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Milwaukee Black church receives funding to assess preservation needs

todayJanuary 18, 2024

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Photo via Google Maps streetview

The Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee is one of 31 historic Black churches across the United States that have been awarded grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The fund awarded over $4 million in its latest round of Preserving Black Churches grants to help protect and preserve historic churches that have played vital roles in African American history and culture.

Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, constructed between 1973 and 1974, stands out as a unique recipient of the Preserving Black Churches grants. Designed by Alonzo Robinson Jr., Wisconsin’s first registered African American architect, the church represents an excellent example of Modernist architecture while fitting into the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The grant will assess the history and current condition of the building and its systems. This assessment will guide recommendations for future preservation projects to protect the church’s architecture and legacy. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund aims to equip historic Black churches with resources to address threats like deferred maintenance and deterioration. For the Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, the grant will ensure consideration of appropriate solutions to uphold this meaningful place for generations to come.

The church joins earlier Preserving Black Churches funding recipients like Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta and the Town Clock Church in Indiana. Across awards to over 80 congregations, the Action Fund demonstrates a deep commitment to places that have fostered community resilience and change. The assessment grant for Milwaukee’s Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church will support continued stewardship of the church’s unique history.

Written by: Tarik Moody

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