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There’s a new trend in Upstate New York: Developers wanting to tear down beautiful old churches.

In Rochester, there’s a proposal to tear down a 140-year-old former Presbyterian church and build a Dollar General. City Hall put the brakes on the plan, though it’s not completely dead.

Former Westminster Presbyterian Church (Photo Credit: Rochester Subway)

Former Westminster Presbyterian Church (Photo Credit: Rochester Subway)


In Buffalo, the city plans to issue demolition permits to the owners of a church damaged by fire, despite opposition from neighborhood and preservation groups.

Buffalo church (Credit: Buffalo Rising)

Buffalo church (Credit: Buffalo Rising)


In Watervliet, a judge cleared the way for a former Catholic church built in 1891 to be torn down so Price Chopper can build a store.

St. Patrick's Church, Watervliet

St. Patrick’s Church, Watervliet


In Albany, a proposal to reuse a 19th century Gothic-style church as a brewery and pub met neighborhood opposition. The historical society says the brewery may be the last option to save the structure.

St. Joseph’s Church, Albany


One need only Google “church demolition” and you’ll see this has been happening all over the country for some time. These buildings, with their beautiful designs and craftsmanship cannot be duplicated. Their loss changes the character of neighborhoods. It would be nice to see creative reuse, restoration and preservation take precedence over big box stores and parking lots.

Links of the Day:

- The Rochester Police Department could go from two precincts to four. The department used to have seven sections until then-Chief Bob Duffy recommended going to two. The East-West model has been extremely unpopular.

- Big pharmaceutical companies are interested in buying Bausch + Lomb. Some might want to break it up.

- Buffalo city schools look to go from eight football teams to four.

- Patronage is rife in Onondaga County.

- Amid calls for more mental health screening and treatment, experts say there’s simply no tool to identify potential mass murderers.

- This city is ditching curbs, so pedestrians, bicycles and cars have to equally share the street.

- The bride (and groom) wore camouflage. Soldiers get married at the Albany airport before heading back to active duty.