St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, located at 139 Pearl Street, is a recognizable landmark of downtown Buffalo. Completed in 1873, St. Paul's is situated on a triangular lot bounded by Church, Pearl, Main and Erie Streets, also bordering Cathedral Park. The original building on the site was the first permanent church edifice in Buffalo. In 1819 the Holland Land Company gave St. Paul's Church in buffalo the first site in the village for religious purposes. Incorporated February 10, 1817, St. Paul's celebrated its 175th anniversary in 1992.
In 1848, vestrymen of St. Paul's in Buffalo formed a building committee to build a new stone church. Being familiar with architect Richard Upjohn’s work through his recently completed Trinity Church in New York City, they desired no other architect for the job and engaged Upjohn for the commission. The construction of St. Paul's began shortly after in 1849 and once completed, Upjohn declared the building his finest work yet.
Built of Medina sandstone, the church follows the Early English parish church Gothic of the 13th century. In 1866 it was chosen as the Episcopal Cathedral for the Diocese of Western New York, a role it fulfills today as a very active ministry to the community. In 1888 shortly after Upjohn's death, there was a gas explosion in the Church and the entire structure was nearly lost. Luckily the hearty sandstone withstood the fire and Robert Gibson soon led the repair initiative. An equally admired architect to Upjohn, Gibson retained most of the original design inside and out. The only changes made to Upjohn's original design was stone structural reinforcements replacing the original wood.
Thanks to Gibson's sensitivity, St. Paul's, erected in the style of the 13th century and rebuilt in the style of the 14th century, remains Buffalo's finest church of the 19th century. St. Paul's was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.