A church that served as a refuge for slaves on the Underground Railroad is the winner of this year’s Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration. Second Baptist Church in New Albany has raised $725,000 so far for efforts including a new steeple to replicate the original that was lost to a 1915 lightning strike. The award, in it’s 11th year, honors restoration efforts at a historically significant structure that meet "the highest standards in method, materials and design." Indiana Landmarks says judges also consider the structure’s importance, condition when work began and community impact.
Second Baptist Church was built in 1852, and prior to the restoration, it needed roof, clock, paint and stained-glass window work and was nearing condemnation. Horseshoe Foundation Executive Director Jim Finn served as primary fundraiser and local entrepreneur and philanthropist Irv Stumler was volunteer construction manager for Friends of Town Clock Church, a community-wide restoration initiative for the church. Last year, Second Baptist was designated a national Network to Freedom site.
The work will be recognized during Indiana Landmarks’ annual Rescue Party April 28 in Indianapolis. You can connect to more about the award and the restoration process by clicking here.