St. Thomas’ Church in Amenia Union, New York Receives Sacred Sites Challenge Grant






St. Thomas’ Church in Amenia Union, New York

Receives Sacred Sites Challenge Grant


The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 14 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $268,000 awarded to historic religious properties throughout New York State including a $25,000 Sacred Sites Challenge Grant to St. Thomas’ Church in Amenia Union, New York to assist with the repair and repointing of exterior masonry.

“These grants mark the 30-year milestone of our Sacred Sites Program and demonstrate, once again, that maintaining landmark religious buildings preserves our history and benefits the wider community,” said Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “We are honored to help these amazing institutions and determined to maintain our ability to do so.”

St. Thomas’ Church in Amenia Union, New York was awarded a Conservancy Challenge Grant of $25,000 to assist with the repair and repointing of exterior masonry. Designed by renowned church architect Richard Upjohn and constructed in 1849-51, St. Thomas’  Episcopal Churchexemplifies the modest English Gothic parish church mode popularized by Upjohn and his colleagues, and is considered one of the finest of the series of rural parish churches he designed between 1845 and 1850.  A tripartite, English stained glass window was installed in the chancel in 1875, and two other late 19th century windows are attributed to Tiffany studios.  A simple, detached, concrete block parish hall was built on a slight rise behind the church in 1952, the same year eight additional stained glass windows were installed at the sanctuary.  The property also includes an early carriage barn, and a historic burial ground associated with the parish is nearby.  Originally a missionary congregation, the $3,000 cost of the church was supported in part by a $500 “mortgage” donation from Trinity Church of New York City.

This small rural church houses a local weekly food pantry, serving about 2,000 individuals annually, and supports and provides volunteers for a community organic garden which contributes to the food pantry. The church also contributes to a Diocesan mission program supporting AIDS orphans in Tanzania.

The New York Landmark Conservancy Celebrates the 30th Anniversary

of its Sacred Sites Program


After recognizing that many historic and architecturally distinguished religious properties throughout New York State were deteriorating and in dire need of restoration, The New York Landmarks Conservancy launched its Sacred Sites Program in 1986 with the simple mission to assist congregations in the preservation of their important buildings, both with technical expertise and advice, and with financial assistance.

Throughout the past 30 years, the Sacred Sites Program has awarded 1,350 grants totaling over $9.3 million to more than 750 congregations regardless of denomination throughout New York State. The Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program is the only statewide program in the country providing financial and technical assistance for the restoration of culturally significant religious properties and one of the few groups in the country offering this assistance to landmark religious institutions.

These buildings remain an important part of the fabric of American communities and tracing the history of religious buildings can reveal a great deal about how communities developed and changed.  Not only are churches and synagogues among the finest works of American architecture, but many contain notable works of art as well with stained glass windows, murals, wood carvings and metalwork.  Beyond the significance of their design, religious buildings reflect community diversity and anchor neighborhoods.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for over 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 architectural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.  For more information, please visit


Author: Harlem Valley News