A recent Preserve New York grant from the Preservation League of New York State* of more than $4,000 has been given to the historic West Kortright Centre to help it stand strong for years to come.
Located in East Meredith, the Greek Revival church was built in 1850. It served a local congregation for 121 years until it shut down in 1971, according to the Preservation League of New York State’s website.
In 1975, a group of residents came together to save the church. Since then, it has undergone renovations such as installing electricity, plumbing and heat; refurbishing interior walls; repairing stained glass windows; and renovating the stage.
The $4,764 grant from Preserve New York, which provides funds to municipalities and nonprofit organizations for preservation projects, is being used for a building condition report of the West Kortright Centre.
“Planning for the future, we’d like to know what problems there are, not guess what problems, and have this be a data-driven decision,” Davey said. “The report hasn’t come back to us yet, so we’re really interested in what they have to say.”
West Kortright Centre Marketing Director Caitlyn Davey said an architect from Chianis + Anderson Architects of Binghamton, the agency compiling the report, said the building was in “fantastic shape.” However, Davey said, a condition report will help the Centre do right by the building and plan for the future.
“There are things we want to do, but there are things we need to do that we don’t even know about yet,” Davey said. “Part of the responsibility of having a building like this is to be aware of everything that is happening, that could happen.”
The study officially started Sept. 11, Davey said. Though she said the full report isn’t ready yet, the biggest “talking point,” or potential issue the architects identified, was the Centre’s roof. Though she said it doesn’t need any actual repairs, architects found the roof has multiple layers that may be cause for concern because of the weight.
Davey said there may also be an opportunity to discuss how to weather-proof the building. Davey said the office is heated in the winter, but the auditorium isn’t because the stained glass windows don’t allow for good heat conservation. Some of the stained glass windows are also starting to sag and there is a leak in the ceiling, she said.
The West Kortright Centre has hosted artists and performers from around the world, according to its website. Shakespeare in the Valley is also held there and the Centre is available for public use and low-cost rentals.
Any potential repairs would be grant-funded, Davey said, and having this report will lend more weight to any grant requests in the future.
Updated at 1:27 p.m. for clarity on where the center received the grant