Page 7 - GC-May-June-2023
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From cigars to hair care to a hotel, the Kirsts did it all

         t’s that time of year again; time                          ladies the latest styles Al-              Wanting to live clos- history  with  fire  Al  joined  the
       Ito  get  my  summer  buzzcut.                               fred  secured  the  famous             er  to  the  lake  that  they Lakeview  Volunteer  Fire  Depart-
      Since I just get it all cut off I’m not                       Mr.  Campbell  from  the               enjoyed so much Al sold ment and to keep his business from
      particular about which barber I go                            Master Hair Shop.                      the  barbershop  and  in being  over  regulated  became  a
      to, but if I was walking down Gene-          GREGORY             Campbell   made   a                 1953  the  Kirsts  pur- member  of  the  WNY  Innkeepers
      see Street in the early 1950s, Alfred        WITUL            name for himself with his              chased  the  Highland Association. On Sept. 17, 1964 Al-
      J.  Kirst’s  shop  is  the  one  I  would                     Marcel  Permanent  Wave                Lodge  Hotel  on  Old fred J. Kirst passed away after suf-
      step into.                                                    with ringlet ends, and the             Lake Shore Road in Lake fering a heart attack at the hotel.
         Born  to  Frank  and  Catherine                            Nuhairlife  system  to  deal           View, NY.                In time the Highland Lodge Ho-
      Kirst  in  the  waning  days  of  1898,  as a barber. In 1915, the same year of  with alopecia. To generate  Built  in  1926  and tel  would  become  the  Hausbeck's
      Alfred  entered  into  a  prominent  his  father’s  death,  Alfred  added  a  another  income  stream  opened  July  31,  the Bavarian Chalet. Owned and oper-
      family  of  Buffalo’s  German  East  barber pole to the front of the factory  Kirst began teaching hair-  Highland  had  20  rooms ated by Al Hausbeck the Chalet was
      Side. Frank Kirst, a Bavarian native,  building at 862 Genesee. In the next  cutting  at  the  same  time.  for  visitors,  a  stage  for known  for  its  fresh  yellow  pike,
      was a well known cigar manufactur-  year, his brother Herman joined him  After a year, Campbell re-  bands, a full kitchen and potato   pancakes,   sauerbraten,
      er who was involved in Democratic  in cutting hair while the rest of the  turned  to  Master  Hair   bar, and a menu that spe- kassler  rippchen,  frikadelle,  and  a
      politics in Buffalo’s 18th Ward.  family ran the tobacco business. In  Shop and Al went back to      cialized  in  chicken  and fine selection of beers. Surprisingly
         Frank  was  able  to  greatly  ex-  time  this  company  would  become  being a barber shop.      steak dinners. The hotel both 862 and 855 Genesee are still
      pand his tobacco empire due to his  the  E.  P.  Kirst  &  Sons,  a  regional  For  the  next  20  years  was hopping for the rest standing, with the brick building at
      low  labor  cost,  employing  his  12  convenience store supplier and dis-  Kirst would cut hair at 855  of  the  20s  and  much  of the corner of Genesee and Fox ap-
      children to various parts of the oper-  tributor  that  ruled  the  market  for  earning $35 a week and be  the 1930s. In 1940 a fire pearing to be the better of the two.
      ation.  One  of  the  middle  children,  almost a century.    an  active  member  of  the            gutted  the  two  story  Do you have an interesting piece
      Alfred started working for his father  In the late 1920s Al moved his  Buffalo Barbers' Union. In the late building but Daniel Gold would re- of  German  American  history  you
      as a stripper, someone who removes  shop across the street to 855 Genesee  1930s Alfred began escorting Miss build the structure to its former glo- wish to know more about? Send a
      the  thick  center  stem  of  tobacco  leaving  his  brother  behind.  As  the  Mildred M. Otto to the annual ball ry.     photo  and  brief  description  to
      leaf, resulting in two useable sides  Great Depression set in, Kirst decid-  of  the  Ismailia  Temple  of  the  With the popular vacation lodge, stainedglassbuffalo@ or
      of leaf.                       ed that he needed to expand his cli-  Shrine  and  the  Ad  Club  Dances. Alfred  proved  to  be  a  skilled  bar- mail the item to Gregory Witul c/o
         A laborious and menial position,  entele and rebranded the store to the  The couple eventually became en- tender  and  competent  manager. Buffalo  Standard  Printing,  3620
      Al wanted more and began training  Kirst  Beauty  Shoppe.  To  serve  the  gaged and were married by 1942.  Knowing  that  the  building  had  a Harlem  Road,  Cheektowaga,  NY
                                                                                                                                 14215 and it may appear here.
      German places you should know about:

                                               St. Gerard Church, Buffalo

         by Martin Ederer                                                                         selected popes along the nave above  While the diocese promoted the
           ev.  William  Schreck  and  the                                                        the  side  aisle  arcades.  The  stained St.  Gerard  relocation  project  as  an
       Rprimarily German Catholics of                                                             glass was produced locally by Otto imaginative  approach  to  cultural
       the Bailey-Delavan section of Buf-                                                         Andrle.                        preservation, not all the local com-
       falo organized St. Gerard in 1902.                                                            By  the  1990s,  St.  Gerard  was munity were impressed. Disassem-
       The Gerhard Lang family (of brew-                                                          beginning to struggle.  Parishioner bly, shipment and reassembly could
       ery  fame),  which  owned  a  sizable                                                      numbers  began  to  dwindle  in  a be both technically unworkable and
       amount  of  land  in  that  part  of  the                                                  neighborhood that had become pre- economically  prohibitive.    And
       city,  donated  land  for  the  new                                                        dominantly non-Catholic.  Growing there  was  still  the  issue  of  a  local
       church.  The first Mass took place in                                                      crime  problems  in  the  area  com- cultural heritage that would be lost
       a grocery store at 1191 E. Delavan                                                         pounded the difficulties.      to Western New York. Admittedly,
       Ave.    The  store  remained  the                                                             By the 2000s, the Lyceum was few stepped up to press that issue for
       church,  school  and  rectory  until  a                                                    renovated  into  housing  for  single long.
       combination church/school and rec-                                                         mothers. A soup kitchen served the  As  things  turned  out,  complete
       tory were built.                                                                           growing indigent population in the relocation did not work out, but the
         A trolley line down Kensington                                                           area. In the end, the diocesan Jour- windows and artworks of St. Gerard
       Ave. to Bailey would have opened                                                           ney in Faith and Grace restructur- did get shipped to the Atlanta area
       up  the  area  to  Buffalo’s  rapid                                                        ing  program  in  2007  determined for Mary our Queen, which approx-
       growth were it not for nearby Sca-                                                         that  St.  Gerard  should  close.    The imated  St.  Gerard  in  a  suburban
       jaquada  Creek,  which  frequently                                                         parish  was  to  merge  into  Blessed setting.
       flooded.  Rev. Schreck helped to get                                                       Trinity.                          The shell of St. Gerard in Buffa-
       the city to remedy the problem by                                                             But what would become of the lo has been repurposed as a mosque,
       channeling the creek through under-                                                        building?    St.  Gerard  was  one  of Masjid Al Salam.
       ground conduits.                                                                           Western New York’s finest ecclesi-
         As  a  result,  Scajaquada  Creek  The  architectural  firm  of  Sch-  replica of the Basilica of St. Paul-  astical structures. A solution even-
       vanished  from  the  East  Side  land- mill  and  Gould  designed  the  new  Outside-the-Walls  in  Rome,  the  tually  surfaced  that  promised  both
       scape,  only  to  resurface  in  Forest Indiana limestone church.  The cor-  new  St.  Gerard  church  was  built  demolition  and  preservation.  Mary
       Lawn  Cemetery.    After  the  creek nerstone  was  laid  in  September  piecemeal.        our Queen Catholic parish near At-
       was “buried”, the area grew rapidly, 1911.  Designed to be a miniature  When the first level was com-  lanta  approached  the  Diocese  of
       requiring a bigger Catholic church.                          plete, a temporary roof capped it to  Buffalo about the possibility of dis-  January - February
                                                                    make  a  usable  church  until  more  mantling St. Gerard Church, trans-  March - April
                                                                    funds  came  in.  The  incomplete  porting   it   to   Georgia,   and  May - June
                                                                                                                                        July - August
       Conductor with WNY ties                                      church was dedicated in 1913.  The  reassembling  it  there.  The  parish  September - October
                                                                                                  there had been interested in design-
                                                                    clerestory and the campanile were
       releases new Mozart CD                                       completed in 1931.  In 1936, two  ing  a  church  very  much  like  St.  November - December
                                                                    bells  were  added  to  the  tower  to
                                                                    supplement one existing bell.
            atthias Manasi, international-                             Meanwhile,  Schreck  had  also
      Mly acclaimed opera and sym-                                  established an Italian mission – St.
      phony  conductor  and  citizen  of                            Lawrence – in 1914 for the stone-
      Berlin, who graced Buffalo with his                           workers  settled  near  Pine  Ridge
      artistry  as  opera  conductor  has  re-                      Cemetery. Schreck – who learned
      leased his new CD with Štátny ko-                             a  passable  Italian  –  served  that
      morný orchester Žilina of Mozart’s                            community from St. Gerard, in part
      Symphonies Nos. 34, 35 and 36 on                              to prevent Protestant inroads from
      hänssler CLASSIC label - available                            the  Italian  Edison  Street  Baptist
      worldwide  for  purchase  and  to                             Church among Catholic Italians in
      stream on YouTube, Spotify, all the                           the area. Since Schreck was such a
      usual platforms.                                              good  customer  of  Schmill  &
         Maestro  Manasi  said,  “I  am                             Gould,  they  drew  up  plans  for  a
      thrilled about the release of my new komorný  orchester  Žilina  (Slovak  simple wooden church there free of
      recording  with  the  brilliant  Štátny Sinfonietta) on April 7, 2023. Mo-  charge.
                                     zart's  magnificent,  riveting  and  St. Gerard was exquisitely dec-
                                     sparkling Symphonies Nos. 34, 35  orated with granite columns donat-
                                     and  36  are  virtuosic  and  colorful  ed  by  two  parishes  in  Germany,
           The views of columnists and
        letter writers do not necessarily  showcases  for  the  orchestra  and  I  and an Italian marble altar. Note-
        reflect the views of the German  am excited to present these master-  worthy also were the apse mural of
                                     works  on  my  new  recording  with
        Citizen. Letters to the editor are  hänssler CLASSIC.”      the Coronation of Mary, the Pietà
        welcome     at    mail@the      For details visit https://haenssler  by  Professor  Heinrich  Schmitt  of  or  by  mail:                            Canisius  College  as  well  as  the
        The German Citizen 3620 Har-         stations  of  the  cross,  also  by
        lem  Rd.,  Cheektowaga,  NY                                 Schmitt.  Also  faithfully  repro-
                                                                    duced  from  St.  Paul-Outside-the-
                                                                    Walls was a series of portraits of
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