2003-12-26 / Community

Rockaway Church Among Nine In City To Get Grant

Rockaway Church Among Nine In City To Get Grant

The Beth-El Temple, Church of God in Far Rockaway, formerly known as Trinity Church, has been given a $5 thousand grant from the Landmarks Conservancy as part of its 2002 Sacred Sites Program.

The church was one of 35 religious institutions, nine in New York City, to receive the grants. The money will be used for emergency exterior repair and restoration.

Originally built in 1858 by the noted architect Richard Upjohn, the Gothic Revival church has undergone many changes over the years.

According to local experts and historians, the church building is an excellent local example of a small, frame rural church built in the Gothic Revival style. Its use of wood as an exterior wall material is typical of the transfer of Gothic features from stone to wood in order to meet the requirements of congregations with modest means. The church is particularly well conceived, incorporating formal Gothic details such as pointed arch windows, vertical proportions, and a beamed ceiling. In addition to being distinctive in its own right, the church reflects the spreading influence of the Gothic Revival taste in the region, especially for religious structures.

Established with the support of some of the leading families of Far Rockaway, the church also recalls the 19th century prosperity of the area.

In 2002, the Conservancy helped fund architectural services to identify the cause and extent of structural damage to the east and west bearing walls of the church, and recommended repairs for emergency structural reinforcement and restoration work. The present grant of $5,000 will help fund an estimated $50,000 in immediate structural reinforcement work.

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