Woke up this morning to the brilliantly simple story on the front page of today's Buffalo News. Reporter Jay Tokasz asks, "Should the Bishop's Home be sold?" Like, duh...
I've archived the full text of the article - Selling 79 Oakland. I've been asking this question for years. Most recently here - Flipping (off) Jesus... - in the context of the St. Matthew's Deaccession.
Yesterday - back in the 90's, Transfiguration and St. Matthew's, were lost. Tomorrow - well, Bishop Kmiec is just getting ready to make the announcement about the latest church closings. Meanwhile he still lives at 79 Oakland Place, the Diocese still owns a vibrant - lovely terra cotta building at 785 Main Street and manages the mostly vacant - and desired devlopment spot just outside of East Aurora - here, Christ The King Seminary.Just like Land Banking, selling 79 Oakland Place is becoming part of the emerging conversation here in Buffalo as we look to right-sizing and rescuing our City and bringing it back from the brink.
Seems to me that if the Bishop desired to return to the City and model the behavior necessary to turn the tide and fill the pews once again, he could. With three of the most desirable properties under his thumb (79 Oakland is one of the most expensive residences in the City, Main Street could fill a shortage of downtown class A office space and the seminary, well...) there are plenty of resources to shore up - and moth-ball - some of the most vibrant pieces of our cultural heritage here in the City.
Then again, what do I know? Flipping (off) Jesus is the latest chapter in Diocesan Deaccession. It's what happens on the urban prairie, the abandoned, forgotten and vacant steppes of Buffalo.