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JUDGE PUTS DEMOLITION OF EAST SIDE CHURCH ON HOLD

A judge has postponed demolition of a landmark Catholic church for at least another week.

State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Howe said Tuesday she will rule next Tuesday on the request by William Trezevant and his mother, Pauline Nowak, for a preliminary injunction to prevent the demolition of the church at Sycamore and Mill streets, forcing the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo to discuss alternative uses of the 100-year-old building.

Judge Howe conducted an hourlong hearing on the request and the diocese's efforts to dismiss the lawsuit.

Barry L. Radlin, the lawyer for Kimmins Industrial Services Corp. of Niagara Falls, asked that Trezevant and Ms. Nowak post an insurance bond to cover any costs if the company's deal with the diocese to raze the structure is canceled.

Joseph A. Stoeckl, attorney for Bishop Edward D. Head and the diocese, argued that neither Trezevant nor Ms. Nowak, descendants of two of the church's founding families, have "legal standing" to intervene.

James D. Gauthier, the plaintiff's attorney, told the judge the diocese "has refused" to talk to them or other founding family members of the church built in 1893 about possible community uses of the building.

"We've been trying to sit down and pursue alternative uses" but the bishop refuses to discuss the matter, Gauthier said.

Stoeckl said Bishop Head, who has had to close four East Side churches in recent years because of drops in attendance, is "most sensitive" to cultural and social issues and noted all artistic items in the church have been preserved.

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