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The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 21 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $337,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout New York State, including $7,000 to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Geneseo to help fund preparation of a conditions survey and master plan.
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Geneseo, New York is a distinctive example of the Gothic Revival completed in 1866 to the designs of noted New York architect Henry Dudley. The brick building, trimmed with stone, features a steeply pitched gable roof, Gothic-arched stained glass windows, and buttresses. Most prominent and distinctive is the masonry-clad slender bell tower and steeple. An 1897 parish house and chapel building were designed by George Heins and Christopher LaFarge.
The congregation uses its buildings to reach 2,500 people a year through a diverse range of community programming. The chapel is open 24 hours daily for contemplation. Alianza Agricola works with immigrant farmworkers in Western New York.
A food start-up (Cooperativa Las Cazuelas-the Casserole Co-operative) has grown out of this outreach, where immigrant women make and sell food. There are occasional lectures and discussion groups.
SUNY Geneseo uses the church to host seminars and independent study annually. Several musical groups and choirs host concerts in the sanctuary. There is an annual Teddy Bear Parade, weekly exercise classes, and 12-step groups.
“Our current grantees have social service programs that reach 53,000 people across New York State,” said Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “Our grants help keep these institutions viable, allowing them to continue feeding programs, day care, thrift stores, and recovery meetings.” “In this time of extreme need,” she added, “it is even more important to help these congregations continue to serve their communities.”
The Sacred Sites Program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, technical assistance, and workshops. Since 1986, the program has pledged 1,547 grants totaling more than $11.8 million to 824 religious institutions statewide.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a private non-profit organization, has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for more than 45 years.
Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $52 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs. The Conservancy has also offered countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals. The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State, protecting New York’s distinctive architectural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.