Reprinted with permission as a public service by the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier, now the Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Houses of Worship: A Guide to the Religious Architecture of Buffalo, New York
By James Napora
Table of Contents

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church - Table of Contents

Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church - 1921-27
3107 Main Street (E)
Architect: North & Shelgren
Founded 1 January, 1873

German language Sunday School.: In 1873, a group of lay people from St. Paul's Episcopal Church. on Pearl Street organized a German language Sunday School. Meeting on the third floor of Witte's Saloon on the east side of Michigan south of Genesee, it became an instant success.

St. Paul's Free Chapel: In August 1875, the school moved to a recently completed frame chapel on the east side of Spruce Street south of Genesee. Known as St. Paul's Free Chapel, the congregation continued to grow.

In the Fall of 1884, the Rev. Aubrey F. Todrig, the pastor, accepted a position at St. John's Church in Ellicottville, New York. Without a priest to serve the congregation, the chapel was closed, the doors and windows nailed shut, and all services and Sunday School activities terminated.

In the winter of 1886, the Rev. John Huske, pastor of St. Paul's, reopened the chapel with the financial assistance of St. Paul's Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. Renamed St. Andrew's Chapel, the congregation once again celebrated with regular Sunday services.

In August 1888, due to extenuating circumstances resulting from the fire which destroyed St. Paul's Church downtown, the diocese could no longer provide a priest to serve the congregation.

The chapel once again closed only to be reopened in October with the assistance of Rev. Thomas B. Berry of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Jewett.

The mission chapel, with the consent of Bishop A. Cleveland Coxe, became self-supporting on 13 July, 1891.

Goodell Street Church: In February of the following year, the congregation purchased the lot at 160 Goodell Street an began to erect a modest brick church. Bishop Coxe placed the cornerstone on 21 August, 1892 and the congregation celebrated their first mass in the completed church on the first Sunday of December. As the church quickly proved to be too small, in July, 1897 they decided to enlarge it.

By the late 1910s, the congregation began to experience the effects of the population shift from the city to areas north of it. On 6 July, 1921, they sold the building to the Diocese and, pending the construction of a new building, began to worship in Christ Chapel on Delaware. Their former church became home to the congregation of St. Phillips which remained in the building until its demolition in 1963. (The congregation of St. Philip's currently worships in the former St. Clement's Church on Sussex Street.)

3107 Main Street: The Episcopal Diocese selected the current Main Street site and on 6 July, 1921 approved the plans submitted by Buffalo architect Robert North.

With sufficient funding available to only construct the foundation of the building, it was covered with a temporary roof. The congregation moved into the basement of the structure in 1921, prior to the completion of the auditorium.

It took almost six years to raise the necessary funding and finally, on 10 June, 1927, Bishop Henry Brent placed the cornerstone. The congregation dedicated the completed building on 15 April, 1929.

The building, constructed at a cost of $100.000 is designed in the English Gothic Style. The interior, with its wood paneled ceiling, contains the rood beam from the original church. Handcrafted in Belgium, the beam, depicting the Crucifix, Mary and St. John, is prominently hung in front of the chancel.

© 1995 James Napora
Page by Chuck LaChiusa with the assistance of David Torke
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