St. Louis RC Church - Table of Contents

EXTERIOR - St. Louis RC Church

780 Main Street at Edward, Buffalo, NY
St. Louis RC Church - Official Home Page

1886-1889, but not finished until 1910 when the altar was added.
Schikel and Ditmars, a New York City firm that designed many churches throughout the eastern part of the U.S.
Gothic Revival
Medina sandstone; stained glass

September 27, 2021 Photos

King Louis IX of France is the church's patron saint. Born in 1214, he was made king at the early age of 11. Leader of the seventh crusade, he is also credited with having established the "true crowns of thorns" [which he holds in this sculpture] in the Sainte Chappele in Paris, which he had built to house the sacred relic. A secular Franciscan brother, he died from the plague near Carthage on a crusade in 1270. He was later canonized.

The 1832 Lamb of God Church was popularly referred to as the "wigwam church" (because it looked like a wigwam.) It was erected in 1832, the same year Buffalo was incorporated as a city. It was a log structure hand-hewn from lumber, much of it from the forest that stood on what is now Delavan Avenue, and originally served French and German immigrants. 

In 1843 the French and German Catholics erected a new St. Louis Church - a handsome brick building which was literally built around the old church which was then demolished and carted away.

The 1843 building was used from 1843 to 1885 until it was destroyed by fire which originated in the Music Hall which was located across the street, and spread rapidly to engulf the church.

The present 1889 church opened its doors for the first religious service on August 25, 1889, the Feast of St. Louis.

1965 photo          Jack E. Boucher, photographer         Source: HABS

Cologne Cathedral -  model for St. Louis


Gothic Revival style               Medina sandstone
One of Buffalo's best known landmarks: the 72-foot-tall, pierced spire, perhaps the only all stone remaining pierced spire in the U.S.   
The chief tower rises to a height of 245 feet.                The two side towers are each 128 feet high.          
Details below, starting at the top:

All Medina sandstone               Top finial                         Crockets

Louvered belfry                        Pinnacles


Seth Thomas clock

Large finial atop gable roof                      St. Louis in tympanum over center front entrance doors

  Pointed Gothic compound arches                 Grape leaves and paired cartouches in tympanum

Saint Louis holding what was believed to be the crown of thorns Jesus wore at his crucifixion

Foliated  capitals on engaged  smooth column shafts, detailed below:

Foliated  capitals

  Oak double doors feature wrought iron hardware, detailed below:

Wrought iron hardware

Upper lancet window: Quatrefoil above paired trefoils                Paired pinnacles             Tracery in tympamum above double doors

Trefoil in tympanum

Tympanum  tracery  features  quatrefoils  and  trefoils                Oak double doors features wrought iron hardware

South elevation

South elevation                      Details below:

South elevation                      Clerestory windows      Arcade stained glass windows

South elevation                      Lucarnes                      Pipe snow guards

South elevation                      Medina sandstone                      Water table

South elevation                      Vertical pier buttress

South elevation                     Apse

North elevation

View of the steeple from the north elevation

North elevation                     Arcade windows                 Water table

North elevation                          Rose window in transept                       Entrance to the church museum in the basement

North elevation                     Triple lancet windows               Flanking pinnacles atop vertical pier buttresses              Rose window in transept

North elevation                     Rose window in transept

North elevation                     Medina sandstone

Photos and their arrangement 2021 Chuck LaChiusa
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