The Salem Evangelical Reformed Church is an abandoned church in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.


History

In the early 1870’s, members of the Zion Reformed Church on Lemon Street raised concerns about the distance they were having to travel from their residences to attend services. 1 Under Rev. J. B. Kneist, plans were set forth to establish a new congregation.

In April 1873, 25 charter members, all of German descent, organized the Salem Evangelical Reformed Church. 1 A small lot was purchased at 413 Sherman Street and a frame church was erected at a cost of $3,062. An addition to double the size of the building was completed in 1886.

With all debts retired and the current frame building at capacity, the church initiated a building fund for a new facility in November 1901. 1 Ground was broken for the new building in 1907 with a cornerstone laid on July 14. Designed by Jacob Oberkircher, the new $30,000 building was dedicated on February 16, 1908.

The church was later used by the Sunrise Congregation until the group could not longer afford to heat the church building. 2 Services were then held in the former minister’s residence until 2009.

The derelict church was purchased in 2011 for $1,000 by a New York City-based investor Kabir Mohammad. 3 Mohammad had planned to convert the building into a community center but no work towards that endeavor was completed.

Digest
Sources