Buffalo's Historical Churches, Buffalo

Buffalo's Historical Churches (Self Guided), Buffalo

Be it for the British and French colonialism or the result of missionary work, today Christianity remains the prevalent religion in Buffalo, New York. The city itself, home to some of the most famous Gothic churches in the US, is long considered a great destination to admire religious architecture and its magical spiritual beauty.

Among the notable landmarks here is Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Constructed in the Gothic Revival style, its soaring spires and intricate stonework granted this fine piece of architecture its National Historic Landmark status in 1987.

Saint Louis Roman Catholic Church, located in the heart of Buffalo's Old First Ward, is another iconic structure. With its striking red brick facade and towering bell tower, this church exemplifies the grandeur of Gothic Revival in full splendor. Since its dedication in 1889, this temple has served as a spiritual anchor for generations of parishioners.

Methodist Episcopal Church, dating back to the mid-19th century, reflects Buffalo's diverse religious landscape. Its elegant Greek Revival design, featuring Medina sandstone, speaks to a bygone era of craftsmanship and earned this church a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

Trinity Episcopal Church, established in 1869, is yet another stunning example of Gothic architecture. Its graceful arches, intricate woodwork, and stained glass windows provide a tranquil setting for contemplation and prayer.

First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1812, holds the distinction of being Buffalo's oldest congregation. Its Romanesque facade and intricate ornamentation command attention, while its legacy – spanning over two centuries – remains a cherished symbol of faith and tradition and a testament to Buffalo's pioneering spirit.

As stewards of historical treasures, we are called to honor their legacy and ensure their preservation for future generations. With this in mind, we have compiled this self-guided walk to enable you to explore some of the most prominent religious sites in Buffalo firsthand and thus contribute to safeguarding the city's heritage of faith and architecture.
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Buffalo's Historical Churches Map

Guide Name: Buffalo's Historical Churches
Guide Location: USA » Buffalo (See other walking tours in Buffalo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
  • Saint Louis Roman Catholic Church
  • Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • First Presbyterian Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

1) St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. This Cathedral has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1987. The current building opened in 1890 following reconstruction after a fire gutted the original building constructed in 1838.

This church's exterior features native red sandstone and stands out due to the nave being the largest part of the building. Buttresses supporting the nave walls have been crowned with Gothic-style finials. The Cathedral's main tower reaches an impressive height of 275 feet, featuring a steeple topped with a cross.

There is a smaller tower of 125 feet at the opposite end of the Cathedral. Marble mosaics and slate make up the flooring, with French-made flooring surrounding the altar. All of the chancel furnishings are of oak, featuring Robert Gibson's design, and Mexican onyx has been used in the creation of the altar.
Saint Louis Roman Catholic Church

2) Saint Louis Roman Catholic Church

Saint Louis Roman Catholic Church is the oldest Catholic parish in Buffalo. It was the first Catholic church built in Buffalo, and holds the title of "Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo".

The parish was established January 5, 1829 with land contributed by Louis Stephen LeCouteulx de Caumont, a French nobleman. The first church, constructed of logs, was completed in 1831. The congregation was largely French, German and Irish.

The current church was constructed in 1889. The historic Gothic Revival third church is laid out in a Latin-cross floor plan and features a 245 ft octagonal Medina sandstone steeple with a Seth Thomas clock. Above the steeple rests a 72 ft pierced spire; reputed to be the tallest open-work spire ever built completely of stone (without reinforcement) in the U.S. Inside the church is a 1903 Kimball Organ, which is located in the choir loft.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Methodist Episcopal Church

3) Methodist Episcopal Church

Situated on Delaware Avenue, Methodist Episcopal Church is a fine example of Greek revival architectural style built of Medina sandstone by architect John H. Selkirk, who has contributed to the establishment of many Buffalo religious landmarks. The construction of the church lasted 5 years and was completed in 1876.

Today, this church is also known as Asbury-Delaware Methodist Church because of the merging of the two churches in 1916. The combined congregation disbanded in 1969, ending the Methodist presence in the city, which had existed here since the foundation of Buffalo. In 2003, this beautiful church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Trinity Episcopal Church

4) Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Episcopal Church is another old church listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The traditions and theology of Trinity Episcopal Church reflect the denomination of the Anglican Christian Church. This religious complex was built in 1869 in Gothic Revival architectural style. At the beginning of the 20th century, some parts of the complex were remodeled and the complex gained a parish house, as well as new Victorian Gothic features such as stained glass windows designed by American painter John LaFarge.
First Presbyterian Church

5) First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1812. This church was the first congregation to be organized in Buffalo and is the oldest place of worship in the city. In 1891 the church was officially opened to the public, however, the building was not complete. Being a part of the Allentown Historic District, the 1000-seat First Presbyterian Church attracts visitors with its eye-catching architectural features such as stunning towers and arched windows. The church was designed by well known local architectural firm Green & Wicks. In 1924, intricate ornamentation of the sanctuary was completed by William Carson Francis.

Walking Tours in Buffalo, New York

Create Your Own Walk in Buffalo

Create Your Own Walk in Buffalo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Buffalo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Buffalo Introduction Walking Tour

Buffalo Introduction Walking Tour

Buffalo is the largest city in Western New York and the state's second-largest city. Because of its location on the Niagaras River and the western end of Lake Erie, it has been a center of commerce for generations. The earliest settlers were members of the Iroquois nation and French settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In the 19th century, the Erie Canal's construction brought in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles