GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Preservationists for a 130-year-old black church with ties to civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois have received federal grant money to turn it into a community center.
The Berkshire Eagle reports the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area was awarded $389,000 Tuesday to restore the Clinton AME Zion Church in Great Barrington, near the New York and Connecticut borders.
The National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grants Program awarded the grant.
The building dates to 1887, around when southern African-Americans migrated to the area. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Du Bois was a Great Barrington native.
The church closed its doors in 2014 and the building fell into disrepair. A preservation group that bought the church said the restoration will cost about $1.2 million.
Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com