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South Salem White Church Looks To Open Doors For Community

Rev. Nadine Hundetrmark dedicates ADA compliant entrance to the white church in South Salem in December 1999.
Rev. Nadine Hundetrmark dedicates ADA compliant entrance to the white church in South Salem in December 1999. Photo Credit: Contributed

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- The South Salem Presbyterian Church is working on installing automatic doors to the main entrance of the church and the sanctuary.

The congregation was founded in South Salem in 1752 and since construction in 1826, the "White Church on the Hill" has been the focal point of the hamlet and the greater community of Lower Salem (Lewisboro).

"In the spirit of the movie 'Field of Dreams,' along with the original ADA renovations came a significant increase in the number of disabled individuals attending the many concerts and other community events hosted throughout the year," said Dean Travalino, who along with George van Marter is spearheading the project, according to a release.

Travalino said the effort has gained some urgency with the Lewisboro Library in talks to utilize portions of the building to deliver essential services during the Library's one year renovation project.

Services for the Jewish Family Congregation and Catholic masses from the parish in Katonah were held in the White Church at one time and the building continues to host community groups, events and concerts throughout the year.

Travalino said the automatic doors, which will facilitate access for the elderly and disabled as well as increase energy efficiency, were envisioned at the time of the original renovations but omitted for budgetary reasons.

"George and I are pleased to have the support of the Congregation and the current pastor, Dr. Chip Andrus, for this effort," Travalino said in the release.

Donations, which are deductible for federal income tax purposes, can be sent directly by check payable to the South Salem Presbyterian Church, at 111 Spring St., South Salem, NY 10590.

For other methods of giving, residents are asked to contact the church offices at (914) 763-9282.

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