Old First Baptist Church in San Marcos awarded preservation grant

National Trust for Historic Preservation awards Preservation Texas a Preservation Grant towards the Old First Baptist Church in San Marcos

Staff Reports

SAN MARCOS — Preservation Texas has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Fondren Fund for Texas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These grant funds will be used to prepare a preservation plan for the Old First Baptist Church located at 219 West Martin Luther King Drive in San Marcos, Texas.

Constructed in 1908 with exterior alterations made in 1927 and 1951 and interior renovations completed in 1953, the sanctuary was the third constructed for the congregation. The church is an African-American architectural, historical, and cultural anchor in the locally designated Dunbar Historic District. The building is also a City of San Marcos landmark. The preservation plan will outline priorities for the stabilization and future rehabilitation of the structure.

“Organizations like Preservation Texas help to ensure that communities all across America retain their unique sense of place,” said Paul Edmondson, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are honored to provide a grant to Preservation Texas, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage.”

Grants from the National Trust Preservation Fund have provided over $15 million since 2003, awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country. The plan for the Old First Baptist Church will guide the use of a $150,000 stabilization grant previously awarded by the National Trust and American Express in 2018.

Preservation Texas has engaged Post Oak Preservation Solutions and Sparks Engineering, Inc. to complete the planning project, which will also include the preparation of forms to be submitted to the Texas Historical Commission and National Park Service to determine the building’s eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. This will enable the use of historic preservation tax credits for the future rehabilitation of the structure.

For more information about the project, visit www.PreservationTexas.org/oldfirstbaptistgrant or visit forum.savingplaces.org/funding to learn more about National Trust grant programs.

Preservation Texas is a private, statewide, nonprofit historic preservation education and advocacy organization. Founded in 1985, Preservation Texas is creating an Endangered Properties Fund to focus on African-American and rural historic resources and developing its 2,400-acre Bassett Farms Conservancy near Waco as a historic preservation training center and retreat.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. The National Trust is committed to protecting America’s rich cultural legacy and helping build vibrant, sustainable communities that reflect our nation’s diversity.

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One Comment

  1. This place has gotten nearly $200K in grants over the last 3 years, how? When was the last time anyone walked inside for a purpose other than fundraising? The place looks like a tinder box. The interior is rusted out and has zero insulation. I seriously worry that it will catch fire one day and burn down everything around it. It needs to go away.

    That $200K is probably 1/5th of the way to the cost of a complete replacement. The youtube project promo video says they want to rebuild. Hire someone to tear it down and rebuild. That’s a project I’d be willing to put money behind.

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