About Lt. Col. Matt Urban
On November 11, 2000, the Polish Community Center of Buffalo was renamed in honor of Lt. Col. Matt Urban. Lt. Col. Urban was arguably the most highly decorated soldier in American History. He grew up at 1153 Broadway, steps from the Polish Community Center. In his youth he participated in the Center’s social activities and the traditions of the Broadway Fillmore Polonia neighborhood. The Center is proud to bear the name of a true American Hero.
A plaque hangs in the Center’s hallway as a reminder of this remarkable American Soldier’s achievements. It reads:
Lt. Col. Matt Urban was born on August 25, 1919 in Buffalo of Polish immigrants and raised at 1153 Broadway and attended School #57. He entered the U.S. Army in 1941, serving as a Captain with the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division in France during World War II. He received 28 decorations, including the Silver Star (1 OLC), Bronze Star (2OLC) with “V” device, Purple Heart (6 OLC) and NYS Conspicuous Cross with 4 Silver and 1 Gold Clusters. In 1980, the U.S. Congress awarded Lt. Col. Urban the nation’s highest award for valor, the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. President Jimmy Carter described Lt. Col. Urban as the “Greatest Soldier in American History”. Lt. Col. Urban was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in March 1995
For more information on Lt. Col. Matt Urban see:
History of the Matt Urban Center
The Polish Community Center’s site at 1081 Broadway was built in 1905 as a Dom Polski (Polish Home) Club. Throughout the years the building saw many changes including retail space on the first floor, while maintaining the social club’s presence above. In 1976 The Polish Community Center of Buffalo was incorporated as a cultural/service organization. In the last 40 years, the Center has grown into the multi faceted human service organization that exists today . It now operates eight sites and employs nearly 100 people. On November 11, 2000, the PCCB officially changed its name to the “Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of Western New York” (the Matt Urban Center) and rededicated its mission to serve the needs of the diverse surrounding community under a new corporate identity. By taking the name of Lt. Col. Matt Urban, the PCCB paid honor to the most decorated war veteran in American history, who was born and raised in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.