Sacred Sites Open House

2017 Sacred Sites Open House


Eldridge Street Synagogue: Photo courtesy of EverGreene Architectural Arts (Kiki Smith - Deborah Gans stained-glass window)

May, 2017

The Conservancy hosted its seventh annual Sacred Sites Open House on May 20 & 21 with a record 173 sites participating throughout New York State, 64 of which were in New York City. This year’s theme, “Stained Glass: Windows on this World and the Next” provided the backdrop for churches, synagogues, temples and meetinghouses to showcase their breathtaking stained glass windows by prominent American and European designers. Participating sites featured special guided tours, lectures, organ demonstrations as well as provided information on their cultural and social programs offered throughout the year.

First time SSOH participant, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, reported that they had a “wonderful weekend with approximately 25-30 Sacred Sites visitors on Saturday and about 15-20 visitors on Sunday. Everyone enjoyed touring with our docents with lunch on our Green Roof topping off each visit.” St. Ann & the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights had a record number of 183 visitors.

“We were pleased to be part of the Sacred Sites Open House again,” said Paul Wachtel of Congregation Ohab Zedek on Manhattan’s West Side, “I have long thought the synagogue is an overlooked jewel.” Likewise, Historic Holy Trinity in Niagara Falls was open with “the press release and newspaper articles submitted by Sacred Sites to the Buffalo News and Niagara Gazette was extremely helpful in getting word out about our organization and times of tour…we have been participating for three years. This year was, by far the most successful. We are looking forward to participating again next year…!”

Our latest edition of Common Bond, the Conservancy’s online journal dedicated to the celebration and protection of New York’s culturally significant religious art and architecture, focused on the remarkable and diverse stained glass that illuminates so many of our religious institutions and how to maintain and repair it. Articles highlight recent stained glass restorations at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and Christ Church in Manlius; Tiffany Mosaics; and noted English stained glass designer Henry Holiday who designed more than 30 windows in New York City, and many others in Albany, Buffalo, Utica, and Wappinger’s Falls.

While the final number of visitors is still being counted, the weekend was a tremendous success: “[t]he Sacred Sites weekend was fantastic! Thank you for the hard work that went into planning the weekend! I will definitely recommend, and I can’t wait until next year!” –Katie Lentz via Facebook.

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