Vergara Sunday

While searching out Vergara and photographing a few church buildings here in Buffalo recently, I've recognized an emerging pattern. Many of the churches Vergara describes exist side by side and next to older more established structures, places perhaps that may be traditionally described as, churches. Sometimes both structures appear as though they are headed towards ruin and lack the resources necessary for good maintenance.
The Sunrise Church of Christ, here at the corner of Sherman and Sycamore [quikmap] is representative of this side by side sort of mix. Both buildings pictured here belong to Sunrise Church of Christ. No idea yet what congregations worshiped here prior to Sunrise's ownership.

I first visited this church back in January of 2005, here and after a brief check of Housing Court records found that nothing was happening in court or with the smaller church builiding next door. I remember neighbors telling me that a few parishoners would meet occasionally next door at this spot in what I've assumed may have been the mance, back in the day as the congregation can no longer support utility payments next door. Here are three more views from June 2005.

What's telling today about the neglect here is the tree limb resting on the gutter. The storm was a month ago and the limb is still where it fell that night. Like the tall grass you will see in front yards all over the City late in May and early June - places where no one cuts grass any longer as no one really cares for the property any more - downed tree limbs and branches resting on porches and front yards are quickly becoming the new markers of abandonment, decay and vacancy here in Buffalo, NY. Especially in places like this where no one goes anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure about recent ownership of the building (and I don't believe Sunrise Church of Christ is still operating), but it was originally the Salem Evangelical Church, later known as Salem Evangelical and Reformed. If it survived past 1957 (not sure what year the Germans closed up shop) it would have been called Salem United Church of Christ. It was one of about 25 churches of that tradition that existed to serve the German population on the east side of the city.