Archived Page: 175 Anniversary
Celebrate the Journey 1827-2002
Third Presbyterian Church
Celebrates 175 Years of Ministry
Temple Street  

Having lost its stone building on Main Street in the great fire of 1858, Third Church was without a home. The following year the property where the high school had stood previous to its fire was purchased. This was the first time the church had been off Main Street. The new building, dedicated in 1860, was built of blue stone blasted from the Genesee River. It was designed by Richard Upjohn, a noted New York architect, who also designed First Presbyterian Church, now Central Church of Christ on Plymouth Avenue. 

David Copeland, a church member, was the master mason. His descendants in each generation have been active in the church. Emily LaBudde and Elder Pamela Apt are fifth and sixth generation descendants. The building was said at that time to be the handsomest church in town. The organ and choir were in the front of the church behind the pulpit platform; the rafters and pews were black walnut. There was seating for 500. A fragment of the crimson upholstery is in the historical exhibit. Across Temple Street was the church house for activities. Unfortunately Temple Street was not a through street, and the area around the church gradually became a place of livery stables and blacksmith shops. 

The impossibility of expansion was a detriment, and in the early 1880s there was talk among forward-looking members about the advisability of moving out to the residential part of East Avenue. Church records show that" many of our members live east of Chestnut Street and some east of Alexander." The idea of giving up the beautiful church met with opposition. However, the Unitarians, who had sold their church as a site for the present City Hall, were seeking property. In 1883 it was sold to the Unitarians, who occupied it until it was demolished in 1958 for the construction of Midtown Plaza.  


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