Historic black church in Berkshire Co. receives $389,000 federal - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Historic black church in Berkshire Co. receives $389,000 federal grant

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) - Preservationists have received a nearly $400,000 federal grant to turn a historic black church in Massachusetts into a community center.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grants Program announced Tuesday it had awarded the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area $389,000 to restore the Clinton AME Zion Church in Great Barrington.

The church building dates to 1887 as African-Americans from the south migrated to the area. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places.

The church also has ties to Great Barrington native and civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois.

The church closed its doors in 2014 and the building fell into disrepair. A preservation group that bought the church the restoration will cost about $1.2 million.

Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com

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