Religious Reconstruction

Religious Reconstruction.

"Religious Reconstruction": A still from the film, of Assembly House 150, which houses an architectural craft workforce training program in the former Immaculate Conception Church in Buffalo.

More than 4,000 churches close their doors in the United States every year. For Buffalo, severe population loss has compounded an ever-increasing number of vacant churches—buildings that, while highly regarded in the urban fabric, are notoriously difficult to repurpose. The former Immaculate Conception Church demonstrates an attitude towards adaptive reuse that counters traditional notions of preservation and restoration, treating the building as a site for exploration and transformation. Now home to the Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA), its interior houses an imaginative workforce training program that pairs social services with workshops that bolster creative thinking and technical skills in carpentry and woodworking.

The school's engagement with adaptive reuse and historic preservation intersects with our explorations of urban design and planning, architecture and real estate development.

Visions and Works


Society for the Advancement of Construction-Related Arts will infuse the region’s workforce with skilled craftspeople who can contribute to a range of construction jobs, including the growing number of historic preservation projects happening throughout Buffalo.

University at Buffalo architecture faculty members Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis are in the running for a 2018 AZ Award from AZURE magazine for a micro dwelling they designed in Buffalo, and the public can help them win.
Teams of UB graduate students in real estate development, architecture, and urban planning recently presented recommendations for how three centrally-located parking lots in downtown Buffalo could eventually be redeveloped.

As their master's thesis, four architecture students turn a crumbling house in Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood into an architectural gem and an experiment in minimalist living.

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, an important piece of Buffalo's architectural and cultural history, is now officially on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks, in part, to the efforts of students in the School of Architecture and Planning's historic preservation program. 

Architecture professor Miguel Guitart has developed a series of hauntingly beautiful photos on Buffalo's vacant architecture that has won praise from an international organization that fosters creative dialogue through brief presentations.


UB students KelseyLiz Habla and Charles Canfield have an award-winning proposal to turn Buffalo’s Cyclorama Building into a year-round home for the beloved theatre company Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

This certificate engages with the historic built environment and introduces students to the theory and practice of historic preservation through coursework in history and theory, methods, preservation planning and design and taking advantage of the incredible historic resources in the Buffalo Niagara region.