Old church conversion plan under review in Beacon

A The plan to convert the former Beacon Reformed Church property into a hotel, conference center and event space continues to be reviewed by the Planning Board for the Town of Beacon in Dutchess County. The 2.28 acre property located at 1113 Wolcott Ave. is owned by Prophecy Theater LLC.

The applicant wants to construct a new building of 13,257 square feet on the site of the hotel which would be in the same place as the old presbytery of the church. The plan would create a 30-room, 2.5-story hotel with 31 off-street parking spaces. The interior of the church would be renovated into an ancillary space which would include a conference center and a catering section which would be used as a cafe, restaurant and bar. In addition, an on-site cemetery abandoned for a century would be restored and opened as a public park.

1113 Wolcott Ave., rendering showing restored church and proposed hotel.

According to attorney Taylor Palmer of the White Plains-based law firm Cuddy & Feder, the hotel and conference center would have a maximum capacity of 350 people, including employees. Although the applicant originally envisioned operating seven days a week with special programs, it now suggests larger events would be limited to weekends with smaller functions such as seminars, workshops or retreats being held in Week.

Palmer said the cafe would have outdoor seating available, but the total number of indoor and outdoor seats would be 50. He said the cafe would provide meals for hotel guests and would also be open to the public. He said the plan “includes the use of on-site parking lots and traffic attendants, directional signage, and providing information to event attendees about optimal parking areas and transit options. “. Palmer said they would try to reduce reliance on personal vehicles, offer shuttles, valet parking, and make it easier for people to walk and use bikes to attend events in the area. ‘establishment.

1113 Wolcott Ave Beacon.  Photo via Google Maps.
1113 Wolcott Ave Beacon. Photo via Google Maps.

Palmer said the 31 parking spaces that would be located on the rear portion of the property would be for use by hotel guests and employees. Parking required for event attendees would be managed through public parking around the site and an agreement with a local funeral home to use their private parking lot near the site.

“As noted in a previously submitted traffic and parking study, these public parking locations were observed under existing conditions and found to have more than enough parking spaces available to meet the needs of the largest events scheduled on the site,” Palmer said. . “Applicant will provide free shuttle service from any off-site parking location with a distance greater than 1,000 feet if needed for a larger event.”

Gavin Hecker of Prophecy Theater LLC said, “The use of the church is compatible with the neighborhood and the building has been a gathering place for the community for nearly 175 years. The district itself was built around it, and now hosts and supports this second iteration.

Hecker said they believe what they are proposing is the best use of the existing historic 5,000 square foot church.

“It wasn’t built to be a 50-seat restaurant, and nobody wants to see it turned into condos or a private studio. Any use that significantly diminishes capacity will also severely compromise the ability to preserve such a grand historic building and/or make the building less accessible to our community,” Hecker said.

The church was built around 1860 as a new home for the Dutch Reformed Church congregation of Fishkill Landing which had been established in 1813. A Facebook page which had been maintained by the Reformed Church of Beacon dating from 2014 has pointed out that “the steeple can be easily seen rising above the Hudson. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The cemetery was the burial place of William Few Jr., who died in 1828 and signed the US Constitution of the State of Georgia.In 1973, his remains were moved to Augusta, Georgia.


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