Historic Quinn Chapel takes step toward renovation, new purpose

Once a gathering place for Black Louisville residents fighting segregation, the Quinn Chapel has fallen victim to the ravages of time.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 7:31 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Once a gathering place for Black Louisville residents fighting segregation, the historic Quinn Chapel has fallen victim to the ravages of time.

A $100,000 grant is expected to bring the chapel closer to a much-needed renovation.

The grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will help fund repairs to the building.

“While this is the first grant the city has been awarded from the Action Fund, it is not the first national grant Louisville Metro Government has received for its work on Quinn Chapel,” a city press release said. “In total, the National Park Service has given nearly $1.5 million in grant funds to stabilize and repair the building and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has invested $250,000. Louisville Metro Government has dedicated $150,000 in matching funds for the work, while the YMCA has invested $400,000.”

Previous grants have been paid to repair damaging leaks and to secure weakened exterior walls.

Built 138 years ago, the church was a frequent meeting place during the Civil Rights Movement.

The YMCA of Greater Louisville bought the empty building in 2002.

Louisville Metro Government is working to secure funding for the renovation. The city will also seek public input to determine what is eventually done to the building’s interior.

“Louisville Metro Government’s (Action Fund) grant will be used to restore electrical access to Quinn Chapel, allowing contractors to move forward with additional stabilization and restoration work, and prepare the site for future use,” the city press release said. “Louisville Metro Government and the YMCA, the current owner of Quinn Chapel, expect to resume community conversations around the future of the church building later this year.”

Those conversations will guide construction plans and future costs.

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