St. Casimir's RC Church - Table of Contents

Façade - St. Casimir's RC Church
160 Cable Street, Buffalo, New York




Chester Oakley


Byzantine Revival




Buffalo Landmark

History Beneath Illustrations

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information


Date photo taken: June1, 2002

View from the west: a neighborhood landmark


Rising above the facade are two small lanterns, one on each side.


Blind arcade

Terra cotta figures of Jesus and two angels

Wheel window

Main entrance

Tympanum over main entrance with terra cotta figures

Terra cotta geometric decoration

Polychrome terra cotta columns

Terra-cotta columns with cushion capitals


The 1880s and 1890s saw a steady increase in the number of immigrants coming to the WNY area. Not all the Poles were locating on the Eastside of Buffalo, but were settling in other areas of the city where employment could be found. The area east of Bailey Avenue running along Clinton Street, was a small farming community with a few German settlers. As economic opportunities increased, so did the population.

In 1890 the Poles organized a committee to discuss the possibility of establishing their own parish in the neighborhood. With the permission of the Bishop, the Rev. Rajmund Wieder, an assistant at St. Adalbert parish came to organize a parish which was to be named for St. Casimir, the Prince. The founder of the parish was a visiting priest who left Buffalo a year after the organization of the new parish. Rev. Wieder was the organizer of a Slovak parish in Braddock, PA and then worked in another Slovak parish in New Haven, PA, where he died in 1897. The wooden structure that was built under Fr. Wieder's guidance was known as the "Ark" because of its shape and construction. It served as the parish-church until the early 1900s when Fr. Kasprzak came to build a combination church school of brick. Fr. Kasprzak made great strides in normalizing the parish and the neighborhood, which at this point was in a doldrum state.

The 40 year pastorate of Rev. Antoni Majewski began in 1915 and was marked by the mammoth building campaign for a new church. In 1924, he embraked upon the building a magnificent Byzantine cathedral style church, something that WNYer had yet to see. Much of the plans and detail were the work of Fr. Majewski, that were developed following his visitations to Istanbul and his native Plock Poland. The church was dedicated in 1929 and now holds a "historic" status.

In 1976 the archbishop of Krakow, Poland - later Pope John Paul II - celebrated mass in the church

Although St. Casimir's is located in Kaisertown, the church is very much a part of the Buffalo Polish Community.

The present church succeeds an earlier wooden one built in 1890, about the time the parish was formed

St. Casimir's is an exquisite example of old Byzantine architecture. Special features of its facade are the two small cupolas at the top and the unusual terra cotta mural depicting Christ the King, St. Casimir, St. Stanislaus, and St. Hyacinth, with symbolic plaques bearing inscriptions.
Notable interior features include the following:

The Chapel of Our lady of Czestochowa was renovated in 1975.

Examples of Byzantine Chuches in Greece:

Special thanks to Francis V. Tonello for his assistance


Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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