NPS awards $495,322 grant for Clinton Church restoration

The historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, photo by Silo Media

The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage) has received a $495,322 grant from the National Park Service for continued restoration work on the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church. The grant is part of $15,035,000 the Park Service’s African American Civil Rights grant program awarded on July 27, 2021, to 53 projects in 20 states, which include restoration efforts at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium Building in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Once again, we are pleased that we could help this important cultural and historic institution,” said Housatonic Heritage Executive Director Dan Bolognani, who has helped to secure three National Park Service grants for Clinton Church Restoration. “We are thrilled to be a part of its revival in the life of our community, and to be instrumental in telling its story.” Bolognani’s nonprofit serves 29 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut, assists communities and non-profits in identifying, interpreting, and developing the historical, cultural, and natural resources of the region for the educational and inspirational benefit of current and future generations. 

Together with CPA funding provided by the Town of Great Barrington, the grant will be used to continue structural stabilization and repair work on the Clinton Church building. Significant damage discovered during roof work in 2020 has substantially increased both the cost and duration of the restoration.

“We’ve made good progress on stabilizing the building but we still have a long way to go,” said Clinton Church Restoration chairman Wray Gunn, Sr. “This grant from the National Park Service will be a big help in restoring this important African American landmark.”