May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society

Our Church Buildings - 1838-2007

“From East Genesee St. to East Genesee St


[Click here to see photos and descriptions of the ten stained glass windows in the James St. Church]


*Our first organizational meeting was held in 1838 in the school house of a Dr. Mayo on Church Street. The first services were held in space borrowed from the First Methodist Episcopal Church. It was referred to as the Unitarian Church of Syracuse and also the Unitarian Congregational Society of Syracuse. Our first building was a chapel, called “The Little Tabernacle,” that our forbearers built in 1839 on East Genesee Street on a lot opposite of what was called the Grand Opera House. Thus, that is how we started on East Genesee Street and once again are located on East Genesee Street. Regarding our second building, in 1850 it was enlarged. On February 29, 1852, a big wind storm demolished the building. A new building was build on the same spot and dedicated in April, 1853. Some 30 years later the tracks of a loud and busy railroad were laid nearby necessitating the construction of a third building on James Street. It was dedicated on October 20, 1885. Continued growth, especially with RE, necessitated the move some 80 years later to a bigger building, our current home.