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St. Peter’s Joins Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame

 

GENEVA — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 149 Genesee St., has joined the latest buildings to be named to the Medina Sandstone Society Hall of Fame.

Besides St. Peter’s in Geneva, three other buildings were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019:

Thomas B. Hagen History Center (Watson-Curtze Mansion) in Erie, Pa.

Zion Episcopal Church in Palmyra, Wayne County

St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Rome, Oneida County

“We just thought their building is spectacular,” Jim Hancock said of Geneva’s St. Peter’s.

Hancock has been a member of the society since it was founded in Medina, Orleans County, in 2004 and served on the group’s Hall of Fame selection committee this year.

“St. Peter’s Church and its magnificent bell tower are architectural and historical treasures for our region,” said the Rev. James Adams, pastor of the church.

This year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in the fall in Medina City Hall. Those attending included Adams and church members Charles Bauder and Joe Marino.

Designed by noted American architect Richard Upjohn, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was completed in 1870. Its bell tower was added in 1878.

Medina sandstone was formed by nature 400 million years ago and discovered during the digging of the Erie Canal in the 1820s, according to the society’s website. Quarried in the Medina area, between Buffalo and Rochester, it was a prized building material far and wide for about a century.

Medina Sandstone can be seen on the state Capitol steps in Albany, the Brooklyn Bridge and Buckingham Palace in London, England. Belhurst Castle and South Main Street’s Collins Music Hall (formerly the Elks Club) in Geneva are also made of Medina sandstone. There are hundreds of other buildings in New York state constructed of the material with more discovered every year, Hancock said.

The first activity listed on the society’s website is “Understanding the renowned stone itself.” The society is a non-profit corporation that has named 27 buildings to its Hall of Fame since 2013. The society was spearheaded by Robert E. Waters of Medina.

The St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy offers lessons and performances in choirs, piano, violin, cello, organ, voice, dance and guitar for all ages and now serves more than 250 students from 16 area schools in a five-county area in large part due to the dedicated core of instructors and staff, all of whom are professionals in their field. Embracing its theme of “Arts for All,” the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy is open to students of all ages and levels of skill regardless of financial means or religious affiliation. Offerings will be expanded and enhanced in renovated space with a $3 million Capital Campaign currently under way.

The church’s website is stpetersgeneva.org. The St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy website is stpetersarts.org. The Medina Sandstone Society’s website is sandstonesociety.org.

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