Saturday, June 25, 2022

Islamic Center buys former Glens Falls Christian Science bldg.

By Cathy DeDe. Chronicle Managing Editor

The Christian Science Society building in Glens Falls was purchased on April 6 by the M. Kahn Islamic Society of Upstate New York. Purchase price was $200,000.

“It will be a house of worship,” Ashfaq Mushtaq of the Islamic Society told The Chronicle.

“We have almost 40 families in the community, in Queensbury, Hudson Falls, Lake George, Argyle, Warrensburg.

“We have been looking for a place for 15 years.”

Mr. Mushtaq, who lives in Glens Falls and goes by the name Ash, said his congregation currently meets in space they rent at the Unitarian Universalist Society building on Weeks Road in Queensbury.

He said the next closest Islamic meeting place is in Albany.

The former First Church of Christ Science, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Davis Street, has long been for sale.

The grey, 4,464-square foot 1911 Greek Revival building sits distinctively diagonally on its .36 acre corner lot.

“It’s a beautiful place with amazing architecture,” Mr. Mushtaq said. “Luckily, I live a few streets away. I was walking with one of my daughters and saw this place.”

They hope to begin holding services and other programs there “in a couple of months,” he said. “There’s a lot of work needing to be done inside.”

“Everybody is very happy. We will have a little library, an education center…”

Richard Blake of Keller Williams Capital District in Latham represented the buyers. Selling agent was Julie Snyder of Howard Hanna.

The listing said, “Main area has approximately 22-foot ceilings, huge arched windows, and a balcony.

Islamic Center buys former GF Christian Science bldg.

“The finished basement has approximately 10 foot ceilings. Think of all the possibilities with this special 1911 building; keep it as a house of worship, or possibly a community center, art studio, library, dance center or professional offices (a variance may be needed).”

Ms. Snyder told The Chronicle, “It had a lot of interest. I had a couple of offers from people not sure what they wanted to do with it, artists who maybe wanted a studio, arts center, to use it as a multi family.”

She said the Church had continued meeting there, “but there are only a handful of members left. A lot have moved away.”

She said the property remained on the market longer than might be usual “because selling a church requires many legal steps….The mother church and the members have to give permission, and the state Supreme Court has to dissolve the church.”

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