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Letter from Rev. Terry Troia - June 2004
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New Utrecht Reformed Church

328 Years

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The New Utrecht Reformed Church
P.O. Box 97 Brooklyn. New York 11214-0097

The Reverend Terry Troia
Phone No.: 718-236-0678

June 2004

Help save a national treasure.
Come partner with us.
Your contribution will make a difference to future generations.

Through the efforts of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, the New Utrecht Reformed Church and our State Senator, Marty Golden, a miracle happened on May 14, 2004. $300,000 was awarded to New Utrecht Reformed Church, by Gov. Pataki, as a Matching Funds Grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. In order to benefit from this wonderful award, our task is to raise matching funds to reopen our building and continue to tell our story of early life in the Colonies.

Since December 2003, the Sanctuary building has been closed and silent - waiting for repair and rebirth. An existing conditions report prepared by structural engineers declared the roof trusses a danger to the building's safety. A protection company has built plywood coverings over the pews and stained glass windows. Internal shoring, from basement to ceiling, supports the roof, and guards against collapse. This building that has been open to the community for 176 years is quiet and waiting. Schoolchildren/Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts/community members are not able to enter and feel "the presence of the past," learn then lessons that history has to teach, hear the Odell organ with over 1500 speaking pipes or listen for God's voice in the stillness.

The story of New Utrecht is a living history. Before there was a United States, there was the town of New Utrecht, one of the five original towns of Brooklyn. The grounds of New Utrecht Church and the New Utrecht Cemetery (on 16th Avenue and 84th Street) are all that remain of the original town of New Utrecht.

New Utrecht Reformed Church was gathered in 1677 into a congregation by Dutch settlers. The New Utrecht Cemetery was established even earlier, in 1654, to bury those settlers who could not weather the climate and diseases of the New World. The first church building, octagonal in shape, was built in 1700, adjacent to the cemetery, on 84 Street and 16th Avenue. The original weathervane from the octagonal church is one of the artifacts still remaining from the first church building. The weathervane is marked with bullet holes from guns fired from the Revolutionary War. That original church building served as a stockade as well as a church. In fact, during the American Revolutionary War, the British Army took over the church, and used it as a hospital. General Woodhull of the American Army was treated for his mortal wounds in that church building. In 1828, a new Gothic style church building was completed on 18th Avenue, between 83 and 84 Streets, with many of the stones from the original octagonal Church. Inside the building are the original stained-glass windows from the Lamb studio, installed in 1828. In 1965, this church building was given Landmark status. That building is now closed and waiting our help.

If you wish to help preserve our national treasure, please print and fill out this form.

Letter from Susan Hanyen

Founded in 1677
Serving in the heart of Bensonhurst for 327 years!
Located on 18th Avenue between 83rd and 84th Street


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