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Grants to help preserve historic Illinois structures

December 18, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A nearly 100-year-old Chicago church and a Southern Illinois structure that was once part of the Underground Railroad are among the projects receiving grants to help spark interest and support for preservation projects.

Landmarks Illinois announced awards totaling $35,000 for 14 projects at historic and significant places across the state. The grants range from $1,000 to $4,000 and require the recipient to raise funds equal to or greater than the grant amount. That process often helps boost interest in preservation efforts and raise money for the projects, officials said.

Several historic churches are among the recipients. They include Ward Chapel AME Church in Cairo, which was built in 1874 and once part of the Underground Railroad; Stone Temple Baptist Church in Chicago, a nearly 100-year-old structure with water damage on floors and walls and Zion United Church of Christ in Waterloo, which is located along the Kaskaskia Trail, one of the oldest trade routes in Illinois.

In Waterloo, the money will be used for steeple repairs on the church, which was built in 1884 by German immigrants.

Other projects are located in Carmi, Chicago, Freeport, Jacksonville, Rockford, Richmond, Trout Valley and Washington.