Niagara Gazette


November 11, 2013

HIGGS: More on Holy Trinity and the Old East Side

Niagara Gazette — I saw Mike Parsnick recently and he reminded me that in the very early days of immigration in Niagara Falls, the Polish immigrants living on the east side of the city and working on the hydraulic canal attended Mass at St. Mary’s of the Cataract Church on Fourth Street before they built a small wooden church to call their own on 13th Street which was later moved to land owned by the parish on 14th Street.

However, it was not long before the parishioners outgrew their little wooden church and Schmill & Gould, well-known architects in the Buffalo area were hired to design a new church. Braas Brothers Company was contracted on Oct. 2, 1905, to build the new church for $34,700. Stone from the hydraulic canal was chosen as the building material as so many of the parishioners had worked on the canal and it held a special place in the hearts of the church members. By December 1905, the foundation was completed and the walls were erected in the spring of 1906.

Let’s take a little time out to relate some history of Schmill & Gould as they exist today as Schneider Design Architects, PC at 443 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo. In 1886, Karl G. Schmill began the practice of architecture in Buffalo and soon formed the partnership with George C. Gould. Some notable achievements of this partnership were: Transfiguration RC Church (1893), St. John the Evangelist RC Church, Corpus Christi RC Church (1907) and Assumption RC Church (1914). Just prior to his death in 1914, his son Karl Jr. joined his father’s firm and was soon followed by his brother William Schmill Together the two brothers continued to design many churches, rectories, convents, and schools. William died in 1952 and Karl continued with a partner, C. J. Hoffmeyer until his retirement in 1956 when Schmill & Hoffmeyer expanded to form Schmill, Hoffmeyer, Sloan & Schneider. This eventually evolved into today’s Schneider Design, Architects, PC. A complete list of their projects over the years can be seen at

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