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Thursday, May 2, 2013 09:01 am

HELP HISTORIC FIREHOUSE

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Springfield’s first African-American firehouse is in need of restoration.

The Springfield Area Basic Crafts Council, Operating Engineers Local 965 and The Springfield Project have helped raise money for the restoration of the historic building.

Built in 1902, the firehouse is at 1310 E. Adams and has been owned by the Prince Hall Free Masons since the 1970s.  A collection of Springfield organizations have helped to raise $6,450 for the first phase of restoration which will cover architecture and engineering work and $2,350 is still needed. Funding for phase two will go towards construction costs estimated at $200,000.

“These donations by the Basic Crafts Council, the Operating Engineers Local 965 and The Springfield Project help advance our efforts to restore the First Black Firehouse in Springfield,” said Ken Page of the Prince Hall Masons. “We hope to finish up fundraising efforts before summer and hope to begin seeking funds for construction of the project soon.”

 An envelope party fundraiser is also being planned for the restoration efforts.  Ameren Illinois, Hanson Professional Services and The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce have already donated to the historic project.

Those interested in assisting can make a tax deductible contribution. Make checks payable to the Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation, attn: First Black Firehouse and send them to The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce at 1011 S. Second St. Springfield, 62704.

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