Preservation of Upjohn’s 1852 Church in Copake Falls

Saturday, June 22, 3:00 pm, followed by a reception at the church in Copake Falls
Roeliff Jansen Community Library

Architect Richard Upjohn

“The Church of St. John in the Wilderness is one of the great gems of American architecture,” says preservation architect Jack Alvarez, AIA.  The church, located in Copake Falls, is an outstanding example of Richard Upjohn’s Carpenter Gothic Style.  Built in 1852, the church today is an active Episcopal parish and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is also a part of the Copake Iron Works Historic District and an important part of the historic heritage of the Roe Jan area of eastern Columbia County.

But time and weather have taken their toll, and restoration of the church’s weather-damaged bell tower is now underway based on  Alvarez’s plans. Alvarez grew up in the Roe Jan area and now is a preservation architect based in Albany.

On Saturday, June 22, at 3:00 pm at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library Alvaraz will give a lecture on Richard Upjohn (1802 – 1878), his significance as an architect and churchman, and the bell tower restoration now underway in Copake Falls.  Following the talk there will be an outdoor reception at the church where the Bell Tower restoration work can be seen.

The Church of St. John in the Wilderness (Episcopal) is in Copake Falls, New York.  The Rev John P. Thompson is Rector.  The church building, built in 1852, was designed by Richard Upjohn, architect of Trinity Church Wall Street, New York, and founding president of the American Institute of Architects.  The church has 70 members and serves the Roe Jan area of eastern Columbia County.  The church is located on State Route 344 in Copake Falls, on the road to Bash Bish Falls.

John D. Alvarez II (Jack) worked for 10 years with his family construction business, then obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Syracuse University.  He has worked for three nationally-prominent preservation architecture firms—in San Francisco, Boston and in Albany–and worked on landmark  projects including presidential homes, Newport mansions, federal courthouses, university heritage campuses, and private clubhouses. Jack is a licensed architect and has been a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) since 2001. He is now the Principal Architect of Landmark Consulting LLC in Albany. Jack serves as a member of the City of Hudson Preservation Commission.