Historic Canandaigua church getting makeover

Milan Kutner calls the First Congregational Church of Canandaigua the oldest active church in western New York, from Geneva west.

And lately, there has been a lot of activity at the church because when you have an old building — construction on the church began in 1812 and finished up in 1813 — you have upkeep.

And so for the last few days, work crews have been suspended above Main Street, working on the church’s bell tower, which came with the church way back when.

This is the second of three phases of renovations for the church. The first shored up the undercroft and flooring about three years ago.

“It’s an ongoing process,” said Kutner, a trustee of the church. “Something always has to be done.”

At some point soon, the brass bell — which is not the original, but is the church’s second, circa 1870s — will be removed as early as next week and refurbished and cleaned up.

The brass bell is 49 inches in diameter and weighs 2,500 pounds, Kutner said. When removed by crane, it will have to fit through an opening 53 to 54 inches wide.

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