True Green Cities/Celebrating Ten+ Years: Karpeles Library – A Church Conversion

True Green Cities/Celebrating Ten+ Years: Karpeles Library – A Church Conversion

Celebrating Ten+ Years!  It’s been twelve years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. 

An Urban University Saves a Local Church

The former Plymouth Methodist Episcopal Church/Karpeles Library and Manuscript Museum was built in 1912, designed by Architect Cyrus K. Porter & Sons.  The Church and the adjacent Parsonage were listed as a local individual City of Buffalo landmark in 1989.  It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing component to the Fargo Estate National Register Historic District in 2016. It was recently purchased from D’Youville University.    It’s down the street from the University, which is embedded in the West side of Buffalo, and with its towering cupola and bell tower will be a wonderful new icon for D’Youville.

It’s National Register listing states:  Contributing primary limestone auditorium plan 2-story Romanesque-style former church, polygonal hip roof, with a pair of large gables with round arch stained glass windows flanking a 4-story square tower, limestone foundation and exterior walls, red tile roof with clerestory at summit surmounted by a polygonal cupola with pointed roof. Round arch windows throughout, many with stained glass. Triple arch entrance porticoes on Porter and Jersey streets.  

BAC is working with Cannon Design to restore this landmark and convert it into programming space for the University.  Fortunately, its large central auditorium lends itself for a new lecture space so few changes need to be made to its historic interior.