“I’m not at all interested in plundering Buffalo,” said [Mary Our Queen Fr. David] Dye, “But the truth of the matter is that otherwise, St. Gerard’s is not going to survive.”
Mary Our Queen members are energized. “It’s like waiting for Christmas,” declared Patricia Di Rito, who said the churches built in the Atlanta area in the last 50 years “don’t have the beauty” of many churches in the Northeast. “The Civil War destroyed everything,” she said.
Rodney Cook, president of the National Monuments Foundation, called the idea of moving the church “the cutting edge of preservation in America today.” “If we continue to let buildings that fine linger unused, they’re doomed for collapse and that’s a tragedy all the way around,” he said.
[Buffalo Council President David] Franczyk laments taking St. Gerard’s out of its architectural context and dropping it 900 miles away, into a sprawling suburb with exclusive country clubs and upscale shopping. Norcross, once a tiny 19th-century railroad stop, is now home to thousands of corporate transplants living in rambling executive colonial homes with manicured lawns. “Where they want to take that church is no place for a 1912 building replicating an ancient church from Europe,” Franczyk said. “There’s no place for it in that kind of milieu.” Once gone, he said, it can never be replaced.