Buffalo’s rich history can be found in all sorts of places – including in the collection of its historic stained glass windows. The Stained Glass Association of America has compiled a list of the top must-see stained glass located within and around the city. Whether you're a local searching for hidden gems, or you plan on visiting for the first time, we have a list of glass that can't be missed.
Delaware Ave Baptist Church at 965 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209
Built in 1894, the Church’s interior was designed by J&R Lamb Studios, America’s oldest continuously-run decorative art’s company. J&R Lamb Studios constructed some of the country’s first opalescent stained glass windows for the Church, including the opalescent stained glass dome skylight. Opalescent glass is easily recognizable by its swirling, multi-colored appearance.
Trinity Episcopal at 371 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202
Trinity is the home to stained glass windows from multiple well-known studios from the turn of the nineteenth century: Hardman and Co., W. Gibson and Sons, Mayer of Munich, John La Farge, and Tiffany Studios, with installations ranging from 1886 to 1897. It’s one of only two places in the world that houses the original work of John La Farge and Louis Comfort Tiffany side by side. Trinity also serves as the headquarters of the Stained Glass Association of America.
First Presbyterian Church at 1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201
This church was constructed in the 1880s through the 1890s by E.B. Green’s firm Green & Wicks in the Romanesque Style. With its Byzantine interior, it is full of many jewels, including mosaic stencils, golden dome, and three Tiffany Studio chandeliers, designed based off of the chandeliers in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
First Presbyterian holds stained glass windows from three of the most important designers of the time: Tiffany Studios, Mary Tillinghast, and Ford and Brooks of Boston.
One of the most popular windows is “New Jerusalem”, from Tiffany Studios, designed by Frederick Wilson Tiffany and installed in 1916. Layered and jewel glass allows the landscape to change with the moving sun—during the morning it’s clear but by the afternoon, the city vanishes into the clouds.
Temple Beth Zion at 805 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY, 14209
The Temple’s two massive stained glass windows were created by Ben Shahn and Benoit Gilsoul, and fabricated by Willet Studios of Philadelphia.The circular building features ten scalloped walls, representing each if the Ten Commandments, as wekk as a Casavant Freres pipe organ with four thousand pipes.
Our Lady of Charity Parish at 1901 South Park Ave, Buffalo, NY 14220
Known once as the “Most Celtic Church in America”, Our Lady of Charity has stained glass windows from the Tiroler Glasmalerei (“Stained Glass”) Company from Innsburk, Austria, and from Rambusch Stained Glass.
Scaccia Auditorium at Canisius High School at 1180 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209
Bought by the Freemasons in 1925, the auditorium’s foyer has a black marble and gold accents and Greek Doric Columns. The auditorium’s interior has a neoclassical style with Corinthian columns supporting the ornamental ceiling molding. The ceiling’s painting of the earth is surrounded by a Tiffany Studios stained glass feature depicting the sun and its rays.
St. Louis Catholic Church at 35 Edward Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
The Royal Munich Art Institute designed the stained glass windows in the sanctuary, and Buffalo’s local firm Riester & Frohe designed the stained glass windows in the navy clerestory.
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church at 389 Peckham Street, Buffalo, NY 14206
Franz Mayer of Munich designed these gorgeous windows in Munich Pictorial Style.
Buffalo City Hall Council Chambers at 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202
The stained glass domed skylight over the council chambers is a sunburst, combining art deco style with Iroquois artistry.
Ceiling in the Guaranty Building at 140 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
This beautiful and ornamental building has an Art Nouveau stained glass skylight of repeating plant pods from Healy and Miller Studios of Chicago and mosaic walls.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 168 Chestnut Street, Lockport, NY 14094
Saint John’s has fantastic architecture and stained glass windows in the dalle de verre style.
Central Park United Methodist Church at 216 Beard Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214
Central Park Methodist Church was built between 1921 - 1923 by Charles Bolton and Sons in the Perpendicular English Gothic style. This is the congregation’s second church building used to accommodate their ever growing population, which originally founded in 1892.The church features intricately stenciled grisaille stained glass windows from Montague Castle-London Company of New York City.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at 2319 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY, 14210
This Italian Romanesque Revival style former church has its windows and interior designed by Rambusch Decorating Co.
Buffalo Religious Arts Center at 157 East Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
Previously Saint Francis Xavier Church, this former sanctuary now serves as a museum for stained glass, sacred artifacts, and other artwork from houses of worship who have now closed over the years. The Center’s collection is from all denominations, making it the perfect stop for all who love fine art.
The Darwin Martin House at 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214
Frank Lloyd Wright, renowned designer and organic architect, not only designed the sprawling, prairie-style complex in 1905, but designed 394 individual glass art works for this house, including “light screen” glass windows, doors, skylights, light fixtures, and cabinet doors.
Roycroft Inn at 40 S Grove Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
The Roycroft Inn was constructed in1905 to accommodate the artists and visitors coming to visit the Roycroft Campus, which was a center for artistry and entrepreneurship, drawing in working artisans and craftsmen from all over. The Inn itself became a community center.
Westminster Presbyterian at 724 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209
In 1903, the church was renovated by Tiffany Studios, but were ultimately replaced by English Tudor Gothic style stained glass from William Willet, Wilbur Burnham, Charles Jay Connick, and Joseph Reynolds, four leading artists of the time. Regardless, some of the original Tiffany’s still remain: one Tiffany window, and the restored stenciled symbols around the chancel and chancel arch.
Now is the perfect time to see stained glass- as we move into fall and winter, these sacred and public spaces have more performances, fundraisers, and other family-friendly events happening, providing plenty of opportunities to visit.
The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) is hosting the fundraiser celebration Facet & Form: Glass Tradition Reimagined. On November 4th, 2022, the SGAA is taking over the Trinity Episcopal campus with glass making activities, stained glass and mosaic demonstrations, and an inside look at the jewels of Trinity’s windows. Come see how every component of a stained glass window is made before your very eyes, all while enjoying food and an open bar courtesy of Fat Bob’s Smokehouse.