SILVER LAKE – The historic Epworth Hall of the Silver Lake Institute has been named to the Landmark Society of Western New York’s “Five to Revive” list.
“Five to Revive” aims to draw attention to the region’s top revitalization priorities. Epworth Hall was the only such building in the GLOW region on this year’s listings.
“The heart of preservation is community revitalization,” said executive director Wayne Goodman of the Landmark Society of Western New York. “In 2013, we launched the Five to Revive program, to draw attention to five properties in western New York State in need of investment. “Whether buildings, landscapes or structures, these are important historic properties whose rehabilitations can become catalytic projects for neighborhoods and the communities around them,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to restore these important historic resources to a prominent place in their respective communities, as economic and social assets that spur further investment and revitalization. “
The Landmark Society describes Epworth Hall as a rare intact example of a large-scale, late 19th-century meeting room designed to house various types of public meetings in a seasonal religious camp. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the multi-purpose building combines simple Queen Anne style elements in its interior finishes with a Colonial Revival style exterior.
The structure was built in 1892 as part of the Silver Lake Institute, a Methodist-affiliated camp facility, and designed by prominent Rochester architects Jay Fay and Otis Dryer.
Epworth Hall is owned and operated by Silver Lake Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of residents and visitors.
Since its separation from the Methodist Church in 2016, the Institute has provided cultural and educational programming in the building, attracting guests from the region and beyond, according to the Landmark Society.
“The organization has worked tirelessly to plan and raise funds for the long term preservation of Epworth Hall, however, it faces significant costs in making the building safe and accessible to all visitors,” said Landmark Society officials in their announcement. “With recent funding, including a grant from the Landmark Society and the New York State Office of Historic Preservation’s Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Program, the Silver Lake Institute has gained momentum for the full rehabilitation of ‘Epworth Hall.
Epworth Hall has hosted Sunday services, lectures, concerts and similar programming over the years.
The Attica Opera House was included on the Five to Revive list in 2020. Other places that were previously on the list include the former Holley High School – which has since been rehabilitated into senior housing and the offices of the village of Holley – and the former Odd Fellows Hall in Holley.