Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church, at 323 Leroy St. in Buffalo, New York, is a hidden architectural jewel. It is tucked away in a crumbling neighborhood, unknown to many, if not most of the local residents. Yet, it is one of the most complete and true examples of 12th century Lombard Romanesque-style architecture existing in the United States. It is unabashedly gorgeous.
Built between 1923 and 1928 for a cost of $513,000, the structure would be almost impossible to reconstruct today. It features handmade bricks created and set in 12th century fashion. It is laden with ceramics for structural and decorative purposes. It has more than 2000 handmade symbols and pictures of medieval Christian iconography embellishing the inside and outside of the building. The symbols represent nature, science, morals and history. It has a painted dome that peaks at 73' from the floor, with a 40' diameter. It has 615 small projections, or corbels, along the top of the walls of the structure. And it has a stained glass skylight over the altar made up of 20,000 pieces of glass, in 300 different shades of color.
For a knock and polite smile, Dorothy the devoted church member and part-time cleaning lady will let you in and turn on the lights. She will invite you to part with a mere 5 dollars to own the picture-laden booklet decsribing every blessed detail of Blessed Trinity. It will be the most informative 5 dollars you will ever spend. Don't even think of leaving your camera at home.