A Medina sandstone former church on Ferry Circle once envisioned as the Upper West Side Arts Center is on the market. The Richmond Methodist Episcopal Church at the corner of Richmond and W. Ferry Street is listed with Hasting Cohn for $815,000. Closed in 1996, Alleyway Theater purchased the property in 1998 for $75,000 and had been raising money and restoring the church with plans to create an arts center.
The chapel structure along W. Ferry Street dates to 1885-91 and the larger Temple facing both W. Ferry and Richmond Avenue dates to 1887-98 and was designed by Metzger & Greenfield. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. The building has a number of stained glass windows including the "Rose Window" facing Richmond Avenue that measures 14 feet in diameter and a 2,300 pipe grand organ.
Alleyway Theater has been trying to raise $2.4 million to complete its arts center vision. The 24,000 sq.ft. structure was to feature a 600 seat concert hall, a 99 seat theatre, meeting rooms, rehearsal halls, artist studios, offices, classrooms, a banquet facility, and exhibit gallery. Nearly $1.5 million dollars had been raised to date funding a number of improvements. From Alleyway's web site:
Renovations have included: completion of all demolition, installation of metal stud walls, upgrade of heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, installation of a new elevator, two new ground level entry ways, two new steel stair cases, new roof section and loft windows in the central stair well, new basement waterproofing system, new sidewalks, curbs and blacktop, landscaping/seeding, incidental roof repairs, installation of a new fire alarm system, and various theatre equipment has been purchased for the building.
Funding came from a number of public and private sources including: The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, The Elster Foundation, The Spaulding Foundation, The Fatta Foundation, The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund, Inc., County Of Erie Public Benefit Grant, M&T Bank, NYS Community Enhancement Facilities Program, NYS Strategic Investment Program, NYS Council On The Arts Capital Program and Technical Support Awards, and Erie County Legislative Grants.
As recently as June 2009, then Assembly Member Sam Hoyt announced a $400,000 grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to help replace the roof and gutter system.
Features according to the listing:
• Excellent multi-family conversion, gallery or performance space possibilities
• Auditorium style semi circular seating in church with stage
• New elevator, furnace, boiler, bathroom plumbing and stairways
• Sale includes adjacent 3,500 sq. ft. garage/warehouse at 527 W Ferry
• Beautiful stained glass windows throughout
• Slate roof may need to be replaced or repaired (possible grant money available)
• Deeply discounted sale price may be available to Arts Organization
• Parking could be created on site or underground
• Located in vibrant residential neighborhood
Alleyway Theatre (formerly Buffalo Theatre Collective) was founded in September 1980 by Neal Radice.
Get Connected: Alan Hastings, 716.886.3325, Ext: 13