$10K grant approved for Hillside chapel restoration

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 21 December 2016 at 6:16 pm
Photo by Kristina Gabalski: The Clarendon Historical Society is working to restore the chapel at Hillside Cemetery.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: The Clarendon Historical Society is working to restore the chapel at Hillside Cemetery.

CLARENDON – The Clarendon Historical Society this week received a $10,000 grant from the Orleans County Foundation/Curtis Foundation for restoration of the historic Medina Sandstone non-denominational chapel in Hillside Cemetery.

“Their continued support of this project as well as others in Orleans County, demonstrates their active interest in the betterment of our community through engaging with organizations working to improve a variety of programs and places,” Clarendon Historical Society member Erin Anheier said of the Orleans County Foundation/Curtis Foundation.

The Historical Society previously received grants from the Foundation for exterior mortar repointing and window restoration for the chapel.

Historical Society President Melissa Ierlan said the funds will help cover incidentals and the anticipated need of hiring professionals for the restoration process, which will be in compliance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

She said she is “thrilled people are still granting us money, considering how long it is taking us to get through this process.”

Ierlan explained there has been much time-consuming paperwork involved in the restoration process, and she is humbled by the support the project has been shown.

Hillside Cemetery was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2013 with the chapel being a major contributing asset, Anheier said.  In 2014, the Landmark Society of Western New York named the chapel to their “Five to Revive” list.

The chapel was built in 1894 of locally quarried Medina Sandstone, she said, and is a “fine example of Gothic Revival architecture.”

Restoration plans include replacing the slate roof with new slate, rebuilding the stained glass windows and refurbishing the interior.

“Once restored, the chapel is envisioned as a community meeting place for events such as lectures, art shows, musical presentations and weddings. Work is anticipated to begin early in 2017,” Anheier said.

The Historical Society’s fund-raising campaign for restoration of the chapel began in 2014 and Anheier said tax deductible donations have been received from community members, through grants, and from entrance fees for Historical Society-sponsored events at the cemetery and chapel to support the project.

The Historical Society  is “very appreciative of the support and encouragement they have received from the local community and look forward to holding events in the refurbished chapel,” Anheier said.

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