In 2020 we are celebrating 150 years in our historic building in downtown Stamford. UUC’s Archive Team, have sorted through boxes and boxes of materials to produced a chronological, pictorial history that demonstrates how UUC has, since its inception, been on the forefront of pressing social issues . Watch movie*
*UUC’s Archive Team: Pam Cunconan (Video Producer), Bonnie Currie, Ann Preston and Nancy Furnas.
Our Historic Building
The Second Universalist Society of Stamford was officially organized on April 3, 1841. The first building was constructed on Atlantic Square at the current site of the Old Town Hall. In 1868, the City of Stamford bought the site, and the members of the Society recognized an opportunity to obtain an improved location and a more adequate structure. Our historic Gothic Revival building was erected in 1870 and dedicated on December 29 of that year.
A few years after the main building was built, land to the east was purchased and the parsonage, a gift from William Hubbard and Edward Phillips, was built. The kitchen was an addition in 1906. The Sunday school building was the final addition in 1964.
The main building is a rare survivor of the English Country Gothic style in what was once rural and is now an urban area. It occupies a highly visible corner in downtown Stamford at the intersection of three major roads, Bedford, Prospect and Forest Streets. The style is unique and is one of only two survivors in the city. It is considered to be the finest example of this style in the area. The church and rectory are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are also part of the Downtown Historic District.
Peter and Paul Windows: These are from the period of “decadent stained glass” and date back to the 16th or 17th century. They were originally purchased in Italy and installed in the Orchard Street Church in New York City. They were installed in our present church when it was built in 1870.
Johnson Organ: Master organ builder William A. Johnson built our organ in his studio in Westfield, Massachusetts, and installed it when the church was built in 1870. It was the 339th organ produced by Johnson, who built 860 during his career. It is the third oldest of the 76 in the United States that remain intact or only slightly altered. Johnson organs are world-renowned for their craftsmanship and tonal beauty.
Brass Mobile: This graceful and inspiring brass mobile, entitled “Radiance,” was designed and constructed by well-known sculptor David Burt, a member of UUSIS. It was installed on a long-ago Christmas Eve, with the rising heat from several six-foot-high pillar candles causing the mobile to gently rotate and catch the candlelight.
Pillar Candle holder: The tall candle holder used in our services was given in memory of the four young girls killed in the KKK bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 15, 1963.
Flaming Chalice: Sculptor Roseanne diLorenzo George designed this unique, beautiful cast bronze.
Banners: The six banners hanging in our Sanctuary represent the major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. A banner at the rear of our Sanctuary represents Earth Based Religions, and we proudly display the Rainbow Flag as a show of our congregation’s welcoming of people of all orientations.
Did You Know?
UUC is the only house of worship on Stamford’s Urban Scavenger Race route. Why? Well, we are a congregation that is housed in a historic building and we boast some of downtown’s best spiritual and religious treasures. Read what the Stamford Advocate has to say!