Walks & Talks program tells about churches, restaurant

For the 16th consecutive year, the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica is providing a Monday Evening Summer Walks & Talks program.

It offers a free, public walk and talk at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 in the Bethany Presbyterian Church / Lighthouse Baptist Church (former St. Agnes Catholic Church) / Ventura’s Restaurant, 781 Lansing St., corner of Albany St., Utica. Parking would be on the street.

Various presenters will talk about the church.

Bethany Presbyterian has "a long and fascinating history and is one of Utica’s important architectural landmarks," society officials said.

It was built in 1869 at a cost of $21,000. The exterior has vertical board sheathing (board & batten siding), which gives vertical emphasis to the structure. Gothic Revival and Romanesque details prevail, which are enhanced by the very handsome decorative woodwork. The tower houses the bell which was cast by the Troy Bell Works and brought to Utica on an Erie Canal barge. It was hauled by oxen up to the site, which was then on the corner of Lansing Street and the Minden Turnpike (now Albany Street). Over the years, Bethany was threatened by fire four times.

The former St. Agnes Catholic Church is now the home of The Lighthouse Baptist Church on the corner of Mary St. and Kossuth Avenue.

Ventura’s Restaurant, established in 1943, is located on the corner of Lansing St. and Kossuth Ave., and is "one of Utica’s finest and most revered family owned and operated dining establishments," society officials said.

On the net: www.uticalandmarks.org