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Hiawatha woman hoping to save historic church building

A woman is attempting to keep the former Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church building at...
A woman is attempting to keep the former Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church building at 4th and Pottawatomie streets in Hiawatha from being demolished, according to KNZA Radio.(KNZA Radio)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM CDT
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HIAWATHA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Hiawatha woman is attempting to keep a historic church building from being demolished.

KNZA Radio reports that Brenda Bolden spoke at the Hiawatha City Commission meeting on Monday evening to request the former Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church be preserved.

The church, located at the corner of 4th and Pottawatomie streets in Hiawatha, is part of black history and Hiawatha’s history, Bolden said.

The building has been cited for city code violations.

Bolden said she and members of the local historical society would be willing to help maintain the building.

According to KNZA, the building at present is owned by a limited liability corporation. Hiawatha code enforcement Officer Dave Wilson said it doesn’t appear the owners have plans to repair the building.

HiawathaMayor Bill Collins said that because Bolden doesn’t own the building, there isn’t a lot the city can do to help with preserving the structure.

However, Wilson said he would provide Bolden with contact information for the current owners.

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