Our Mission and Goals
Our mission at the Universal Preservation Hall is to:
- Sustain a unique venue for performing arts and for cultural, educational, and community events.
- Preserve and maintain the historic building.
- Derive sufficient income through rental of the Hall to support operations and programming.
- Provide a permanent place of worship for the Universal Baptist Church.
- Promote and enhance the economic vitality of the region.
The restoration of the Saratoga Springs Universal Preservation Hall has been a true community project. Thanks to a group of dedicated and visionary Saratogians who wouldn’t let the space be turned into a parking lot—we have been able to restore the 1871 church into a true community space, adding to downtown’s vitality and continuation of a culture of the arts that Saratoga is coming to be known by. The 501(c)(3) organization, Universal Preservation Hall (“UPH”), is working to transform this gem of a historic building; generate commerce for downtown and surrounding businesses through street traffic, patronage of restaurants and shops as the theater goers head to concerts of all types, wedding receptions, lectures, dance performances, theater productions, film festivals and film series, corporate meetings, art gallery events, etc. Our preferred caterer is Mazzone Hospitality, known for their excellent event planning, coordination and execution.
We have sought the advice of theater, conference and concert hall professionals for the 7,000 square foot performing arts space to make sure we will not try to be all things to all people, but a focused performing arts hall catering to Saratoga, and our surrounding community.
Read more about the History of Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga’s Premier Wedding, Performing Arts Venue.
UPH has garnered support from local businesses, community members and visitors to our area. The Hall has been the recipient of many in-kind donations over the years and we are grateful for all the work and donations we have received. The Hall has also received support from The Landmarks Conservancy, the State of New York, the City of Saratoga Springs, the Adirondack Trust Company, The Swyer Foundation, The Universal Baptist Church, the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust and The Saratoga Foundation. In 2006, Universal Preservation Hall was named an “Official Project” of Save America’s Treasures and received nearly $200,000 from the U.S. Federal Government. In 2009, UPH received an Environmental Protection Fund grant of similar size from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to assist in the completing the Historic Community Plaza in the front of the building. For complete listing of our supporters and grants, please contact the office.
Board of Directors and Staff
The Universal Preservation Hall is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization and is managed and directed by a board of directors. The board of directors meet semi-annually with an operating board meeting monthly. Our office is managed by Mary Beth McGarrahan, who works part-time. Our current board includes:
Reverend Minnie L. Burns, Secretary
Lucille Clark, Vice President
Teddy Foster, President
Tim Jaques, Treasurer
Jeff Pfeil, Vice President, Building & Facilities