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Fulton’s State Street United Methodist Church Receives Robert W. Wilson Sacred Sites Challenge Grant

State Street UMC - Fulton. Photo courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

State Street UMC - Fulton. Photo courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 22 Sacred Sites Grants totaling more than $300,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout New York State including a Robert W. Wilson Sacred Sites Challenge Grant of $35,000 to State Street United Methodist Church in Fulton, for roof replacement and tower repairs.

State Street UMC - Fulton. Photo courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy
State Street UMC – Fulton. Photo courtesy of the New York Landmarks Conservancy

“Religious institutions anchor their communities,” said Peg Breen, president of The New York Landmarks Conservancy.  “They remind us of our history and provide vital social service and cultural programs today.”

The State Street United Methodist Church in Fulton is working on a roof replacement and tower repairs project.

The red brick Romanesque Revival-style church has round-arch stained-glass window openings with rusticated brownstone trim.

The cross-gabled roof is covered in slate shingles, and the façade facing State Street has asymmetrical towers with a large gable in the center. The gable contains round-arch, tripartite stained-glass windows.

The larger of the two towers contains the main entrance and features narrow, tripartite, three-story, arched-topped window openings that run almost the full height of the five stage tower on two elevations, capped by a pyramidal slate roof.

The smaller, three-stage tower is similar in appearance. Each of the large gable ends of the two street facades are punctuated by a stained-glass rondel. The church’s Akron-plan interior contains oak pews and wainscoting, with a coffered, pressed-tin ceiling above.

Building on a conditions report from 2013, Syracuse-based architecture firm Holmes, King, Kallquist will prepare drawings and bid specifications for replacement of the asphalt-shingle roof, slate roof and masonry repairs, and new gutters on the sanctuary.

Located in Fulton, a small city about a half hour northwest of Syracuse, State Street United Methodist Church was completed in 1894 to the designs of a local, turn-of-the-twentieth century, architect J. H. Seeber.

Seeber designed a number of other structures in the area, from factories to private houses, public buildings and churches.

Originally, the church was built as a small chapel with two attached classrooms. In 1900, Seeber designed an auditorium-plan sanctuary on the “Akron Plan” that expanded the structure.

A basement was added to the original chapel wing in 1906, and a separate education building was constructed in 1918. The sanctuary interior was renovated in 1953, and another two-story addition on the southeast portion of the structure was completed in 1962.

The Central New York Arts Center is open five days a week for art programming with its own entrance at the church and the “Bargain Shoppe,” a thrift store, is in the former parsonage.

Martial arts and Irish Shillelagh (“stick fighting”) classes are held at the church.

A foster children counseling service uses space.

The congregation sponsors alternative sentencing community service mentoring for juvenile offenders and a program to distribute paper products to low-income residents, called “Helping Hands.”

There are cooking classes, Girl Scouts and a monthly freewill dinner.

There is also an annual Harvest Dinner and tea party which functions as a fundraiser and an annual gathering for the community.

The Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program has helped more than 700 religious institutions across New York State with more than $8.4 million in grants triggering $570 million in restoration and construction projects.

It is one of the few programs in the country to offer financial assistance to restore and preserve landmark religious institutions.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for more than 40 years.

Since its founding, the conservancy has loaned and granted more than $40 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.

The conservancy has also offered countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals. The conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the city and state, protecting New York’s distinctive cultural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.

For more information, please visit www.nylandmarks.org