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Renovation Underway for South Wedge Landmark

July 27th, 2014

Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Averill and Ashland St, Rochester NY. [PHOTO: Provided]
The corner of Averill Avenue and Ashland Street external link is buzzing as a major renovation takes place at Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish external link. The winter of 2014, which brought ice dams and water damage to the historic structure, also brought an insurance settlement and a generous benefactor to restore the building to its original luster…

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
The entire project will include sanding and finishing the floors and repairing and painting the walls and ceiling in both the sanctuary (main part of the church) and the adjacent chapel, and exterior work, especially around the stained glass windows.

The insurance appraisal awarded up to $35,000 for the repairs, which was not enough to cover the cost. However, Alex Estremera of Old School Painting external link, a local business with significant experience renovating historic buildings, offered to donate services, which are valued at $30,000, to bring the sanctuary and chapel up to its full potential.

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Calvary St. Andrew’s to deliver their vision of a beautiful house of worship,” said Estremera. “Old School Painting prides itself on delivering lasting quality to our clients and the community, and we give careful consideration to procedures for historic landmarks.”

The project was approved by Calvary St. Andrew’s ruling Council after a unanimous endorsement by the congregation in early May.

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Estremera noted another factor that led him to donate so much work: “The devotion and personal commitment of the members to this project made this seem like much more than a job to us. It is an opportunity to give back to the community in a way that could made a huge impact.”

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Pastor Sam Picard offers another perspective on the impact of the project. “Our sanctuary is our main worship space and community center, so it isn’t just for us. It is where our neighbors gather each week for the Foodlink Mobile Pantry food distribution. The renovation will make the space more encouraging and uplifting for everyone. We look forward to finding more ways that we can share our space with the wider community.”

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Robert Lauterbach, Chair of Calvary St. Andrew’s Mission and Maintenance team, has coordinated the insurance claims, the documentation of the damage, and the hiring of Old School Painting. He also took responsibility for preparing the building for the work, including the removal and storage of all the wooden pews from the sanctuary. During the renovation, Sunday worship will take place in different locations throughout the building.

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Lauterbach, who is also the Coordinator of the Emergency Food Cupboard, Mobile Pantry, and Community Garden at the church, is working with volunteers to find an alternate way to distribute food to the hundreds of clients who visit the church every week. “Our most important mission at Calvary St. Andrew’s is feeding the hungry,” Lauterbach notes. “We’re committed to keeping the Emergency Food Cupboard and Mobile Pantry open during the construction.”

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
The cornerstone for the building that is now Calvary St. Andrew’s was laid in July of 1873, and the church was completed and consecrated in May of 1880. It was designed by Richard M. Upjohn, son of the man who designed Trinity Church external link in New York City. As part of the preparation for the renovation, Joyce Parker, a member of Calvary St. Andrew’s Council, visited other Gothic revival churches in Albion and Geneva to investigate the colors used in similar buildings.

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Local artist Connie Ehindero, also a member of Calvary’s Council, was tasked with choosing colors that would be more historically true to the building design and history than the current colors. The result should be a brighter, more welcoming worship and community space.

Winter ice dams and water damaged the interior of the historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. A local painter has stepped up to help repair the damage. [PHOTO: Provided]
Work began on July 8 and should be completed by mid-August. The congregation of Calvary St. Andrew’s will be hosting an open house on Sunday, October 19, to invite friends and neighbors to tour the newly renovated space.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at 11:06 am and is filed under Rochester History, Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Renovation Underway for South Wedge Landmark”

  1. Dennis B. says:

    Fun facts:

    The small house across the street was the original farmhouse for what was then a farm which stretched from that General area, to Mt. Hope Cemetery. A couple who live just down the street from the church, own the old house.

    The bell tower on the church is leased by Verizon, an antenna was put in there in ’02.

  2. Carl says:

    The church’s long-time pastor was Algernon Crapsey, an important historical figure.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algernon_Sidney_Crapsey

    Interestingly, he served in NY’s Trinity Church parish before gaining appointment to St. Andrew’s in 1879.


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