Warmest wishes in this New
to you and yours!
St. Augustine's Cultural Center
has much to be grateful for this past year, after several years
of being stymied. Our last two grants, one from the State of
Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs, and one from the National
Park Service's "Save America's Treasures" finally came through.
We have been under construction since August, and hope to wrap
up by March. Here is an outline of these final renovations:
The Henry Kilgen 9-rank
Pipe Organ has been fully (and beautifully) restored and reinstalled
by renowned master organ-maker, Charles Ruggles. It has a wonderfully
sweet sound. We can't wait for you to hear it!
A stairway and lift are nearly completed. For the first
time ever, there will be easy and safe access between the upper
and lower levels.
Bathrooms (yes!) are being installed in the lower level.
A meeting room that can be used for conferences, workshops,
meals, etc. is being updated in the lower level. An ADA accessible
ramp and entrance has been completed on the lower level.
A kitchen is being installed, also on the lower level.
St. Augustine's can be your choice for any occasion requiring
food or refreshments.
The stunning murals in the upper level will be stabilized
when the weather warms in the spring.
There are many other improvements
and restorations that are being completed in the next few
months. And so now we can excitedly announce that the date
has been set for our rededication!
May 17, 2014
You definitely want to reserve
the date and be here! We will have activities Saturday and Sunday.
Here are the preliminary plans:
Kilgen Organ Workshop - we have the world's only known
surviving, intact organ made by Henry Kilgen! Charlie Ruggles
(www.rugglesorgans.com) will be here to discuss and show the
details of the pipe organ and restoration, and history of the
famous Kilgen family. This is an incredible opportunity for
enthusiasts of pipe organs and other mechanical wonders.
St Augustine's Catholic Church & Austin history presentation
by Mella Harmon, Historic Preservation Planner. Researcher/Writer,
Consultant and former Curator of History, Nevada State Historical
Society. Presentation on the history of Austin and St. Augustine's
Catholic Church: by Mella Harmon, historic preservation consultant,
researcher and writer, and former Curator of History at the
Nevada Historical Society.
Architectural Salvage sales: we have everything from
stacks of 'barn wood', to cut nails, roofing tin, roofing tails,
bricks, and even a claw-foot bathtub. These are all surplus
from the renovation and will come with an authentication letter.
These proceeds will be used only for further restoration of
Silent Auction Items: while these aren't historical,
they are quality items ranging from hotel stays to great gifts!
Tours of St. Augustine's: we get to show you all the
work of the past eight years!
Saturday Early Evening Dinner: a varied menu for dinner
will be served out of our new kitchen.
A Very Special Evening Program with Richard Elloyan (www.richardelloyan.net).
If you are lucky enough to have heard him, you know that he
is Nevada's great western singer with solid rural roots. His
rich voice resonates with the spirit of all Nevadans! Be sure
to visit his website and order his wonder CD's. You can also
purchase some from him in person at this program in St. Augustine's.
Richard Elloyan's opening act will be the glorious (and surprising)
music of the fabulous Henry Kilgen Organ played by Charlie Ruggles,
Howard Bennett, and a mystery guest!
We will send out the final event
schedule and ticket information sometime in March. We welcome
additions to our mailing list. Please drop us a line, or email
us at: staugustine's@GoAustinNevada.com.
One last gentle reminder. We welcome
any contributions! Our expenses are low, but until the renovations
are complete and we can start hosting events, we depend upon
you to keep the insurance and utilities current. Please remember
us in your giving. Thank you!
for information on St Augustine's Restoration process:
Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places Report
2005 study by Daniel J Pezzoni, Architectural Historian.
2006 Full story with pictures of the dry-stack wall completed
by local mason, Chuck Bispo.
Roof reconstruction - JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME!
Click here for pictures from the July 25, 2009
"Soup, Sin, & Salvation", a Celebration of Restoration
annual dinner & auction
Removal of Henry Kilgen Organ
Here are some pictures of the Kilgen
No wonder it didn't work......
The Kilgen in about 5,000 pieces! Getting ready to be shipped
to the Ruggles workshop in Colorado.
Charlie Ruggles working on the restoration
Charlie Ruggles working IN the restoration
Just wait until you see the whole picture!
See you in May!
Augustine's Catholic Church, located in Austin, Nevada, is Nevada's
oldest Catholic church building (1866) and also one of its finest.
church is located on a prominent hill in Austinís narrow canyon.
Its stately appearance is compelling and dominates the town
with a strong historic aura. The wood and tin clad spire rises
seventy five feet making the structure seem very tall with its
narrow Gothic Revival style. Built into the hillside on solid
granite, both the bricks and granite used in construction were
from the old Austin quarry and brickyard that flourished in
retains many early features including grained pews, Gothic
confessionals, and a decoratively painted nine rank Henry
C. Kilgen pipe organ in a Gothic case. In 1939 the parish
hired Rafael Jolly to paint murals for the interior, and the
vibrantly colored scenes of events in the lives of Christ
and St. Augustine are today the building's artistic highlight.
church was sold to a private party who formed a nonprofit organization
to restore and renovate the structure.
Augustineís will eventually house a cultural and arts center
for the community of Austin and Central Nevada. Activities will
include artist workshops, historic presentations and dramas,
docent tours, local art shows, music presentations, and permanent
collections and exhibits of Austin and central Nevada.
look forward to hosting weddings and family celebrations. The
main level of the church with its twenty four foot ceiling lends
itself to all types of performances and assemblies. Pews can
accommodate over two hundred persons, and the former altar area
is on a stage-sized platform. A sacristy off the platform is
ideal as a staging/dressing room. The church has two very large
rooms on the lower level with a bank of floor to ceiling windows
facing south. The rooms are suitable for classes, workshops,
Augustineís is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
the Nevada Register of Historic Places and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit
organization. Donations are gratefully accepted to help save
this wonderful structure and piece of history.