St. John’s Restoration Project Seeks Funds

Written By: Talk of the Sound News

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St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wilmot Ave. is currently seeking donations to restore and preserve New Rochelle’s “Oldest House of Worship.”

The group sent out a press release, which reads as follows:

At 152 years of age, showing your age is to be expected. But even after a “face lift”?  The parishioners of St. John’s Episcopal Church, on Wilmot Road in New Rochelle, hope to remedy this with their “Bucks for Buckets” fundraising campaign.

“We need to raise enough ‘bucks’ to purchase at least 100 ‘buckets’ of paint to restore and preserve, for future generations, the original clapboard siding of the church,” said Joanne Bartoli, chairperson of the church’s fundraising committee.  “In 2009 we gave our church a virtual facelift by removing the aluminum siding which we were told by the judges for the New Rochelle Heritage Plaque Award ‘compromised the architectural significance and historical integrity’ of the church structure.  We had no argument with that!”

Nonetheless, the church building was acknowledged by the committee as a “Site Significant to New Rochelle History” and a total historic restoration campaign got underway. This included having a color matching analysis conducted on the layer upon layer of peeling painting that had been covered up by the now removed aluminum siding.  “The paint color analysis was one of the accepted preservation techniques recommended to us by the Historic Plaque Committee,” noted Bartoli.

The color analysis recommends Benjamin-Moore colors of Bone White for the clapboard siding, Country Redwood for the sill and frame trim, and Van Buren Brown for the main door and rear door.   The analysis was underwritten by a grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

“We are very happy with the results of the color analysis as these original colors will blend well with the new roofing and new cedar shingles for the church’s steeple that was already completed and paid for by  parishioner donations and assistance from the Episcopal Diocese,” added (The Rev.) Dr. Rayner Hesse, pastor of St. John’s.

Besides having a well-known local landmark church building, the St. John’s Wilmot congregation is well-known for its open door policy where all are welcome irregardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

Contributions to the “Restoration Fund” can be sent to St. John’s Church, 11 Wilmot Road, New Rochelle, New York 10804. Checks should be made payable to St. John’s Church, Wilmot.