OLV National Shrine & Basilica, a national treasure and international destination, is in the midst of its centennial anniversary. This has heightened awareness not only of significant and urgently needed capital improvements, but also the desire to ensure the long-term viability, protection, and preservation of the Basilica and surrounding campus.


An opportunity for consideration in furthering preservation efforts started when OLV nominated the Basilica – and other Father Baker legacy buildings on Ridge Road & South Park Avenue - for listing on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. Listing raises awareness of the significance of properties and helps ensure that preservation issues are considered early and effectively in the planning process.


Additionally, there are a number of funding opportunities that could be taken advantage of with the Basilica – and surrounding campus – with being listed on the Registers.  These funding sources, both private and governmental, require listing on the register(s) in order to be eligible for funding.


In 2021, OLV embarked on the lengthy process to list OLV on the Registers.  The impact of historic register designation of the Basilica – and surrounding structures - was reviewed and commented on by Jake Schneider of Schneider Architectural Services.  Mr. Schneider expressed support for listing of the Basilica / campus based on his experience working with historic properties.


OLV then engaged Kerry Traynor, KTA Preservation, to source all information needed to complete the National Register of Historic Places registration forms.  The 91-page document identified 13 structures (including 780 Ridge Road, the former orphanage and current home of OLV Charities, the Knights of Columbus Father Baker Council, and St. Gianna Molla Center, 790, Catholic Health building, elementary school, etc.) on Father Baker’s campus that would fall under the historic designations.  Contained within the document were historic photos and building overviews that showcased the historic significance of each structure.


After nearly three years of work, OLV finally received New York State and National Register of Historic Places designations for the campus Father Baker built in Lackawanna. 


Joined by elected officials, community leaders and OLV’s friends, May 16, 2024 marked the official announcement that Father Baker’s City of Charity received these designations.  The campus will be known as the Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Basilica Complex moving forward.


If you wish to support OLV’s preservation efforts, please click the donate button in the upper right corner.