818 S. West Street
The construction of this church was funded by Benjamin and Cynthia
Baum, parents of L.
Frank Baum who wrote "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." The building was
designed by Syracuse architect
The church was named to commemorate the Centenary of
American Methodism in 1885. The corner stone was laid in April, 1867, and
the building completed in 1868 at a total cost was about $37,000.
Rev. Jesse T. Peck
church's second minister, the Rev. Jesse T. Peck, was one of the original
five founders of Syracuse University. The founders each gave $25,000 to
establish the university's endowment.
In 1961, the Olivet National Baptist Church paid $60,000 for the
building and the church was known thereafter as the Second Olivet
Baptist Church. In
1992-93, the congregation of the church nominated the site for local
historic designation, but little subsequent effort was made towards restoration
of the building.
In 2000, church leaders declared the building too small
restoration too costly. They said they preferred to
demolish the building and erect a new church on the site that would better
serve their needs. The Landmark Preservation Board denied the church’s
application for demolition but this was overturned by the Planning
Commission. The congregation was granted a Certificate of Appropriateness
Windows were removed and the church was readied for
demolition. In January of 2004 the sanctuary ceiling collapsed and the
congregation moved temporarily to St. Lucy's Church on Gifford Street. In November, 2004 two
walls of the aging building collapsed. The rest of the building was
demolished a few days later.
Pictures of the structure are below.
The first image shows the building prior to the 2004 collapse: