Historic House Listings

Former church in New York. Circa 1822. On 1/2 acre. $199,000

August 7, 2022

Love this old church! The previous owners used it as a residence and an art gallery. The church was built in 1822. It is located on .48 acres in Lisle, New York. The church has stained glass, hardwood floors, wainscoting and bell tower. There is a detached barn and storage building on the property. Three bedrooms, one bathroom and 3,148 square feet. $199,000

Contact the property owner: 646-975-8915

From the Zillow listing:


Listing by:

 (646) 975-8915

This property is for sale by owner and Zillow, Inc. is displaying it at the owner’s request. It is not subject to a listing agreement with Zillow, Inc. or its affiliates.

“The traveler finds himself [or herself] suddenly inspired with new hope, on catching view of the four-pronged top of the meeting house; assured of having discovered where civilization abounds and where piety asserts its empire.” This 1825 account describes a view of the First Congregational Church of Lisle, located on the banks of a picturesque river so near and yet so far from New York City, just a three hour drive up old Route 17 and close to the historic City of Ithaca. Could this be your dream home, or weekend escape from it all? Former Lisle resident Henry F. Squire once wrote of the church: “On Tioughnioga’s wooded bank, I stand forever more, My old bell rings while the river sings, Now as in days of yore.” And high in the tower above the main entrance, that 954-pound bell still has the power to resonate throughout the valley. The church thrived for over a century. Among those who attended here were members of the “Ladies of Lisle” — Suffragettes who in 1918 became the first women to vote in New York — and even the family of oil baron John D. Rockefeller who was born and raised in Lisle. Eventually church membership began to decline. It would merge with another congregation but finally in the 1950s, it closed. The building was purchased by a family who, by the late 1970s, converted it into a residence, removing one of the congregant stairwells to create a second-level full bath, as well as a large kitchen near the altar. Today, virtually unchanged in its exterior character, the building stands as an historical landmark and continues to inspire the traveler as it did nearly two centuries ago. From time to time, the church is still visited by those with a direct connection to its past, or who want to photograph some of the church’s thirty, tall stained glass windows. The most exquisite of them sits atop the altar: a magnificent triptych of the Resurrection by a Southern Tier artisan that rivals the window work of contemporaries John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany. Previous owners utilized the church as a live-in art gallery, with most improvements and upgrades coming in 2017-2021. These include but are not limited to: *Installation of ‘forever’ metal roof on entire church and bell tower *Refurbishing of church’s bell tower louvers. *Installation of new roof on the garage/barn structure *Installation of high-efficiency Rinnai gas furnaces on both levels of church house *Full refurbishment of existing high-efficiency coal furnace in lower level *Installation of rustic double-bladed ceiling fans beneath balconies through lower level *Installation of new electrical outlets/junctions on both levels and throughout main floor *Installation of custom storm doors for park views & to preserve original wooden doors *Renovation of two spare bedrooms in the lower level of church *Updated plumbing systems *New high capacity Samsung washer/dryer Included in the purchase is an archive which includes all of the antique real-photo images you see in the listing, documentary research, press articles, and even a museum-quality, hand-rendered map of Lisle and its surrounding areas, drawn circa 1830. This year, the church celebrates its 200th anniversary. Note that there are no interments at or on the church property. Behind the church runs a tall grassy levee ideal for watching the Tioughnioga River flow past, but no cemetery. There’s a marble headstone planted in the front yard however this is a militaria collectible left by the family that owned the church in the 1980s.
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