Friday, February 13, 2009

Threatened Churches of Troy

Here is an announcement from the Rensselaer County Historical Society about an upcoming event looking at the threatened churches of Troy:

Many of our downtown churches are threatened by declining attendance and the demands of maintaining historic structures.In Troy, the Roman Catholic Church plans to close six of the fourteen churches in Troy; two of the five Episcopal Churches are for sale, and others are also threatened. Unfortunately, many of the most threatened churches seem to be the oldest and most historic.

Architectural historian Ned Pratt will survey the important architecture and stained glass of these churches, and examine several examples of the adaptive reuse of historic Churches, including four in Troy itself.

Ned Pratt is a preservation consultant and President of the local chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. He has an interest in the stained glass and architecture of area churches, and has given talks and tours of area churches and stained glass for the Hudson Mohawk Gateway, Hudson Valley Community College, the Sage colleges, Historic Albany, and for Oakwood Cemetery - to mention just a few.

Please note - due to the public interest in this talk, it has been moved from RCHS to the Bush Memorial Center at Russell Sage College. The Bush Center is an adaptive reuse of the former First Presbyterian Church and provides the perfect setting for this topic.

The event will be held Thursday, February 19, 2009, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Bush Memorial Center, Russell Sage College, First & Congress Streets, Troy.

Although there was an area of intensive social services centered on St. Mary’s Church that had grown at the base of Mount Ida north of the Poesten Kill, in the late 1800s there were few churches serving the area around the lower Poesten Kill. Between Washington Park and the Poesten Kill there was just two: Saint Jean Baptiste (St. John the Baptist) and St. Laurence; south of the Poesten Kill there was only St. Joseph’s. Saint Jeane Baptiste was a French speaking church that was organized in 1850 on Ferry Street; their church on Second Street, south of Adams was dedicated in 1869. St. Laurence’s Church was a German speaking Roman Catholic congregation. It was first organized at meetings at St. Mary’s Church and then for a year at Alexander Lutzelberger’s Billiard Hall on River Street; they met at the French church in 1869 and the following year began building their church on the southeast corner of Third and Jefferson streets.

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