Fulton Church Nominated for Historic Places Designation

State Street United Methodist Church.
State Street United Methodist Church.

State Street Methodist Church building has been nominated for inclusion on the state and national registers of historic places.

The building, if it is accepted on either list, would become more eligible for grants and tax credits to preserve it.

In nominating the building, the state Board for Historic Preservation wrote of the church, “the 1894 Romanesque-inspired religious building is historically representative of the prominence that the city of Fulton obtained during the late 19th century as a major commercial and manufacturing hub on New York’s canal system.”

The church has stood its ground on the corner of S. Fourth and State streets since the late 1800’s, according to a history of the church posted on its website.

The first chapel was built in 1894 at a cost of $2,500.  An 800-seat auditorium was opened in 1901, costing $20,000. The new organ for the auditorium also cost $20,000.  In 1961, the two-story classroom building was built.

Over the years, according to the history, the church has been used as a makeshift hospital during a deadly influenza outbreak, a gathering spot for Boy Scout troops and other community groups, and, of late, the new home of the CNY Arts Center.

If the church building is approved for the state register, it will then be nominated for inclusion on the national register.  More than 90,000 buildings and historic structures are on the state’s registry.

State Street UMC was the only structure in Central New York nominated this year.  The list of 25 nominees runs the gamut from historic homes to factories to military facilities to the space shuttle Enterprise, which is housed in New York City on the deck of a battleship.