ARC 318 – ARC 518– Sacred Disappearances
Course No.: 22986
Semester: 2016 Spring
Location: Acheson Annex – 02
Meeting Day(s): Tuesday
Meeting Time: 10:00AM - 12:40PM
This course will examine the context of church consolidation in Buffalo, NY. From March 2006 – August 2014, the Catholic Archdiocese of Buffalo decommissioned and sold 79 former churches. These churches punctuate the city landscape as polished stones left behind by overwhelming forces. The resistance that the buildings show to possible new programs, the inertia that is the counterpart to their tectonic majesty, is a fascinating social and design challenge. The problem is particular not just to Buffalo, but to many cities that have experienced extreme shifts in population and demographics. While attempting to manage the disappearance of “the faithful” and the disuse of sacred buildings, consolidation is invariably enmeshed with larger urban issues and with the social and economic forces that influence a city’s constitution. Our seminar sessions will examine the historical, cultural, and physical territory of such disappearance. Professionals in the fields of humanities, religious studies, preservation, real estate, and architecture will engage in discussion concerning the past, present and future of Buffalo’s religious buildings.