Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church wins $150,000 Partners in Preservation grant

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963.  Statuary is part of a memorial across the street in Kelly Ingram Park. Photo courtesy of REV Birmingham

After a month long campaign, Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church won $150,000 from the 2018 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign. Finishing in the top 10 in a national online vote, the historic church will use the award to install protective glass on the outside of all the church’s recently-restored stained glass windows, as well as make repairs to the cupola and twin bell towers.

Photo courtesy of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham

“Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is very appreciative of this grant from the National Trust which will help us to preserve our stained-glass windows, bell towers and cupola,” said Rev. Arthur Price, pastor of Sixteenth Street Baptist. “We would like to thank the City of Birmingham, the community at large, and all those around the country who were diligent in voting for Sixteenth Street to receive this award.”

Rev. Arthur Price, pastor of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church addressed the press conference. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Sponsored by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Main Street America, each of the 20 sites featured in the 2018 Partners in Preservation campaign played a role in the development of a diverse nation or the struggle for equal rights.

Joining the 16th Street Baptist Church as top 10 national grant recipients are:

The Tabor Opera House, Leadville, CO
The Women’s Building, San Francisco, CA
City Hall Clock Tower, Biddeford, ME
The Church of the Epiphany, Los Angeles, CA
Bronzeville Cookin’, Chicago, IL
Wah Chong Tai Mercantile, Butte, MT
Historic First Baptist Church, San Marcos, TX
Spring Street, Danville, VA
National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
The Arch Social Club, Baltimore, MD

Photo of the stained glass window donated to the 16th Street Baptist church by the people of Wales. Photo by Jon Eastwood

“I join every resident of Birmingham in celebrating this huge award for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “Sixteenth Street is so much more than a building – it symbolizes the resilience of those who fought tirelessly in the name of justice. It’s a cornerstone of our city and a living monument to social justice. This grant will ensure that Sixteenth Street’s legacy remains strong.”

REV Birmingham, a Main Street organization, nominated Sixteenth Street Baptist Church for this year’s Partners in Preservation competition and helped work with the church to run the monthlong campaign for votes. REV also worked with last year’s Partners in Preservation finalist, Alabama Theatre, which won $120,000 for its 18th Street vertical Alabama sign.

Birmingham
ALABAMA sign on 18th Street, photo by Pat Byington

“Thousands and thousands of votes prove again that Birmingham is invested in preserving its historic buildings,” said David Fleming, REV CEO and President. “Sixteenth Street Baptist is an important piece of our city’s and our nation’s history, and this grant will help ensure that it remains part of our future.”

Congrats 16th Street Baptist Church!

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.