The corner of Averill Avenue and Ashland Street is buzzing as a major renovation takes place at Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish . 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…
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 , 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.
“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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
Tags: Alex Estremera, Ashland Street, Averill Avenue, Calvary St. Andrew’s, Calvary St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Parish, Connie Ehindero, Foodlink, Old School Painting, Pastor Sam Picard, preservation, renovation, Richard M. Upjohn, Robert Lauterbach, Rochester landmark, Saint Andrews Church, South Wedge, St. Andrew's Church, Trinity Church
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