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New Religious Buildings

Christian Education Building, Fair Street Church, Kingston, 1956.  Photograph by Stephen Benson

William Van Benschoten designed this annex to the 1850 church structure. As a 1956 article in the Daily Freeman stated, “To link the new with the old, limestone as nearly as possible matching that of the church structure itself was selected for the face of…the…building."

The Fair Street Church Brochure.  Courtesy Fair Street Church

This is the program for the dedication  ceremony for the Fair Street Church's Christian Education Building on December 2, 1956.

St. Gregory Episcopal Church, Route 212, Woodstock, 1957.  Photograph by Stephen Benson

William Van Benschoten, an Episcopalian, served on the Commission on Church Building for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. IBMers remember being impressed by the boldness of St. Gregory’s modern design.

Temple Emanuel, Albany Avenue, Kingston, 1959.  Photograph by Stephen Benson

The temple, one of the city’s most distinctive modern structures, was designed by Arthur Silver, who had a successful practice on Long Island. The metalwork (“In Thy Light Do We See Light”) was designed by SUNY New Paltz professor and congregant Kurt Matzdorf. The stained glass window from the congregation’s former location on Abeel Street is inside the building.

St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Greenkill Avenue, Kingston, 1964.  Photograph by Stephen Benson

The church was established in 1958, according to Evy Larios, whose husband, Christus, served as founding President. Architect William Van Benschoten combined Byzantine architectural influence with contemporary needs–for example, a basement auditorium and kitchen, site of popular Greek Festival dining.