Monday, February 05, 2007

St. Joseph’s campaign nearing goal

A year after a windstorm took a chunk out of a back tower of historic St. Joseph’s Church in Albany, its supporters – led by Committee 150 – are close to a fundraising goal of $150,000 for repairs.

The money will go toward an interior stabilization project and repairs to the church on Ten Broeck and Second streets in the Arbor Hill neighborhood.

Committee 150 launched its citizens’ campaign last May, setting out to raise $150,000 in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone in May, 1856, committee co-founder Colleen Ryan said Friday.

“We have over $95,000 right now and with a couple of parties to within the next few weeks, we should hit $150,000 by the end of March,” Ryan said.

Funds were raised through 33 parties hosted by the committee and drawing more than 1,000 people, she said.

The committee plans a wrap-up party in June in the park next to the church – the centerpiece of the Ten Broeck Triangle.

Organizers will recognize investment counselor Candace King Weir, owner of C.L. King & Associates, who through a grant is matching each $2 raised with an additional $1, Ryan said.

The church was abandoned in 1993, and with bad winters and no heat, water damaged the roof and other areas. In February 2006, a windstorm ripped off a chunk from a tower in the back.

The slate roofs and copper detailing on the rear towers will be repaired so that architectural feature is not lost, said Erin Tobin, Committee 150 steering committee member and former director of Preservation Services for Historic Albany Foundation.

“Details such as these contribute greatly to the overall character of the building, making it a real asset to the community,” Tobin said in a statement.

Historic Albany had raised $100,000, “when Committee 150 came along and we said we would raise $150,000,” Ryan said. Historic Albany needs another $50,000 to meet its goal.

The combined funds, $300,000, are eligible for a $1-for$1 match from the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The $600,000 will be poured into stabilizing and restoring the church, Ryan said. Her committee co-founder is Elizabeth Griffin.

-- Carol DeMare
Times Union
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007


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