Frederick Douglass’s church on the endangered list


Historic D.C. church lands on most-endangered list

The crumbling church, dedicated in 1886, has hosted notable civil rights figures and statesmen but now faces a repair bill of about $11 million, which it cannot afford.

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The glorious stained-glass Episcopacy Window has been removed, its empty frame high above M street now covered with sheets of plastic.

Water has damaged the plaster walls near the oak-and-pine pew where abolitionist Frederick Douglass sat. And the ceiling that collapsed not far from where the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks rested is concealed by planks and scaffolding.

Although the curving pews of Washington’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church still embrace the memory of those who hallowed the structure, on Wednesday it is scheduled to be named among the nation’s most endangered historic places.

More than a century after it was dedicated in 1886, the red brick edifice at 1518 M St. NW, which has hosted presidents, statesmen and some of the greatest figures in the nation’s struggle against racial oppression, is crumbling.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation plans to announce that the church is included on its 2010 list of the country’s most endangered historic sites.

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Historic D.C. church lands on most-endangered list

The crumbling church, dedicated in 1886, has hosted notable civil rights figures and statesmen but now faces a repair bill of about $11 million, which it cannot afford.

Network News

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//

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The glorious stained-glass Episcopacy Window has been removed, its empty frame high above M street now covered with sheets of plastic.

This Story

// <![CDATA[
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// ]]>Water has damaged the plaster walls near the oak-and-pine pew where abolitionist Frederick Douglass sat. And the ceiling that collapsed not far from where the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks rested is concealed by planks and scaffolding.

Although the curving pews of Washington’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church still embrace the memory of those who hallowed the structure, on Wednesday it is scheduled to be named among the nation’s most endangered historic places.

More than a century after it was dedicated in 1886, the red brick edifice at 1518 M St. NW, which has hosted presidents, statesmen and some of the greatest figures in the nation’s struggle against racial oppression, is crumbling.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation plans to announce that the church is included on its 2010 list of the country’s most endangered historic sites.

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