John Yurtchuk to purchase and donate historic Clement Residence to the BPO

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter, announced that local developer and philanthropist John Yurtchuk will purchase the property at 786 Delaware Avenue and will donate the campus centerpiece, the Clement Residence, to the BPO as a gift to the orchestra’s Crescendo Campaign. It will soon house both the Red Cross and BPO administrative staffs. This gesture ranks among the biggest and most creative donations in the history of the BPO.

“I am so pleased to be able to bring together and assist two major non-profit organizations that I’ve been close to for years.  I’m very happy to have found the ideal steward in the BPO for the iconic Clement Residence and to preserve this important part of Buffalo history.  Collaboration between non-profits is the wave of the future and this is a prime example of creative and strategic thinking by the leadership of both organizations,” John Yurtchuk said.

The 17,000 square foot building was designed by E.B. Greene and was built in 1912. It was given to the Red Cross in 1941 and has served as its local headquarters ever since. Under the terms of a lease agreement, the two organizations will essentially split the space, with the Red Cross occupying a portion of the first floor and the entire third floor while the BPO staff will occupy the second floor. The foyer and conference rooms on the main floor will be shared by the two organizations. Overall, the building will accommodate nearly 50 people across both organizations.

“The Board of the Western New York Chapter of the Red Cross is very happy to see this historic property purchased by a local philanthropist and donated to a local partner like the BPO. This will allow us to continue to be a resident in the building that was so generously donated by the Clement family to us, and be positioned to serve our many clients in the core of the city of Buffalo,” said Murray Covello, American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter Board Chair. “After review and consultation with the Board, the Clement family and other stakeholders we believe the sale of the entire property is the right decision that will position us for the long term. We look forward to working with the BPO and other tenants to make the campus a thriving hub in this community.”

By remaining in the building, the Red Cross continues to honor Carolyn Tripp Clement’s donation 75 years ago. This new collaboration also returns music to this historic building directly supporting the Clement family legacy.

“The recent news about ‘786,’ the former home of Carolyn Tripp Clement, is exciting indeed,” said Stephen M. Clement, III, Carolyn’s great-grandson. “As a Clement Trustee of the Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, I have followed closely the real estate transactions which have culminated in today’s announcement. I have communicated with over fifty relatives and descendants of our great grandmother. One cousin put it very well: ‘It sounds like a complete win-win-win for the Philharmonic, the Red Cross and for the family.'”

This move provides potential new revenue opportunities for the BPO. The Clement Residence was built for a very musical family. There is a stunning two-story music room that will once again be utilized for concerts with the BPO and other organizations which may host musical events in the space. The BPO looks forward to providing greater access to the community through concerts, events, tours of the historic building, and new benefits for its donors and subscribers.

“The BPO is grateful for this extraordinary gift from John and Carolyn Yurtchuk, who serve our community in many quiet and meaningful ways. The Clement Residence has significant value today and its value is likely to grow well into the future. This donation is transformative and addresses each of the Orchestra’s strategic priorities – finding new and innovative ways to connect with our community, continuing our artistic growth and development by showcasing our musicians, and strengthening our fiscal position while ensuring the organization is able to control of own destiny. We look forward to our stewardship of this historic building that has been part of Western New York for over 100 years,” said Stephen Swift, Chairman of the BPO Board.

About the BPO Crescendo Campaign:

The BPO is in the final phase of the Crescendo Campaign to increase its endowment past the $50 million mark and strengthen its annual operating budget.  Once complete, the BPO will operate under orchestra industry standards with an endowment five times its operating budget of $11 million. To make a gift or learn more information about the campaign, please contact Katie Bates Johnson, Crescendo Campaign Coordinator, at 716-242-7828 or, or visit

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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