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

After the sale of the Temple Street building to the Unitarians, Third Church met temporarily in a building on Rowley Street, meanwhile purchasing the western section of our present property. This was the first time that we had been on East Avenue after three major church structures. A chapel built of stone, portions of which may still be seen from the Arnold Park parking lot, and which now house the Chancel and Junior Choir rooms, was dedicated in 1884 with limited space for worship, educational and social activities.

The University of Rochester had moved to the newly named University Avenue to the north in 1861, and Rochester Theological Seminary had moved to a new building at the southeast corner of East Avenue and Alexander Street. The Rockefeller Chapel is gone, but the Alexandrian Apartment building still stands as a reminder.

Further west was Asbury Methodist church built in 1884, which included the former East Avenue Baptist Church building. In 1955, after Asbury built at 1050 East Avenue, their former building was purchased and enlarged by the Bethel Church. Still farther downtown, Christ Episcopal Church worshiped in their chapel built in 1855, which later became the south transept of their present 1894 building. The Baptist congregation mentioned earlier built on the northeast corner of Meigs Street and Park Avenue, later moving east on Park Avenue to become Immanuel Baptist Church. Their former building was sold to Temple Beth El, which occupied it until a devastating fire in January 1960. The congregation then moved to Winton Road South, where they had already erected spacious educational and social facilities. St. Paul's Church, having moved from their downtown St. Paul Street location, built their imposing church in 1897.

Elm-shaded East Avenue was not all churches and organizations as it is now. Outstanding mansions were being erected in addition to the stately older homes such as our neighbors on the west, the Silas O. Smith house (1841), now Woodside (The Rochester Historical Society), and on the other side of East Avenue, the Pitkin-Powers House (1839), now the Boy Scout headquarters. At 13 Arnold Park, a private street, George Eastman and his mother lived from 1890 to 1895, when he bought the Soule house, 1070, now part of the Asbury Church complex. Until the 1960s there was a deteriorating property on the site of our parking lot and another across from the chapel, which was taken down for the construction of the Strathallan.  


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