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The Universal Preservation hall, located at 25 Washington St. in Saratoga Springs, NY is a year round arts and community events venue. It also houses the worship space for the Universal Baptist Church – an historically African-American congregation.
The hall was built in 1871 by Elbridge Boyden and is one of the earlist and finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture anywhere in America. Borrowing heavily from the German and Italian Gothic Styles, Boyden created a remarkable structure.
Oriiginally constructed for the Methodist church to host their annual regional meeting…. In 1976 the Methodists sold the building to the Universal Baptist Church, who inhabited it until the buildings detriorating state made it unsafe. In 1999 citizens of Saratoga Springs joined with members of the Baptist Church to rescue the Universal Prevservation Hall from collapse. They formed a partnership to rebuild the building as a performance and events center while also creating separate worship space for the Baptisis within the building. This relationship between a religious group and secular arts organization is unique and will hopefully serve as a model for other groups hoping to restore and adapt worship spaces as arts venues. The new sanctury for the Baptist Church was completed in 2004 and services are held there every Sunday.
In 2006, Universal Preservation Hall was named an “Offical Project” of Save America’s Treasures and received a grant from the U.S. Federal Government.
*Featured: “All About New York State” – May, 2012
*Featured: “Artists With Disabilities” – November, 2012
*Featured: “Bassen Thorpe Gallery” – March 24, 2013