A lift was on site of E. B. Green’s architectural gem on Symphony Circle the week of June 12 to conduct chemical testing on grout formulas to be used between the interior and exterior stone and brickwork of the 163-feet-tall tower when restoration work begins later this summer. The work was conducted by architect LaLuce Mitchell of Flynn Battaglia and associated engineers.

 

Funding for this project is made available through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s environmental protection fund for Historic Preservation Work Detail announced in December 2016. The project was competitively applied for through Empire State Development’s annual Consolidated Funding Application process. The grant is specifically to preserve, rehabilitate and restore properties listed on a state or national register of historic places.

 

The restoration and repointing is expected to cost $437,920 in total. The balance of the costs not covered by the grant will be paid by more than $100,000 already raised though generous donations and grants to One Symphony Circle, Inc., the 501(c)(3) whose mission is to assure the ongoing preservation, restoration and maintenance of First Church as a community asset for future generations.

 

First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo is the oldest congregation in Buffalo, founded on February 2, 1812. Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Hughes serves as pastor. The church’s architecturally significant building on Symphony Circle features Tiffany-designed stained glass windows and two impressive pipe organs. Creative use of space within the large structure has allowed the church to continue its long-standing history of serving refugee and immigrant populations through rentals to seven tenants, including Explore Buffalo and Houghton College’s first city campus. The building was inducted into the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame in 2016.