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Preservation in practice: Nine African American sites receive Eli Lilly grants 

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Historical sites located across Indiana will receive more than $200,000 from an Eli Lilly grant for preservation.  

Distributed by the Standiford H. Cox Fund and the Dovie Stewart Cox & Chester A. Cox Sr. Memorial Fund, the money will be distributed to nine African American sites to support restoration.  

“We’re pleased to serve as a preservation advisor on these grants, which continue the visionary work of Stan Cox to protect Indiana’s Black heritage,” Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation services at Indiana Landmarks, said in a press release. “The partnership between the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indiana Landmarks creates a brighter future for these important local landmarks.” 

The funds are dedicated to Stan Cox, Eli Lilly’s first Black chemist who joined the company in 1957. Prior to his death in 2019, he established the two funds with the Central Indiana Community Foundation to support the restoration, preservation, maintenance and operation of the buildings across Indiana. Cox’s career spanned more than 32 years, and the funds he created have awarded more than $1 million in grants across the state. 

The nine organizations who will be receiving the funds are:  

  • Abundant Life Ministries Community Church, Indianapolis: $15,000 to replace electrical systems in the church built in 1968. 
  • Allen Chapel AME Church, Indianapolis: $20,000 to replace heating and cooling systems in the 1927 church in the Chatham Arch Historic District. 
  • Community Foundation of Boone County, Lebanon: $30,000 for foundation and roof repairs on an 1880 building used historically by Lebanon AME Church, now being adapted for an Airbnb with interpretive displays sharing its history as a Black church. 
  • Lynn Street Colored School Center of Good Will, Inc., Seymour: $20,000 to replace roof and guttering systems to prevent water infiltration in the 1870 school. 
  • Patoka Church of God in Christ, Gibson County: $12,000 for foundation and sill plate repairs at the National Register-listed 1903 church and its 1960s addition. 
  • Philips Temple CME Church, Indianapolis: $25,000 to replace part of the 1928 church’s roof. 
  • Shaffer Chapel AME Church, Muncie: $35,000 for stained glass repairs and installation of accessible restrooms in the c.1893 building constructed as a school and later remodeled as Shaffer Chapel AME Church in 1928. 
  • Union County Historical Society, Liberty: $10,000 to replace heating and cooling systems in the 1922 building that serves as a community meeting and local history space, as well as house of worship for First Missionary Baptist Church. 
  • University United Methodist Church, Indianapolis: $35,000 to replace windows in the 1970 church. 

Applications for the next round of grants will be due April 1, 2025. To suggest a site that may qualify, email Indiana Landmarks at coxfunds@indianalandmarks.org

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317-762-7854 or follow her on Instagram at @hanna.rauworth. 

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