Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Saving Our City's Most Beloved Church

On Saturday, the First Presbyterian Church announced on its Facebook page that the Sunday worship service would take place at the Reformed Dutch Church in Claverack. On Monday morning, the word started circulating that the iconic church at the corner of Fourth and Warren streets had been "condemned."

Thank goodness the true state of affairs, although dire enough, is not quite so damning.

Photo: Dan Region
After last year's successful and much celebrated restoration of the building's major stained glass window, the Friends of the First Presbyterian Church turned their attention to the roof, which needed replacement. Before this task was undertaken, an engineering firm was hired to study the underlying structure of the roof--the beams and trusses that support the weight of the roof. That study, which was received on Saturday, October 29, discovered that some of the mortise and tenon joints had separated, other elements had shifted, and the weight of the roof was now being concentrated on only a few members. Reverend Kathryn Beilke told Gossips this morning, "The engineers concluded that the situation is not safe and that it would not be prudent to allow anyone in the building for the time being."

This news, although disturbing, is not a death knell for the church. Beilke states: "We understand that so many of our friends and neighbors depend upon this building as a part of their weekly or daily lives. We want to assure them of our confidence that there is a way forward and that this damage is repairable. We are unsure of a timeline as of now. But we are working diligently to ensure that the building is functional and approachable as soon as possible."

1 comment:

  1. Save it by supporting the congregation by being a part of the congregation. Churches are not just pretty museums of some lost culture. The congregation was small and struggling when I was there in the early '00's. Communities of faith need people. Keith Patterson+