Downtown church named one of states top endangered historical places

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May 21, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
For Wesley United Methodist Church, at 101 E. Grant St., it was close, but no seed money.

The 119-year-old church was included in the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s “Top Ten Most Endangered Historical Places” list, which was announced last night at the Alliance’s first-ever (Anti)Wrecking Ball gala fundraiser at the Soap Factory. It was the only Downtown site honored at the event.

Located next to the Minneapolis Convention Center, the 1891 structure is on the National Register of Historic Places. But it has no congregation, and the Minnesota Annual Conference of United Methodists has been considering selling the church, according to the Preservation Alliance.

During the last night’s gala, presenters made a case for each of the top ten sites, and a public vote was held to determine this year’s most preservation-worthy. The winner received a $2,500 seed money grant, marking the first time the Alliance had ever attached a prize to its list, which it has been issuing since 1993.

“It was a very close vote and Wesley Church was right up there amongst the contenders,” said Erin Berg, field representative for the Alliance. “We had over 200 people in attendance at the event, and 202 votes cast in the seed grant competition. Definitely evidence of a lot of support for [Wesley].”

The Dodd Ford Bridge, a now-closed bridge built over the Blue Earth River in Amboy, Minn. In 1901, won the grant.

For a complete list of the top ten sites, visit the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota online at mnpreservation.org.