An American proto-Zionist solution to the "Jewish Problem"
St. Paul's Marker
St. Paul’s was the first permanent house of worship erected in Buffalo; the cornerstone was laid June 24, 1819. Being one of the largest public buildings in the village, St. Paul’s was the scene of numerous religious and civic activities. The first recorded Roman Catholic Mass in Buffalo was offered in St. Paul’s. The completion of the Erie Canal, in 1825, ended the role of St. Paul’s Church
as a simple mission on the western frontier of New York State. Buffalo grew rapidly. St. Paul’s became the mother church to newer parishes.
Sept. 15, 1825, St. Paul’s was the center of an extraordinary, humanitarian and ecumenical event. Mordecai Noah, of New York City, proposed that Grand Island, across from Buffalo, become a City of Refuge, he named Ararat, as a proto-Zionist solution to millennia of Jewish exile and homelessness. The Rev. Addison Searle permitted the dedicatory ceremony to be held, with much pomp, in St. Paul’s. The project was not successful.
The present church was completed in 1851, and was designated as the Diocesan Cathedral in 1866. On May 10, 1888, the Cathedral was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Only the outer walls and two spires remained. Dr. Israel Aaron, Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion, offered St. Paul’s congregation free use of the Temple on Sundays until their church could be rebuilt. The restored Cathedral was dedicated on January 3, 1890.
Today, the Cathedral Parish of St. Paul continues its long history of ecumenicalism, social service and spiritual ministry to the metropolitan community.
Wardens and Vestry of St. Paul’s Cathedral and
te Very Rev. N. DeLiza Spangler, Dean of the Cathedral
and Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation
Rev. Deliza Spangler, Wayne Mori - Archivist, Jerry Klinger - JASHP
St. Paul's Dedication and Address
St. Paul's Cathedral-click for Cathedral presentation