Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica and Unitarian Universalist Church receive Sacred Sites Grants

Thanks to matching grants from New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program, two WNY religious landmarks are receiving funding to better secure their architectural assets. The funding awarded to the two historic religious entities is as follows:

$40,000 to Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna (lead image), New York to help fund copper dome replacement

$9,000 to Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo (inset right) to help fund stained-glass window repairs and the installation of new protective glazing.$40,000

“We are delighted that our grants will help these diverse congregations maintain their buildings and continue to serve their communities with social service and cultural programs,” said Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy. ”These 14 congregations reach a total of 60,000 people beyond their congregations with no-cost or low-cost services. “

About the two landmarks:

Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna, New York

Our Lady of Victory is a monumental basilica form, Georgia marble-clad church completed in 1926 to the designs of Cleveland, Ohio-based architect Emile Ulrich.  The church is the second on this site.  Our Lady of Victory eventually replaced St. Patrick’s Church after a fire in 1916 heavily damaged the church.  Buffalo priest, the Rev. Nelson Baker, conducted a nationwide campaign to raise the $3.5 million to construct the church.  When completed, the copper dome was second in size only to the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.  The dome features four, 20-foot high copper angel statues set above the transept corners. 

Our Lady of Victory reaches about 14,500 people annually through activities and services such as OLV Human Services, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, OLV Elementary School, and a weekly AA group.  The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra holds periodic concerts in the basilica.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, New York

This church complex consists of two buildings that occupy a corner site and define a large open landscaped garden.  Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, was a member of the First Unitarian Church, a predecessor congregation.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo reaches about 400 people outside its membership through activities such as 12-step groups, folk-dancing groups, Food not Bombs–an anti-hunger advocacy group, a Girl Scout troop, a banned-book club, Women’s Society lunches, a memoir writing group, a grief support group, concerts, and meetings of the Buffalo Collage Club.  Covenant Groups and Sufism classes also use space at the church.

‘For more information, visit

Photos Courtesy of The New York Landmarks Conservancy

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