Stabilization work begins on Michigan Street Baptist Church | Business premises

Michigan Street Baptist Church.

John Hickey

Construction has begun to stabilize the roof and foundation of Michigan Street Baptist Church as community leaders, local officials, and the state invested $ 1.3 million to preserve the pre-Civil War historic structure and more To enable visitors to see what was once the last stop on the Underground Railroad for the formerly enslaved who want to flee to Canada.

The work is carried out by the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, a nonprofit group founded in 2001 that runs the Church at 511 Michigan Ave. and that seeks to protect and promote its heritage. Located on Michigan Street’s African American Heritage Corridor, the church was built by African Americans in 1845, and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.

“By preserving the knowledge of our past, we gain the real possibilities of our future,” said Rachel Henderson, vice chairman of the Freedom Station Coalition and daughter of Bishop William Henderson, who led the struggle to save the Church from destruction and gain in recognition for his story before his death in January at the age of 85. “As we learn more and more about the history of our ancestors, we are building a much brighter and exponentially more advanced world.”

Added rendering of Michigan Street Baptist Church

A photograph of the African American corridor depicting the addition of Michigan Street Baptist Church.

Image courtesy of the Buffalo Preservation Board

The current project aims to ensure the structural integrity of the church, address security issues and provide better access for visitors with disabilities. The works include foundation repairs, roof reinforcement, and other renovations.

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