Celebrate the beauty of our unique building
The building on Washington Avenue that houses Albany UU is rich in history. Situated on a triangle of land, we have been at this address since 1925, when the social hall and Sanctuary were built. That original Sanctuary, in the classic New England style, is complete with a steeple and pillars. The building has grown over the years with the addition of the Religious Education wing and administrative offices in 1962, followed by the Community Hall wing in 2007.
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The Colonial-style Sanctuary has a barrel vault ceiling, tall arched windows and a custom-built pipe organ. The Sanctuary is used today for Mindfulness Meditation, Family Chapel, and Christmas Eve services, as well as some other services. Our regular Sunday worship takes place in the larger Community Hall.
Community Hall has a quiet, modern grace. The soaring, open space, filled with natural light, is the center of our church week. Having flexible seating, it is used for much more than worship, both by us and by the community. When construction of this newest wing began, we learned that a public school in Albany was about to be demolished. We were granted permission to harvest the wooden gym floor, a feat that was accomplished with many hours of volunteer labor. Today we are immensely proud of our beautiful, recycled-hardwood floor. The same school provided iron and wood gym seats, which were also refinished by a volunteer and have since been installed in the balcony.
Our social hall is named after noted Boston minister William Ellery Channing. This large room serves many functions, the most frequent of which is Sunday morning coffee hour. The kitchen is connected to this hall.
Our main lobby looks out onto Washington Avenue, and is nestled between Channing Hall and the hallway down to Community Hall. Both this entrance and the kitchen hall door on West Street have handicap ramps.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ROOMS
On the basement and second floors we have 13 classrooms, with both age appropriate and flexible options, and a library.
We take seriously our commitment toward sustainability: Albany UU recycles, composts all food and wet paper waste, and collects solar energy. We currently harness all of our annual electric needs. Our solar collectors are out of sight on the roof.
The entire building is now handicapped-accessible, with an elevator to all three floors, and a lift to the stage in Emerson, as well as accessible bathrooms in the new wing.
Our grounds outside the building are small, but the gardens are appreciated by our urban neighbors.