Monday, May 18, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays #5

I'm not a church-going girl in the usual sense. But if you make a church that oozes sacred art, you will find me prowling your aisles in the off hours. In this Catholic town of Buffalo, New York, there are phenomenal examples of sacred art. Some churches could rival the most revered European cathedrals. None, however, in Buffalo or Europe can compare to the intimate gem tucked away on Leroy Avenue.
Inspired by: Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 323 Leroy Avenue, Buffalo, New York, 14214. This church takes my breath away. Built between 1923 and 1928, it is the purest example of 12th century Lombard Romanesque architecture in the United States. It cost $513,000 to build at the time and would be impossible to reproduce in this day and age. All the bricks are handmade and set in medieval fashion. Terra cotta was used for structural and decorative purposes on a large scale. And expect to get a crook in your neck from trying to discover the more than 2,000 designs and pictures of Christian symbolism, many of which are small, glazed ceramic symbols on corbels, winding their way around the building exterior.
Inside, the murals of angels, the fan-shaped stained glass skylight above the altar sporting 20,000 small pieces of glass in 300 different shades of color, the rose windows, the carved angels on the pews, the patterned, tiled floor, and the forty foot diameter, Byzantine inspired dome will convince you, absolutely convince you, art is sacred.
If you live in the Buffalo area, or ever plan to visit, make a pilgrimage to this church. It matters not if you are Catholic. It matters not if you practice religion of any kind. Just politely knock on the door of the side rectory and a cleaning lady will let you in. She'll gush about how lucky she is to tend to the upkeep of this church as she leads you to the sanctuary and turns on the lights. Stand under the dome and look around. The intensity of so much beauty in such an intimate space is guaranteed to inspire you and make you weep.
{To play along with Inspire Me Mondays, click on the flowered badge in the upper side bar and send me an email to: Go see my lovelies, Katie and Kasia, for more inspiriation!}


  1. Anonymous5/19/2009

    OH. MY. I guess I know one place I am visiting this summer! AMAZING photos.

    Hope you are well!

  2. Gorgeous place and what great photos! I like popping into a church for a bit of quiet and refection.

  3. So beautiful! Amazing architecture. Thanks for sharing these, Graciel. It would certainly fill me with awe to see this. I love stained glass. Wish I had some in my own house! :D


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