Sacred Sites Program

Sacred Sites Turns 30 - Let’s All Celebrate

Sacred Sites Turns 30 - Let’s All Celebrate
Sacred Sites Turns 30 - Let’s All Celebrate

After 30 years and thousands of travel miles clocked, the Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program has given grants totaling $9.3 million to 750 congregations from East Hampton to Niagara Falls, funding 1,350 restoration projects. Our grants have had an outsized impact, helping historic religious properties complete restoration work totaling more than $600 million.

We’ve connected hundreds of congregations to just the right architect, conservator, contractor, or stained glass studio for their particular project.

In 30 years, we’ve sponsored 40 workshops, providing training to over 3,000 clergy and congregation leaders in proactive maintenance and repair of roofs and facades, energy conservation, generating rental income via shared and partial adaptive use, fundraising for capital projects, and long-term financial management.

Maintaining and restoring these facilities has enabled them to continue to serve their communities with day care, senior programming, food pantries and cultural programming. Within the last year alone, our grantees provided services to over 164,000 individuals.

Our program publication, Common Bond, with special anniversary issues in 2011 and (forthcoming in) 2016, provides practical information on consultant and contractor selection, the proper care and maintenance of slate, shingle, and copper roofs, gutters, masonry and stained glass, fire prevention, energy conservation, and fundraising, with articles highlighting congregational success stories and best practices. Our publications “Managing Repair & Restoration Projects, A Congregation’s How-To Guide,” and “Inspecting and Maintaining Religious Properties,” have guided hundreds of congregations through major repair projects.

We plan on celebrating throughout the year with a special anniversary issue of Common Bond, lectures, and special insider tours of sites participating in our annual Sacred Sites Open House this May 21st and 22nd. We hope you’ll join us!

We are thrilled to announce that there are 121 sites signed up (so far) to participate in this year’s Open House, more than previous years. To see which sites are participating around the state, click here to browse our new online Open House Weekend Guide. This interactive guide is brand-new, and we are still uploading descriptive information on each site. We wanted to go live as soon as possible, giving sites the opportunity to offer feedback on the entries (email comments, corrections, or updates to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).


David Lowe Lecture – “Where Angels Tread” – April 7

On April 7, architectural historian David Garrard Lowe will give a lecture “Where Angels Tread: New York’s Glorious Houses of Worship.”

Location: St Jean Baptiste RC Church

Tickets & More Info
Contact Jenna Smith at 212.995.5260 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Sacred architecture represents some of humanity’s most ambitious collective creativity. Churches, mosques, synagogues and temples—whether ancient or post-modern—inspire us with their universal and exalted beauty.

David Garrard Lowe is a well-known lecturer, cultural historian, and author. His articles have appeared in, among other publications, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, House & Garden, and City Journal. His books include Stanford White’s New York; Beaux Arts New York; Chicago Interiors; Lost Chicago; and Art Deco New York.


An Ecumenical Panel Discussion And Reception – May 3

Reinventing Religious Landmarks for the 21st Century:
Serving Communities in Beautiful Spaces, an Interfaith Discussion

Click here to register or for more information contact Jenna Smith at 212.995.5260 or

Park East Synagogue
163 East 67th Street
(Between Lexington and Third Avenues)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
6:00 to 8:00 pm

Program begins promptly at 6:15 followed by a reception at 7:15
Please plan to arrive early to allow for security screening