Press-Republican

Faith & Spirituality

August 9, 2013

Preservation for generations

PLATTSBURGH — The First Presbyterian Church’s limestone exterior gets a makeover as part of Living Stones II, a restoration project to preserve the historic church for generations to come.

“The project is a second phase of restoring the exterior of the church,” said Janora Stone, a member of the church and co-financial manager with Jennie Booth of the Living Stones II Campaign: Preservation for Generations.

“In 2004, we did extensive work. We replaced the slate roof, and the buttresses were reappointed. The mortar was taken out between the stones and replaced. Now, we’re doing the front tower of the church, the tall tower that can be seen from everywhere in Plattsburgh.”

The church’s faith community dates to 1792, and this structure was built in 1873.

“They took the old mortar and sent it away for analysis,” Stone said. “It’s being replaced with a copy of what was there before. It lasted for a long time. The First Presbyterian Church is the oldest faith community in Plattsburgh. It was started during the War of 1812. The first church was a wooden church, and it burned down.”

The Utica-based Lupini Construction is working on the multi-phased restoration project estimated to cost $521,153.

Ongoing building preservation will require additional funds.

“As our predecessors have, we have great faith that we can do it,” Stone said. “Right now, we’ve just begun. We’re having this dinner on Aug. 18, a potluck supper. Scott Lupini from Lupini Construction will tell us what they’re doing. They have done projects at Syracuse University and West Point. They are very well respected, and they specialize in old stone buildings.”

The church’s Building and Grounds Committee is co-chaired by Bob Davis and Herb Cottrell. Members are Kristy Dantes, Kathie Fairweather, Jim Fox, Brent Germain, John Sommers and Roland McGee. Finance Committee members are Victoria Duley, Judy Bunnell, Jack Myers, Jim Fox, Stuart Voss and Carla Hausrath.

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