Hidden Places at Canisius: the Attic

By Walter Zurowski '15


The historical school buildings at Canisius High School have a great deal of beauty that is visible to the eye. However, there is also a great deal of beauty that is not so visible to the eye. This beauty is hidden throughout the school. There are a number of areas at Canisius that go unseen by students and faculty in the day-to-day life of the school. One of these areas is the attic of Berchman's Hall, also known as the Koessler Academic Center. 

Berchman's Hall is the oldest part of the school and today houses the main reception area and offices including the president’s office, office of admission, and campus ministry. The castle-like mansion built in Jacobean Revival and English Tudor style was originally built as a home for the prominent Rand family. The building changed hands to the Freemasons of Buffalo, then to the City of Buffalo, and finally to Canisius High School. This building has been put to good use by the school over the past 75 years.

Today, the attic of Berchmans Hall is primarily used as a storage space for the school. One does not expect an attic to be anything too exciting, but this attic has some historical beauty. The ceilings in some parts of the attic are nearly 20 feet tall and they are supported by large brick supports. As one gets closer to the windows, they can see the beautiful triangular ceiling shape. These windows overlook Delaware Avenue as well as its intersections with Cleveland Avenue and West Ferry. 

The stonework and the wooden support beams in the attic give the area some Medieval vibes, when one takes a step into the attic, it almost feels as if one has taken a step back in time. Another interesting feature of the attic is a square area with windows on each of its sides. This area is a skylight that can be seen from the lower floors in Berchmans Hall. The beauty and intricacy of this attic is truly a testament to the fact that things are no longer built like they used to be.


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