First Baptist Church of Newfane

Comprehensive Rehabilitation of a Cobblestone Church


  • Client: First Baptist Church of Newfane
  • Contact: Paul Higgins, Building Committee, First Baptist Church of Newfane, 6047 Main Street, Newfane, NY 716-531-1591
  • NYSHPO Contact:Noelle Kardos, Regional Grant Officer, 315-492-1761; Christine Capella-Peters, Outreach Unit, 315-492-1756

Scope of Project

  • National Register Nomination
  • Grant Writing and Administration
  • Exterior Conditions Report
  • Exterior Restoration of Masonry and Roof
  • Structural Stabilization

Key Personnel

  • Clinton E. Brown, FAIA, President
  • Alma O’Connell Brown, Grant Writer, Grant Administrator, Project Manager
  • Jill Nowicki, Historic Preservation Specialist

Additional Information



The First Baptist Church of Newfane complex is an 1843 cobblestone church, a 1906 rock-faced brick clad tower and a 1922 masonry Memorial Hall. CBCA has been working with the congregation since 2004.  The State Historic Preservation Office has specifically documented “Cobblestone Architecture in New York State,” with over 600 cobblestone structures, mostly residential, and still intact, which utilize this form of construction that is unique to New York State.  There are only 14 structures that were used for religious purposes.

CBCA prepared the nomination for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places and then prepared an exterior conditions and recommendation report with a phased plan of restoration and preservation. CBCA has written four successful grant applications to the NY Landmarks Conservancy’s “Sacred Sites Program” for the exterior restoration of the historic cobblestone church and a NYS Parks EPF grant for structural improvements to the foundation and under the baptismal font.


Phase I of the most immediately needed exterior restoration project was completed in 2011 – brick masonry repairs, reconstruction of upper portion of bell tower, compatible infill at existing masonry openings, repointing of historic cobblestone. A laboratory analysis was performed on the three mortar types found and new mixes were developed to match in color, aggregate, hardness, matrix and permeability. Work was completed in accord with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the treatment of historic properties.

Phase II – the foundation and structural repairs were completed in 2013

First Baptist is continuing its phased project to restore, repair and retain its historic church and Memorial Hall buildings for future generations.