and their arrangement 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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