If you want to know where the action is in the South Wedge, head to the corner of Averill Avenue and Ashland Street and you’ll find it there. The ROC SALT Center has become the new heartbeat in the center of the South Wedge. The former Calvary St. Andrews Church, built between 1873-1880 and steeped in history and art has become the new gathering place in one of Rochester’s favorite neighborhoods. This city landmark, (which is found on both the New York State and National Register of Historic Places) is home to The South Wedge Food Program, The Mission Immersion Program and The Historic Sanctuary and Chapel cared for by the Friends of Historic Calvary St Andrews. On Sunday mornings, Open Arms Community Church, an open and welcoming congregation, takes up residence for a few hours and calls the Historic Sanctuary their home. And that’s just for starters! The building has also become a gathering place for other community groups. On any given night you can find homeschooled families who gather for special events or local bagpipe band, Feadan Or, teaching students or rehearsing. Most recently, the building was home to a group of volunteers from AmeriCorps while they were working in the community.
Concerts, lectures, recitals and weddings have become popular in the building’s Historic Sanctuary and Chapel. The Friends of Historic Calvary St. Andrews, an all-volunteer group dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting the art and heritage of the space, works tirelessly to manage and maintain the Historic Sanctuary and Chapel. The Historic Calvary St. Andrew’s Sanctuary, reception hall and meeting rooms have been transformed into a unique setting for these special events. This Gothic Revival building features vaulted ceilings, dark wood interior finishes and historically significant stained-glass windows – resulting in an awe inspiring yet flexible and affordable venue. Excellent acoustics have made this a sought-after location for a wide variety of musical performances, ranging from Renaissance era harpsichords and lutes to folk music to brass horns and bagpipes. The Harrington baby grand piano and 1916 Austin organ are well maintained and available for use. Local blues musician, Hannah PK, and several other groups have made recordings in the Sanctuary.
Upcoming events include the Rochester Early Music Festival, coordinated by Music Spei. Nine of these events, including instrumental and vocal recitals and concerts celebrating Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music will take place in the Historic Sanctuary throughout November. “Dance Like It’s 1700” and “Game of Tones” are just a few of the programs taking place during the festival. If Celtic music is more your thing, you can stop by on November 12th between 7-9PM for Feadan Or Pipe Band’s Open House & Band Jam. Celebrate the Solstice during the South Wedge Sunday Series on December 8th. You can be part of the Solstice Celebration as poets and musicians share their talents to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
The Historic Sanctuary is also the perfect place for a South Wedge wedding. Couples of all denominations, backgrounds, sexual identities and gender expression have used the beautiful, serene space to exchange their wedding vows. The Chapel adjacent to the Historic Sanctuary is also available for small celebrations and rehearsal dinners. The beautiful and meticulously maintained gardens surrounding the building are an added bonus. They are perfect for pictures of wedding parties, families and friends before or after a ceremony. The Friends of Historic Calvary St. Andrews provide an on-site wedding coordinator to ensure your time in the Historic Sanctuary runs smoothly.
To find out more about ROC SALT Center, The South Wedge Food Program, Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church or Friends of Historic Calvary St Andrews and their events, please visit rocsaltcenter.org. Wedding inquiries can be made through email@example.com.