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2306 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY

August 14, 2016

NYsyracuseUnk

Don’t ask how this church in Syracuse, New York came to my attention. I don’t remember, but it has been a sore spot for at least three years.

More than a few examples have materialized during random image searching. This church has been occupied by People’s A.M.E. Zion Church since the mid-1970s. Their website provides and full history of this important African American congregation but fails to identify the previous occupant of this fine building. I had thought that the local history collection at the public library would make short work of identifying the probable first occupant of the church. I seemed unable to communicate the (I thought) rather simple question of who the original occupant had been and the building remained unidentified until this morning.

Syracuse city directories at ancestry.com resolved the mystery: the directory for 1912 is the earliest to name Tabernacle Baptist Church as the owner-occupant and armed with that information a 1909 issue of The American Architect & Building News names Russell & King of Syracuse as the architects. I thought the senior partner Archimedes Russell would have ceased practice (if not having actually died) so it may be that the younger Melvin King, Sr., was the designer. The task now is to locate interior photographs or even newspaper coverage of the dedication, which often includes a description of the building’s working parts. At this point I’m guessing an A-1 or C-1 type.

Stay tuned.

PS: There is a video of the current pastor Rev Daren C. Jaime delivering his sermon and providing a glimpse of the wide opening into what I believe may be the adjacent Sunday School. The A-1 guess seems borne out.

UPDATE [04SEP2017]: A newer and better image:

NYsyracuseAME.jpg

 

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