National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dansville
Reference Number 13000448
State New York
County Livingston
Town Dansville
Street Address 21 Clara Barton Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/25/2013
Areas of Significance Social History, Architecture
Link to full file
Dedicated In 1847, the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dansville is significant under Criterion C in architecture as a representative intact example of mid-nineteenth century ecclesiastical design in the village of Dansville, Livingston County, New York. The church is a late Greek Revival building with a form reminiscent of the older Federal era German church, indicating a sense of conservatism in looking to a familiar form, but one with details that differentiated it from the older building. It is also significant under Criterion A in the area of social history for its association with the village's German immigrant community and the resulting tensions with non-German members of the congregation. The most contentious issue was over the use of the German language in worship, causing a permanent rift in 1839. The English Evangelical Lutheran Church is also nationally significant under Criterion Consideration A as the site of where the first local chapter of the American Red Cross was formed in 1881. Clara Barton, founder the national Red Cross organization, had been a summer resident of the village since 1876. When she arrived in the village the summer after founding the organization, the local residents expressed an interest in supporting her efforts and suggested creating a local chapter. She addressed an audience gathered in the church's sanctuary about the important work of the international organization and her efforts to have the federal government endorse the 1864 Treaty of Geneva (also known as the Geneva Convention). As a result of this meeting, the community endorsed her draft of a constitution for a local chapter and enrolled 57 charter members from the assembled audience. By creating the first local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Dansville chapter established the process for communities to work a person of Barton's stature to expand the work of the American Red Cross across the country.


Weekly List Search Page

Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria