December 6, 2011
New York

Holy Trinity Monastery added to National Register

By Lisa Kapps, GateHouse News Service, 5 December 2011

Jordanville, N.Y. – Archimandrite Luke Murianka, the abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, was presented a certificate commemorating the monastery’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places during a ceremony Saturday.

The monastery was added to the National Register on July 15.

It was the culmination of over four years of work by the monastery, local preservation groups, including the Preservation League of New York State and Otsego2000, and the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

To qualify for the National Register, the historic place must meet one of four primary criteria, in this case, the monastery’s unique architecture, design and construction.

“Properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious institutions or used for religious purposes are not ordinarily considered eligible for National Registry status, however there are exceptions,” said Protodeacon Victor Lochmatow in a news release.

The monastery qualified, he said, because the Byzantine-style architecture of the buildings has its own importance.

Receiving the status is significant because the church is now eligible for federal grant money and investment tax credits on rehabilitation work.

Tania Werbizky, regional director of the Preservation League of New York State, called Holy Trinity Monastery “one of the state’s most important landmarks.”

In 2008, the Preservation League of New York State placed the monastery on its “Seven to Save” list of endangered properties. “We took this action not only because the property faced threats from unsympathetic, industrial-scale development proposed nearby, but also because we were certain of its extraordinary significance,” Werbizky said.

The proposal of a wind farm nearby threatened the serenity of the monastery Murianka said, adding that the noise, shadows and industrial feeling of the wind farm would be particularly harmful to the 10,000 visitors who come to the monastery each year.

“They come to the monastery for spiritual refreshment in the context of the country,” Murianka said.

Fred Miller, former executive director of the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission, and Assemblyman Marc Butler also spoke at the ceremony.

“In closing, let me suggest that we stay vigilant and aware of the treasure that is Holy Trinity Monastery,” Miller said. “Today’s celebration should be a beginning, not an ending.”

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