First Baptist Wins Landmarks Grant

$2K Aimed At Better Drainage

First Baptist Wins

Landmarks Grant

The seating in Cooperstown’s First Baptist Church, build in 1889, is laid out in the “Akron Plan” popular in the 1880s.

COOPERSTOWN – First Baptist Church of Cooperstown has received a $2,000 grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, one of 23 Sacred Sites Grants throughout the state totaling $256,000 that were announced today.

The money will be used for site drainage improvements, the announcement said.

First Baptist Church, constructed in 1889, was designed by Utica-based architect Melvin H. Hubbard, and is one of six historic churches in the village, including Templeton Hall, the former Unitarian-Universalist Church.

The Baptists’ bell tower retains its wooden decorative elements, as well as its slate roof and bell, which is rung every Sunday during the warmer months.  The Eastlake style sanctuary interior has “Akron Plan” seating.  In addition to worship, the congregation reaches 500 people a year through activities such as 12-step meetings, Weight Watchers, healthcare outreach, a tutoring program, and yoga classes.

“We feel it is very important to help maintain religious structures that provide a sense of history and place to communities,” said Peg Breen, Landmarks Conservancy president.  “Many also provide social service and cultural programs that benefit people beyond their congregations. “

The Sacred Sites Program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, technical assistance, and workshops.  Since 1986, the program has pledged over 1,493 grants totaling more than $11.1 million to almost 805 religious institutions statewide.

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