Phyllis Pittman Kitt of Pittsford shares her love for research and photography in her book God’s Country, Historic Churches and Chapels of the Genesee Valley. The book features photographs and architectural and historical background of more than 100 churches throughout the surrounding nine county-area.
Kitt will host two booksignings in December:
Barnes & Noble, 330 Greece Ridge Center Drive, Greece, 7 p.m. Dec. 2
Barnes & Noble, 1070 Ridge Road, Webster, 2 p.m. Dec. 19
Published by the RIT Press, the book contains full-color photographs shot by Kitt and brief histories of 19th century Christian churches. Some of the churches include: the Neo-Gothic St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Rochester, the Cobblestone Church in Childs, N.Y. (the oldest cobblestone church in North America), the Greek Revival Brooks Grove Methodist Church at the Genesee Country Village and Museum and the Romanesque-influenced First Universalist Church in Rochester.
The 9-by-12 inch softcover book is 238 pages and is priced at $39.95. God’s Country can be purchased at Barnes & Noble or through the RIT Cary Press by calling (585) 475-6766 or online at http://carypress.rit.edu.
A few wrong turns on some back country roads and the discovery of a dilapidated church ultimately led her on this journey to producing God’s Country.
“About 15 years ago, I got lost on a deserted country road trying to find my way home from a distant town,” says Kitt, a Pittsford resident. “I pulled the car over to look at a map and through the underbrush along the road noticed what looked like a steeple. I got out to investigate and realized that it was the remains of an old church. The spire was torn off, there were large holes in the roof, the windows were broken and a tree limb was growing out of one of them. But I could still see fragments of fine carvings over the front door and under the eaves. I thought it a great pity since it once must have been a gem.”
Kitt worked closely with county historians, conducting extensive research for the book.
She adds: “The research was fascinating to me. It connected me to a period in history that we may feel is no longer relevant. I hope readers find the same sense of connection and relevance that I did.”
Frank Grosso, consulting architect on the book, wrote a commentary on architecture and, after visiting each church, provided Kitt with architectural language to complete the histories. Stuart Bolger, director emeritus of the Genesee Country Village and Museum, wrote the book’s foreword.
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Press and its new imprint, RIT Press, are scholarly publishing enterprises at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Press is associated with the Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, one of the country’s premier libraries on the history and practice of printing.
Photo Credit: Phyllis Pittman Kitt
Photo Captions: The Cobblestone Church, Childs, N.Y.
All Souls Chapel at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Rochester, N.Y.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Clifton Springs, N.Y.