Old St. James Parish Hall, Elmhurst, Queens
Old St. James Parish Hall, Elmhurst, QueensOur Historic Properties Fund helped restore Old St. James Parish Hall in Elmhust, Queens.
Old St. James Parish Hall, Elmhurst, QueensSeen here in 1999, the building had undergone several alterations since its construction.
Old St. James Parish Hall, Elmhurst, QueensHPF helped essentially return the building to its 1880s appearance.
Constructed between 1735-36, Old St. James Parish Hall in Elmhurst, Queens is the oldest vernacular Colonial Anglican structure in the City of New York. The Conservancy’s Historic Properties Fund facilitated a significant restoration of this single story, wood-frame building.
Historically, the Hall was the center of the community’s social, religious, and political life, counting among its parishioners several prominent citizens including the Reverend Dr. Benjamin Moore, the first president of Columbia University; the Reverend Dr. Samuel Seabury, Jr., the first American Bishop; and Dr. William Moore, a physician.
Over the centuries, the church underwent several alterations. Its original steeple was removed and replaced in 1760, when the church was enlarged. A new church was erected nearby in 1848, and Old St. James was adapted for use as a Sunday school. In 1882, the second steeple collapsed but was not replaced.
Although various modifications have occurred since, more than $150,000 from the Historic Properties Fund helped complete this $430,000 restoration in 2004. Comprehensive improvements included: installing a new roof; restoring the cedar siding, wood windows, and the roof’s existing eaves and brackets; and reconstructing the decorative bracketing on the gables.
The direction of project architect Kaitsen Woo and general contractor 53 Restorations, Inc. essentially returned the building to its 1880s appearance.
The Conservancy honored this achievement with our Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award.