BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) _ A Bowling Green historian says a church to be auctioned this week is one of last physical links to the 19th century black community that lived in the city.
Landmark Association treasurer Jonathan Jeffrey told the Daily News ( that the former Taylor’s Chapel AME Church building was one of the earliest African Methodist Episcopal churches in south-central Kentucky.
Auctioneer Joe B. Houchens said the owners, Amy McGowen and Debi Vandal, did a partial restoration of the building, which was built in 1872, before they moved to Pennsylvania.
According to Warren County property valuation records, the building is valued at $79,000, about $10,000 more than McGowen Properties paid for it.
The property has been on the market for three years with the last listing at $395,000. It goes up for auction on Thursday.
Jeffrey said the building hasn’t served as a church in years and would probably be used as something else.
“Those of us who are interested in historic architecture … are always glad when a building can be adaptively reused,” Jeffrey aid. “There is no expectation of a church. I’m just thrilled that history would be preserved and incorporated into something new and useful in the future. Certainly, that building could have been torn down . as we all know most things in that neighborhood were torn down.”
He said the church played a significant role in the growth of the denomination in the region.
“It was a flagship church. The church itself started in 1866, and the building was constructed in 1872. It was originally more of a gothic revival church and some of those elements remain, including pointed arches on some windows. The building once had a bell tower and steeple, but those were removed in 1929. Some of the more decorative features were removed then, as well.
“It was a pretty solidly built masonry structure, so the shell of it still remains in pretty good shape,” Jeffrey said. “At least from the exterior, it looks really nice.”
Houchens said a handful of people are interested in using the building for different purposes.
“We’ve had four or five people looking at it who are interested in completing the restoration,” Houchens said. “I’m hearing everything from a restaurant and a bar to an art museum to recital hall or an antiques store. It’s a beautiful old building and worthy of restoration.”
Information from: Daily News,