Archived Page: 175 Anniversary
Celebrate the Journey 1827-2002
Third Presbyterian Church
Celebrates 175 Years of Ministry
Our East Avenue Church  

Having built a chapel in 1884 as the first unit in a planned church development, by the 1890s Third Church was ready to erect a church on the corner of East Avenue and Meigs Street. After visiting several churches, the trustees decided to build a Romanesque church with round arches over the windows and doors in the style of H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church, Boston. The architect, Orlando K. Foote, and the contractor, trustee Hiram Edgerton, later mayor of Rochester for fourteen years, were both church members.

The cornerstone was laid in August 1889, and the edifice was dedicated in May 1893. The exterior of St. Lawrence marble from northern New York State is unchanged since the dedication. The interior finished with dark varnish had at the front a pulpit platform with a handsome triple-width pulpit and behind it an elevated choir loft with towering stenciled organ pipes lighted from a stained glass skylight. There was also decorative stenciling on the walls on either side of the platform. Lighting fixtures were provided with both gas and electric fittings. There were nine memorial windows. According to the Union Advertiser of the day, it was "one of the most imposing ecclesiastical structures in the state."

The first wedding was that of Edna Edgerton, daughter of the builder, and Henry Lampert. The first baptisms were of Philip Wickes, some of whose family are still associated with the church, and of Harold Foote, son of the architect.

Through the years stained glass windows have been added. In 1927 for the centennial of the church, a set of eleven bells was added to the tower. In 1952, a chancel, with a lovely stained glass window and Austin organ, was added, and the oak woodwork lightened to match the refurbished pews. A major restoration took place following a fire on December 26, 1988.

We worship in a building adequate for our church life and in the tradition of a one hundred nine year old building.  


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