$2.8 million awarded to Alabama historic sites

Birmginham 16th Street Baptist Church
Birmginham's historic 16th Street Baptist Church.

Rep. Terri Sewell announced Wednesday that over $2.8 million in funding from the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program is being awarded to preserve historic sites in Alabama.

Sewell commented, “I am beyond thrilled that over $2.8 million in funding from the National Park Service (NPS) is being invested into Alabama to preserve the living history of the Civil Rights Movement. As Representative of America’s Civil Rights District, I have always fought to secure funding for the preservation of these historic sites as they are critical to ensuring that America’s story lives on. Every year when my colleagues and I join together to commemorate the pilgrimage of the Civil Rights Movement, we are reminded that history is elusive. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that our history is preserved and protected for generations to come.”

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, assisting with a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars to mitigate the loss of a nonrenewable resource by benefitting the preservation of other irreplaceable resources.

Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized at $150 million per year through 2023 and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to States, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Administered by the NPS, HPF funds are appropriated annually by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources.

The National Park Service has awarded the following grants, which total $2,836,313, for historic sites in Alabama:

  • $500,000 to the Saint Paul United Methodist Church for preservation, restoration, and repair
  • $500,000 to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church for preservation and rehabilitation
  • $236,313 to the Elmore Bolling Foundation for the restoration and preservation of the historic Lowndesboro School
  • $500,000 to the Lincolnite Club, Inc. for phase II structural repairs, window restoration, and building systems replacement of the historic Lincoln Normal School Gymnasium
  • $50,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the Freedom Rides Museum exterior exhibit and window displays
  • $500,000 to the Alabama Historical Commission for the phase III rehabilitation of the Moore Building
  • $50,000 to the Selma Center For Non-Violence, Truth And Reconciliation for the Voting Rights Movement Education Project: Engaging history through digital and physical educational resources
  • $500,000 to the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church Selma AL Legacy Foundation Inc. for the critical complete re-roofing of gabled and domed roofs
  • National Park Service Deputy Director, Shawn Benge stated, “This competitive grant program is just one of the many ways the National Park Service is working to preserve and interpret the lesser-known facets of our nation’s shared history From physical restoration projects to surveys, documentation, and education, this years’ grant funds will help many of our State, Tribal, local, and non-profit partners advance their preservation goals.”