Salem Evangelical Reformed Church

Religious / New York

The Salem Evangelical Reformed Church is a former church in the Broadway-Fillmore neighbourhood of Buffalo, New York. It was demolished in 2017.


In the early 1870’s, members of the Zion Reformed Church on Lemon Street in Buffalo raised concerns about the distance they were travelling from their residences to attend services. 1 Plans were set forth to establish a new congregation under the Reverend J.B. Kneist.

In April 1873, 25 charter members, all of the German descent, organised Salem Evangelical Reformed Church. 1 A small lot was purchased at 413 Sherman Street, and a frame building was erected at the cost of $3,062. The building was doubled in size in 1886.

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

The Sunrise Congregation later used the church until the group could no longer afford to heat the building. 2 Services were then held in the adjoining minister’s residence until 2009.

The derelict building 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 centre. No work towards that endeavour was completed. In 2017, after the interior collapsed, the former Zion Reformed Church was demolished.


Sources

  1. Napora, James. “Houses of Worship: A Guide to the Religious Architecture of Buffalo, New York.” Buffalo as an Architectural Museum, 1995, article.
  2. “Salem Evangelical: In the ‘hood and off the radar.” FixBuffalo, 16 Jan. 2012, article.
  3. “Council ready to lay down the law to out-of-town owner of rotting church.” Buffalo News, 28 Jun. 2016, article.