DUNEDIN – The first Presbyterian church has stood the test of time and basks in its rich history.
These are, in a nutshell, some of the comments expressed by the city commissioners on October 21 on the importance of the church to the community before provisionally approving a designation of historic monument for the sanctuary of the church. .
Located at 455 Scotland Street, the church was built in 1926. Prominent residents Mr. and Mrs. LB Skinner of the Skinner Manufacturing Co. contributed $ 60,000 towards the establishment of the church and provided the sanctuary and l ‘organ. It was redesigned in 1961.
“It is such a beautiful shrine,” said church member Commissioner Deborah Kynes.
Other commissioners have made similar comments.
“It is a special place and has special significance in history for Dunedin,” said Commissioner Moe Freaney.
“I’m tickled pink. I’m so excited about it,” said commissioner Jeff Gow, a member of the church’s board of trustees.
Over time, Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said many churches ended up selling their property.
“They are trying to rework elsewhere and it is not working. The church has stood the test of time. The historic designation will help it stand the test of time even more and give it a protective factor,” he said. she declared. “It also shows people how special it is for the community.”
The pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, David Shelor, praised the city’s historic preservation process.
He said there is not an attempt to “preserve our history in plastic perfection as if it were a museum artifact but to allow us to have a truly living and breathing history that we recognize. may these roots fuel what we do today … “
The Commissioners expect to give final approval of the nomination at their November 4 meeting. They plan to present a commemorative plaque to church officials at this meeting as well as issue a proclamation celebrating the church’s 150th anniversary.
Also at that meeting, Bujalski told Shelor that commissioners will be asked to take action on November 4 so that the 44-acre Gladys Douglas reserve, which the city recently needed, could only be sold by referendum.
“It’s a huge protective factor, and you were such a big supporter at the very beginning when you came out – you and your church – saying that we don’t care about money that we might be a benefactor of. you were preserving that, “said Bujalski.” It was really the first step in igniting the community. “
As part of the church’s 150th anniversary celebration on Sunday, November 7, Shelor will arrive by boat at Edgewater Park, as will Joseph Brown, the region’s premier 150 years ago.
A church service will be held at 10:30 am that day, followed by the installation of a ‘time box’, similar to a time capsule, inside the shrine and the installation of a plaque. of historical preservation on the outer wall of the sanctuary.
In a related case, the commissioners also tentatively approved a historic landmark designation for the property at 706 Wood Street.
The property structure, approximately 0.15 acres, is an early 1920s house in the Tudor architectural style.
It was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Neilly.
Neilly has spent many years working in the community working for the city’s zoning committee and as a city commissioner.
In 1972 he sold the facility to Dr JA Mease, who established a 120-bed diagnostic facility which is today known as Mease Dunedin Hospital.
The owner is Joan Morrow, who has added interior decorations and furnishings to her home to reflect the times.
Commissioners will present a plaque to Morrow on November 4 when they expect to give final approval of the designation.
Bujalski praised Kynes for his continued efforts to have more places in the city designated as historic landmarks.
“I just hit the jackpot tonight,” Kynes said.