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Viewpoints . . . Handiwork of German immigrants
is still visible in Buffalo today

Tragedy in Paris by Marge T. Hastreiter D'Arcangelo Art

by Martin Ederer I never thought much about Studios and stained
being of German ancestry glass windows were
Paris suffered a huge loss this past April, while growing up in the Lovejoy installed and dedi-
when fire consumed Notre Dame Cathe-
dral’s medieval attic and roof and caused sig- neighborhood, but throughout the cated to the many

nificant damage to parts of the interior. Still, years, when I started writing sto- German families

things could have been much, much worse. ries and delving into the history, who helped build the

Most of the interior survived. The win- I found out that Germans settled church.

dows and the towers survived. Most of the this area. My grandparents

ceiling vaulting held – which speaks well of Upon research, it was re- Mary (Burger) and

the cathedral’s medieval engineers and architects. Notre Dame vealed that a man named Joseph Henry Ernst were

Most miraculously of all, there was no loss of life. Churchyard owned the property some of the first

The people of France – and the world – have made a serious commit- on the far east side of the City of members of St. Ag-

ment to rebuild, despite the fact that Catholicism in France is current- Buffalo. He had farmed the area nes and they came from the A former church building is
home of the The Iron Island
ly struggling. People with any humanity recognize the importance of for several years and decided to Emslie/Broadway area of Buffa- Preservation Society of Lovejoy,
a cultural heritage. lay out building lots in the 1880s. lo. St. Agnes was the Mother empty store fronts. The Germans
have been scattering throughout
The tragedy and response in Paris only threw our local situation This prospect was attractive Church of the neighborhood. the years and other ethnic groups
have bought up the carefully
into much starker relief. We have willingly walked away from our to a large number of German- Spin-offs from this congregation crafted German homes.

religious cultural heritage and its art and architecture. speaking people who were look- were St. Francis Church, which The Iron Island Preservation
Society of Lovejoy, Inc. was do-
In an overwhelming number of cases, our religious leaders have ing to erect a mission church. was built for the Italian immi- nated one of the church buildings
in year 2000 and it is now used as
led the charge to abandon our cultural heritage Trinity Evangelical Church was grants and Masses were said in a museum. Coincidentally, recent
donations are prayer books from
and to consign it to uncertain futures and/or built and named and was the very Italian and Visitation Church was St. Agnes printed in German and
other German language books,
demolition by neglect or other indignities and first church in the area. built for the Irish immigrants, all which none of us can read.

ignominies. The Germans migrated to the who came to work on the rail- The altar from the Emmanuel
Lutheran Church was donated to
In the case of St. Ann Church and Shrine 'farm' from other parts of the city roads and needed a gathering the museum, before the fire, and
now has a safe home, away from
the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo (at and built their homes. Many of place of their own. harm. This beautiful artifact,
which we think was hand carved
right) spent significant effort and resources to these homes are still standing to Another German immigrant by the German immigrants, is a
testament to the care and love of
defeat people who simply asked their leaders to this day and are mostly wood church was built in 1896 and a race of people who came to
Lovejoy, built their homes and
really think about what they were doing and frame with porches, many dou- housed the Emmanuel Lutheran churches, took care of their fami-
lies and lived in harmony, their
appealed to the better angels of their nature. bles, as the generous people congregation. They only stayed at handwork still evident in our little
Iron Island neighborhood.
Still, leadership only bears part of the opened their homes to relatives their Longnecker Street location
blame. If leadership senses that not enough of us care, we help to who were immigrating from the for a few years and moved to the April-May
enable their tone-deafness and inertia against doing what is true, good old country. business district where they erect-
Oktoberfest Guide
and beautiful. How might future generations in a saner time judge us Some of the landowners also ed another wood frame edifice August-September
all? built a second home on their lots, with some stained glass windows. December-January

which would now be called a While the churches were the

'mother-in-law' house, but in the mainstays of the people, their

Subscribe today to old days, it was for families who homes were built with loving care
$16 for 6 issues
needed a start in life. and, the Germans being the indus-
Address____________________________________ These second houses can also trious and forever clean people,
Phone______________________________________ still be seen in many back yards that they still are today, they took

Make Check payable to Buffalo Standard Printing and in the neighborhood. As the in- excellent care of their property,
Mail to 3620 Harlem Rd., Cheektowaga, NY 14215
crease in German population be- thus their homes have passed

came prevalent and the German from generation to generation.

Catholics started moving east, St. My grandparents’ home on

Agnes Church was formed from Benzinger Street is still in the

the parishes of St. Ann and St. Ernst family and stands as a mem-

Patrick. A wood frame building ory to the family.

was erected on Benzinger Street As time would have it and

and was used as a church until people migrated to the suburbs, it

1905 when a beautiful, Ro- was only natural that things

manesque style building was would change in this most-ethni-

opened. The twin towers, with cally diverse neighborhood.

Since 1970 the Buffalo Standard huge bells, lovingly named Within the last few years, St. Ag-
Printing Booster Club has raised funds
to support our family of publications. George and Agnes, called the nes and Visitation churches were

These funds have been used to off-set some of the congregation to Mass for over sold to a Buddhist congregation,
publication costs, increases in postage, and affords
the ability to secure the best writers in Western New 100 years. the wood frame church on Long-
York. The German Citizen is published to serve the
German-Americans of Upstate New York. Donors to Mass was said in German and necker Street was lost to a fire and
the Press Fund will be thanked in the last issue of the
year, unless otherwise instructed by the donor. the church was the center of life the business strip now has many

MAIL TO: Buffalo Standard Printing Press Fund for the German Catholics. A
3620 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14215
I want to make sure the German Citizen continues its service school, convent and rectory were

To the German-American Community. built on the property and many
Enclosed is my contribution of $ _____
Name:__________________________________________ social events were held including
City, State, Zip___________________________________ a huge lawn fete each year.

Please { } Include The interior of the church was
{ }do not include my name in your list of contributors.
highly decorated by the

Published by
Buffalo Standard Printing

3620 Harlem Rd.
Cheektowaga, NY 14215


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