By Kerlern Rae Tuitt
A total of $200,000 was awarded in Sacred Sites Grants to 13 of New York’s historic religious properties through The New York Landmarks Conservancy.
The Robert W. Wilson Sacred Sites Challenge Grant, reserved for large-scale church restorations, was given to the St. Joan of Arc Church in Jackson Heights. The $25,000 grant will assist the church in roof drainage repairs and tower masonry.
In order for funds to be dispersed, congregations must match the award amount within a year of the award letter date.
“Religious institutions are worth saving for their beauty and history alone, but maintaining them also allows congregations to provide social service, educational and cultural programs to the wider community,” said Peg Breen, president of conservancy.
The St. Joan of Arc Church, originally founded in 1920, was designed in an Italianate-style made of brick and limestone and completed in 1950. The interior is composed of wooden columns that trail up to a coffered ceiling.
In addition to a weekday preschool, the St. Joan of Arc Church has an elementary after-school program and a Cub Scout troop. The church also hosts several concerts throughout the year.
“These institutions contribute greatly to their communities and we’re happy to help them preserve their buildings and aid them in continuing to contribute,” Colleen Heemeyer, the NYLC grants manager, said.
The NYLC is a privately funded nonprofit that has worked toward helping preserve cultural architecture for more than 25 years. The grantee buildings are not otherwise eligible for outside funding, and the grants help with preservation and restoration efforts.
Other Queens grant recipients included St. James’ Episcopal Church in Elmhurst and the Flushing Monthly Meeting, a Quaker denomination in Flushing. St. James was awarded $5,000 for a feasibility study, and the Flushing Monthly Meeting was granted $25,000 toward the restoration of the building’s stone foundation.
To apply for the next round of grants, applications must be sent postmarked to the NYLC by June 1. For more information, visit nylandmarks.org.