Louisville Metro Receives $100,000 African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Grant for Quinn Chapel
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that the Louisville Metropolitan Government (LMG) has received a $100,000 grant from the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for its ongoing efforts to preserve the historic Quinn Chapel AME Church.
“The Quinn Chapel, which was central to the civil rights movement of the 1960s in our city, is a landmark, integral to the history of Black Louisvillians and our city as a whole,” the mayor said. . “Today, as we celebrate new investments in West Louisville, it is essential that we restore and preserve these landmarks. We are delighted that this grant allows us to continue the extensive restoration work of the historic Quinn Chapel and we look forward to further public engagement on the future of the property.
With over $80 million in funding, the Action Fund is America’s largest resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places. In 2022, it awarded a total of $3 million to 33 applicants across the United States to protect and preserve sites representing African American history.
The LMG grant will be used to restore electrical access to Quinn Chapel, allowing contractors to move forward with additional stabilization and restoration work, and to prepare the site for future use. LMG and the YMCA, the current owner of Quinn Chapel, expect to resume community conversations about the future of the church building later this year.
The local preservation nonprofit Vital Sites helped with the grant application and previously participated in an engineering study to stabilize the back wall of Quinn Chapel, which was in danger of collapsing due to water damage.
“Vital Sites, Louisville’s preservation fund, applauds the awarding of this grant to Quinn Chapel, a building so integral to the history of civil rights and our African American heritage. We are pleased to have played a small role in the ongoing work of the YMCA and Louisville Metro in stabilizing and restoring this key landmark,” said Charles Cash, Chairman of the Board of Vital Sites. .
Quinn Chapel, built in 1884, takes its name from Bishop Paul Quinn, who was the fourth bishop of the AME Church and the first to visit Kentucky. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church in April 1961, and it was the starting point for the Night Walks for Housing opened in 1967. The church has retained its integrity in design, materials and craftsmanship, including the original stained glass windows. and decorative masonry elements. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
While this is the first grant the city has received from the Action Fund, it is not the first national grant LMG has received for its work on the Quinn Chapel. In total, the National Park Service gave nearly $1.5 million in grants to stabilize and repair the building, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development invested $250,000. The Louisville Metro Government provided $150,000 in matching funds for the work, while the YMCA invested $400,000.
Since its inception in 2017, the Action Fund has supported 160 places through its national grants program for a total investment of $12.4 million. This year’s list further demonstrates the beauty and complexity of African American life and includes historic sites related to black arts, culture, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, sports, medicine , education, religion and social justice.
“The cultural landscapes and historic buildings featured in this year’s list showcase the breadth and depth of African American life, history and architecture across generations,” said Brent Leggs. , Executive Director of the Action Fund. “At the National Trust, we aim to broaden public understanding of the black experience in America, while highlighting the very urgent need to identify and protect these sites for the benefit of the communities they have long served. We commend the recipients of this year to move this movement forward and manage these priceless cultural assets in the future.”
Action Fund grants support preservation efforts in four categories:
- Building Capital: Supporting the Restoration and Rehabilitation of Cultural Assets Important to Black History
- Increase organizational capacity: provide leadership positions within non-profit organizations that manage black heritage sites
- Project planning and development: Fundraising planning activities related to the development of preservation plans, feasibility studies and fundraising
- Programming and Education: Advancing storytelling through audience education and creative interpretation
Learn more about the Action Fund and the 2022 recipients at www.savingplaces.org/actionfund.
About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, JPB Foundation, Mellon Foundation and other partners, working to make a significant and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American resilience, activism, and achievement. Go to savingplaces.org/actionfund.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save historic places in the United States. Visit SavingPlaces.org | @savingplaces