NEWS

Grants help preserve nine historic African American sites in Indiana

Program honoring retired Eli Lilly chemist Stan Cox supports repairs, restoration

Nine sites significant to Indiana’s African American history are receiving restoration and rehabilitation assistance through two funds established by the late Eli Lilly chemist and preservation champion Standiford “Stan” Cox.

Grants totaling $202,000 are being distributed from the Standiford H. Cox Fund and the Dovie Stewart Cox & Chester A. Cox Sr. Memorial Fund to sites across the state.

Stan Cox, who passed away in 2019, joined Eli Lilly and Co. in 1957 as its first Black chemist. He established the two funds with Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) to support the restoration, preservation, operation, and ongoing maintenance of African American historic sites in Indiana.

The nine organizations receiving grants are listed below, along with a brief description of how the funds will be used:

  • 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.

“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,” said Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation services at Indiana Landmarks. “The partnership between the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indiana Landmarks creates a brighter future for these important local landmarks.”

The Standiford H. Cox Fund supports the restoration, preservation, operation, and ongoing maintenance of African American historic sites in Indiana. The Dovie Stewart Cox & Chester A. Cox Sr. Memorial Fund, which Cox created to honor his parents, provides support for Lost Creek Community Grove at the Lost Creek Settlement near Terre Haute, one of the state’s earliest settlements of free people of color. Since its inception in 2020, the Cox Funds have awarded nearly $1.2 million in grants around the state. Indiana Landmarks Black Heritage Preservation Program serves as a preservation advisor to both funds, recommending projects.

Applications for the next round of grants will be due April 1, 2025. Those who want to suggest a property that might qualify for grants from the funds should contact Indiana Landmarks at coxfunds@indianalandmarks.org.

Born in Brazil, Ind., Cox was an Indiana University graduate who worked for 32 years for Eli Lilly and Co., beginning as a chemist and holding a variety of positions during his career. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic society, he also earned a master’s degree from Butler University. An advocate for academic biochemical research, he endowed the Standiford H. Cox Professorship in Biochemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington.

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MEDIA CONTACTS: Mark Dollase, Vice President of Preservation Services, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-650-1650 (cell), mdollase@indianalandmarks.org

Mindi Woolman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-417-1204 (cell), mwoolman@indianalandmarks.org

Rebekah Corwin, Marketing and Communications Manager, Central Indiana Community Foundation, 812-850-0136, rebekahc@cicf.org

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Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is an $850 million public foundation working to mobilize people, ideas and investments to make this a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Hamilton County Community Foundation, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF, visit www.cicf.org or call 317-634-2423.

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