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Sacred Sites Open House

Landmarks Conservatory Commission
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue May 17th, 2016

This weekend New York State Landmarks Conservarcy celebrates its sixth annual open house event. This state-wide initiative, according to the Landmarks Conservancy, remains the only such event in the country to “address the unique needs of historic religious buildings by providing the comprehensive financial and technical assistance congregations need to address their preservation projects properly.” The Landmarks Conservancy has created an interactive website database featuring maps and pictures that can be explored at their website at  http://informavore.com/testing/nylcweb/.

The Landmarks Conservancy urges people to become tourists in their own locale. Two of the historically designated religious sites undergoing restoration are located in Amenia. Synagogue Beth David at 3344 East Main Street will welcome visitors on Sunday, May 22. 10 a.m−12 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. On Sunday, Smithfield Presbyterian Church on Rte. 83 in Amenia welcomes visitors from 1 pm to 3 pm. Tour this historic (currently undergoing restoration) Greek revival church founded in 1742 as the first church in Amenia. Free homemade cookies and lemonade will be served. The Smithfield Church will also be open on Saturday from 10 am to noon for tours and light refreshments.

Over 170 churches, synagogues, temples, and meeting houses throughout the state participate in this unusual event. Explore your local history and architecture. Both Congregation Beth David and the Smithfield Church will have docents on hand for their tours. This Sacred Open Sites event coincides with the weekend of Garden Conservatory tours (see our Calendar Listings for more information), so one can tour both local gardens and sacred sites on the same outing.