2 sacred sites open doors this weekend

Staff Reports Posted 17 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Historic churches showcase architecture today and Sunday

File photos by Tom Rivers – The First Presbyterian Church of Albion, with its 175-foot-high spire, is the tallest structure in Orleans County.

The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church includes this stained-glass window, an early work by the famed Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of “Christ the Consoler.” 2 Albion churches featured as Sacred Sites

ALBION – Historic churches around the state this weekend are opening their doors to showcase the architectural wonders inside the buildings.

Two Albion churches, First Presbyterian and Pullman Memorial Universalist, are participating in the fourth annual “Sacred Sites” tour in New York, an event aimed to raise public appreciation for the churches as community treasures with stained-glass windows, pipe organs, ornately carved pews, decorative paintings and murals.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is spearheading the Sacred Sites tour. The organization provides grants to churches in New York. The two Albion churches are among the recipients of Sacred Sites awards.

Sacred Sites offers New Yorkers the chance to experience the beautiful religious art and architecture throughout the area. The event is also intended to assist religious institutions in promoting their history, cultural programming and social services.

The theme of this year’s Open House is “Sacred Sites and the Community: How Immigration and Migration Shape New York,” which will focus on the rich histories and extraordinary contributions of New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

The Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program is the only statewide program in the country providing financial and technical assistance for the restoration of culturally significant religious properties. Since 1986, the program has disbursed grants of more than $8 million to more than 700 congregations regardless of denominations.

The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church was built with Medina sandstone and includes 41 Tiffany stained-glass windows.

The First Presbyterian Church in Albion completed a $300,000 renovation and restoration of its interior about six years ago, including work on the rose window.

The churches will be open for tours from noon to 3 p.m. both today and on Sunday.

The Pullman church is located at 10 East Park St. The church was built in 1894 with money from railroad manufacturer George Pullman, who grew up in Albion. The building is an excellent example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the NY Landmarks Conservancy stated. The church has 41 Tiffany stained-glass windows including one of “Christ the Consoler” that was featured in Tiffany brochures in 1898.

The Presbyterian Church at 29 East State St. was built in 1874 and includes a 175-foot-high spire, the tallest structure in the county. About six years ago, the congregation completed a $300,000 restoration and renovation of its interior.