Over the years Buffalo’s Sacred Heart Convent and Academy have undergone location changes, name changes, building changes, program changes. From Washington Street to Main Street, from Herz Jesu Kloster to Sacred Heart Convent; from motherhouse to high school, grade school, normal school, boarding house; from from one building to several buildings, which today include Clare Music Hall and the new convocation center/athletic facility. Evolution and flexibility seem to have been constant hallmarks of Sacred Heart’s history.
In the following exerpt from the 1905 provincial chronicle we read about some of the early changes at which stemmed from the acquisition of a new piece of property.
The motherhouse, Buffalo, N.Y.: About the end of January, our next door neighbor, Mr. Putman, died suddenly. An occasion offered itself to purchase his property (house and lot). His heirs made the offer to us and it looked tempting. The transaction was handled by a man (a friend of the sisters), Mr. Rittling by name, thus relieving us of carrying on the negotiations. About the time of the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, the deal was settled and the property became ours for $20,000. . . . Up to date, the "Putman" house, which we had acquired, received no attention. Thorough cleaning, repairs and some renovations began in August. We had decided to use it as a kindergarten for our children and let out the remaining rooms to women who cared to board here. Everything worked out well. By the end of September all was going on well; the children were happy in their new kindergarten; four rooms had been rented out to ladies; about seven rooms were as yet unoccupied but requests for them soon followed.
--From: Provincial Chronicle--SHA, Buffalo, N.Y., 1900-1907
Photo: St. John Convent and School, c1924