3 historic churches receive ‘Sacred Sites’ grants

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The Pullman Memorial Universalist Church will use $3,000 grant for a roof repair study at the church at the corner of East Park and South Main streets.

ALBION – Three historic churches in the Albionarea all have received “Sacred Sites” grants that will help advance projects ranging from roof and tower repair studies to repointing of the masonry.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy approved 23 grants state-wide for $275,000. That includes $3,000 to the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church, $1,500 to the First Presbyterian Church of Albion and $1,000 to the Cobblestone Universalist Church.

Peg Breen, president of the Landmarks Conservancy, noted that the grant recipients serve important roles in the community as religious and community institutions.

“It’s vital to repair and renew religious buildings,” she said. “Not only do these sites convey their communities’ history, they serve their neighborhoods today with food pantries, nursery schools, concerts and a variety of worthy programs.”

The Cobblestone Society Museum has been awarded a matching grant to survey the roof and tower of the Cobblestone Universalist Church, a building from 1834 that is part of the museum near the intersection of routes 98 and 104.

The Cobblestone Universalist Church is most prominent building in the Cobblestone Society Museum. The church from 1834 needs roof and tower repairs. The $1,000 grant will go towards a survey to determine the repairs needed for the roof and tower. The church is used for a variety of historical programs, services and weddings every year.

The Presbyterian Church was built in 1874, and its 175-foot-high spire makes it the tallest building in the county. The church is working to repoint some of the masonry on the sandstone structure at the corner of Main and State streets.

The First Presbyterian Church in Albion was awarded a $1,500 grant to help with some repointing work on the building that was constructed in 1874.

“Any support helps and makes a difference,” said the Rev. Doug Holmes, the church pastor. “We want the church to be around and vital for a long time to come.”

The church is used by many community organizations, including Scouts, a garden club and various 12-step groups. It also is used to host the Eastman at Albion concert series and a baccalaureate program for graduating high school seniors.

The Pullman building was built in 1894 at the corner of East Park and Main streets. The building includes 41 Tiffany stained-glass windows. The congregation is working to replace the roof.

The Orleans County Genealogical Society has monthly meetings at the church, which has also hosted at Eastman concert. The Concerned Citizens of Orleans County also meet at the site to discuss their efforts to keep the county nursing home publicly owned.