On Saturday, October 7, 2023, in celebration of our 190th Anniversary, First Church will host a variety of Open House Tours of its historic 113-year-old building thanks to tour guides Sarah Vradenburg, Todd Brown, Eric Roberts, Organist Julie Lehman, and Rev. Nanette Pitt.
Four guided tours will be offered on rotation:
- Virtual Tour (those who are unable to walk stairs can watch videos on screen).
- Nooks & Crannies Tour (1 hour) which goes behind the scenes to visit attics, basements, and other interesting spaces that are typically closed off to the public.
- Nooks Tour (1 hour) which offers a highlight visit to the interesting architectural aspects of the main portions of the building.
- Organ Tour (30 minutes) which will feature performances on the church’s magnificent Casavant Frères pipe organ featuring 4,027 pipes. This tour will include an in-depth presentation of the organ’s special features with peeks into the blower and pipe rooms. Hosted by Organist and Choir Director, Julie Lehman.
- Window Tour (30 minutes) that will present the meaning behind the seven 12’x15’ historic stained-glass windows in the Meetinghouse and offer insights on their unique features. Hosted by Senior Minister, Rev. Nanette Pitt.
|Nooks & Crannies Tour
|Windows & Organ Tours
|Virtual Building Tours
|Not ADA Accessible. Will require participants to walk and take stairs but no other strenuous movements.
|Not ADA Accessible and will require bending, stepping over and under low-hanging objects, stair climbing, and walking on uneven floor surfaces.
|ADA Accessible and take place in the Meetinghouse.
|ADA Accessible and take place in the Conference Room.
|Organ 4pm (no playing)
Completed in 1910 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the First Church building is characterized by the use of rusticated coursed masonry, round Romanesque arches, multiple roofs, towers, and parapeted wall dormers. The walls are Bedford limestone, and are one foot, five inches thick. The famous bell and clock tower is 100 feet high and 18 feet square. The main sanctuary space, known as the Meetinghouse, is part of a nearly 43,000 square foot facility, and can seat over 500 people.
Doors will open at 1:45pm, and hour-long tours will begin at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm, and will occur on the hour. The Organ and Windows tours will alternate on the half hour, ending at 5pm. Tours are free to the public, and reservations are not needed. The Nooks and Nooks and Crannies tours are not handicap accessible and will require bending, stepping over and under low-hanging objects, stair climbing, and walking on uneven floor surfaces.