Harlem’s Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Receives Sacred Sites Grant From NY Landmarks

June 15, 2020

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced 21 Sacred Sites Grants totaling $337,000 awarded to legendary historic religious properties throughout New York State.

The announcement includes $50,000 to Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church at 421st West 145th Street in Hamilton Heights to help fund masonry façade restoration and foundation stabilization.

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church was designed by architect Joseph Wolf, who trained under architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1888 for the Hamilton Grange Reform Church. Mt. Zion acquired the church in 1946. The church was probably intended as a temporary chapel, and is relatively modest in design and materials. Eclectic Gothic Revival in style, this low, one-and-a-half-story, gable-roof church has a single-height, pointed-arch entryway in the center of the façade, above which is a trio of lancet windows.

The church complex also includes a four-story, limestone, Gothic Revival style parish house and school building, which was constructed in 1909 to the designs of John Boese. The congregation reaches over 600 people a year through community activities such as concerts, two tenant congregations, community meetings, a street fair, holiday gift and food distribution to nearby families.

“Our current grantees have social service programs that reach 53,000 people across New York State,” said Peg Breen, President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy. “Our grants help keep these institutions viable, allowing them to continue feeding programs, day care, thrift stores, and recovery meetings.” “In this time of extreme need,” she added, “it is even more important to help these congregations continue to serve their communities.”

The Sacred Sites Program provides congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects, technical assistance, and workshops. Since 1986, the program has pledged 1,547 grants totaling more than $11.8 million to 824 religious institutions statewide.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a private non-profit organization, has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for more than 45 years. Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $52 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. www.nylandmarks.org

Photo Credit: The New York Landmarks Conservancy. 

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