Gloversville leaders to confront owners of historic church

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An old church in Gloversville is set to be the topic of conversation at a city meeting as leaders will face the owners who haven’t paid taxes and removed historic items from the building.

The former First United Methodist Church at 7 Elm St. is 143-years old. It was listed as an historic site in 1998. It was once a thriving piece of Gloversville.

“This church is kind of a key element of the downtown,” Gloversville City Council member Vincent DeSantis said.

But for years, it has become rundown and somewhat abandoned by its owners, the Church of God of Prophecy of New York Holding Corporation based out of Albany. According to the Fulton County treasurer, the owners purchased the building in 2000, and owe thousands in back taxes.

“It’s very sad,” New York Lunch owner Tammy Capano said.

Capano said the church is now an eyesore for her nearby restaurant. It has also become a pain in her heart as she was married there.

“It had some gorgeous windows; just very historical looking,” she said. “If you look at the structure, it’s just beautiful.”

The stained glass windows were removed from the church as well as the tower clocks. The owners were fined $60,000 after they had the windows removed without the Historic Preservation Review Board’s consent.

“The architecture is a definite asset to the downtown, so you know the city as a municipal authority does not want to see a building like this be deteriorated,” DeSantis said. “I don’t know where, geographically, they are.”

The owners told NEWS10 ABC over the phone that the clocks were sold and the windows remain in a warehouse. They also said they can’t pay the back taxes.

DeSantis wants to see the church restored.

“A use that would foster business activity, and a use that would bring in sales tax revenue and foster more people downtown,” he said.

The county said it started to foreclose on the property because of the back taxes but stopped because it was too much of a liability. The county declined to explain further.

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