St. Paul's - Table of Contents

2003 Photos

Nave and Transepts
St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
139 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY

Nave: The central aisle; the part of a church located between the chief entrance and the chancel, and separated from the side aisles by piers or columns.

"Nave" comes from the Latin "navis" which means "ship," an early symbol of the church.

In 1850, the old frame church (erected in 1819) was sold to the German Evangelical Church. The 1851 replacement church was designed by Richard Upjohn. That church was almost entirely destroyed by fire caused by a natural-gas explosion in 1888. The restored church was designed by Robert W. Gibson. In Gibson's design, two transepts were added, as well as a stone vestry room and porch on Church Street.

Transepts are the part of a cruciform church, projecting at right angles to the main building. In St. Paul's, the "transepts" are somewhat artificial in that they are an extension of the side aisles separated from the nave with a 32' distance between end columns instead of a 24' distance between the nave columns.

Windows, other than the Ascension window above the altar and the memorial windows, were designed by J. and R. Lamb of New York.

Click on photos for larger size -- and additional information

Interior of St. Paul's in 1884, designed by Richard Upjohn.

Floor plan of the restored church designed by by Robert W. Gibson

Colored slate aisle floor ... Oak pews

Marble baptismal font designed by Robert W. Gibson.

Oak pews. Arcaded Gothic arches

Oak pews.

The four-bay aisle is marked by sandstone columns

Detail - Ten Commandments are delivered to Moses in the south "transept"

Detail - The Resurrection stained glass window in south "transept"

Detail - The Deliverance of Shadrach, Meschah and Abednego From the Fiery Furnace

Chancel and south transept

South transept.
All walls are painted plaster

South transept and south side aisle

The 1943 oratory altar 

The Adoration of the Magi, early 1500s painting by Jan Pollack

Caption sources:

The Oratory Chapel
By Martha Neri

"The Compass," Explore Buffalo newsletter, September 2019

The Oratory Chapel and altar in St. Paul’s Cathedral was created in 1943 by Mrs. Harriet T. Mack in memory of her husband Norman E. Mack, founder and publisher of the Buffalo Times. The altar table, side panels and frame were designed and constructed by Wilfred E. Anthony, a church architect from New York City.

Jan Pollack, 1480-1520, who lived in Munich most of his life, painted the center panel, The Adoration of the Magi, in the early 1500s. Very little is known about the three kings or wisemen who visited the Holy Infant, but the artist might have depicted these figures as representing young, middle and old age. He was said to have been interested in perspective, evidence of which is shown here. The magi on the left, pointing upward, seems to be looking far beyond the picture frame. The figure in the green robe is in the middle of the painting, while the one in red is kneeling in the foreground. The Virgin Mary is seated with the Christ Child on her lap. Unfortunately, the artist has placed her under an arch giving her the appearance of being too tall to stand up.

This painting had been in an art gallery in Hamburg, Germany until William Randolph Hearst bought it in the early 1930s. In 1943 Mrs. Norman E. Mack purchased it from a gallery in New York City. The pair of carved angels and the Georgian candelabra were purchased at the same time. The panels on the left and right of the painting show the monogram of the Virgin Mary. The shield, located at the top of the frame, was designed at this time and became the official seal of the Cathedral and seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Buffalo.

Mrs. Norman E. (Harriet Taggart) Mack was born in Buffalo in 1866. In 1901 she served on the Board of Women Managers of the Pan-American Exposition. Harriet was a Presidential Elector for New York in elections for 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944. She was also a delegate to the New York convention to ratify the 21st amendment in 1933 and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from New York in 1936, 1940, and 1944.

Mrs. Mack was a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt who stayed at Harriet’s home at 1100 Delaware Ave when she visited Buffalo. Mrs. Mack was a member of the 20th Century Club until 1944, when she quit suddenly because she was offended by some critical remarks that were made about the First Lady. Mrs. Roosevelt later commented that she did not find them to be impolite. Mrs. Mack’s home at 1100 Delaware Ave. was demolished soon after she passed away in 1954. The apartment building at 1088 Delaware stands in its place.
Except for the the first photo on the page,
photos and their arrangement 2003
Chuck LaChiusa
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