Burnt Hills

Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills looks to restore tower

Father Gabriel Morrow points to the top of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills.

Father Gabriel Morrow points to the top of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills.

The Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills is raising money to restore its 171-year-old tower, which has been leaking for years. 

“There’s only so much [that] caulking and painting can do,” said Father Gabriel Morrow. 

Morrow said the plan is to essentially remove the facade of the tower to review the inside of it and repair any issues before replacing the facade.

“We’d like to restore the tower to its original glory,” said Father Gabriel Morrow. 

He said the tower used to include spires on top of the pillars but, based on old photographs, he believes that sometime in the 20th century they were removed. 

The contract for the project is expected to be finalized next week. Initial costs for the project were estimated to be $125,000. However, Morrow said he expects the cost to rise some due to increasing costs in construction. 

It’s unclear at this point how long the project could take, Morrow said. 

The New York Landmarks Conservancy recently announced the church was the recipient of a $11,000 Sacred Sites Grant. The Conservancy gave out 17 grants totaling $267,000 to historic religious properties. The grant for the church would cover some of the costs to hire an architect to assess the tower.

“We want to make sure it’s not a quick fix,” said Colleen Heemeyer, the deputy director of the Sacred Sites Program.

However, the church has not decided on whether to accept the award because it does not cover the restoration costs and could potentially mean the work wouldn’t get done this year. 

“We know what we need to do to fix the tower,” Morrow said

He said the contractor they are using is good and restored a tower in the Stockade section of Schenectady.

The church is a carpenter-gothic revival style building with a wood frame that was built in 1894, according to a release from the Conservancy. The church was altered in both 1858 and 1878. The tower features two clock faces salvaged from Union Station in Schenectady in 1971, according to the release. 

Categories: News, Saratoga County

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