Architecture of Westminster


Westminster's Romanesque Revival

Designed by the architect, H.M. Wilcox. Light "yellow" brick, likely to have come from Jesse Ketchum's native Canada, was used. Windows on the Delaware, north and south walls have round arches. Pointed Gothic arches were installed on the interior when new windows were installed, 1931-1952. Small brick arches in the cornice are reminiscent of Lombardy architecture of northern Italy. The Parish House, built in 1918, housing the Parish Hall and Case library, resembles a Norman keep. Behind Westminster is the restored Victorian stable for the Rumsey residence, now used by Early Childhood Programs.


When the Sanctuary was renovated in 1903, Tiffany Studios stenciled Christian symbols in gold throughout: thirteen around the chancel arch, eleven in the chancel and sixty-six on wall panels; all being complemented by the rich colors of their windows. In 1931,Westminster started replacing the windows; the last of which can be found in the south anteroom by the Delaware Avenue entrance. The symbols were covered during the 1954 renovation. During the renovation of 1992, symbols in the chancel and around its arch were restored. The new windows are in the Gothic Revival style, similar in design and fabrication to those found in the 12th and 13th century cathedrals of Europe. In 1967 the "Praise" window, facing Delaware Avenue on the north side of the main entrance, was dedicated in a service led by Dr. Kiely. This window completed a plan initiated by Dr. Holmes and implemented by Dr. Butzer from 1932 to 1962. Altogether there are thirty-one masterpieces by four of the leading artists associated with the Gothic revival in America: Henry Willet of Philadelphia and Wilbur Burnham, Charles Connick, and Joseph Reynolds of Boston.

The biblical and symbolic substance depicted in this art is very comprehensive. There are 218 unique items of interest throughout the Sanctuary, Delaware entrance and Holmes Chapel: 127 bible stories in the windows, 56 Judeo-Christian symbols on walls and in the windows , and 33 significant events associated with Work of the Church portrayed in the windows. To appreciate this scope, begin in the Sanctuary at the Delaware end with the ten windows which cover the complete story of the Bible: Old Testament on the North, and New Testament on the South.

For a full commentary on Westminster's Architecture, visit: Buffalo As An Architectural Museum with compelling pictures of the Church and grounds.

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