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Early Black Church in Maine Named as Endangered
06/19/2013 10:02 AM ET  

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Portland's Abyssinian Meeting House to its 2013 list of America's most-endangered places.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Portland's Abyssinian Meeting House (above) is the nation's third-oldest standing African-American meeting house, used for religious, social, educational and cultural events until its closing in 1917.

abyss14The church was built in 1828, and its members and preachers were outspoken advocates for the abolition of slavery and leaders of the Underground Railroad movement who actively concealed, supplied and transported runaway slaves.

On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the building to its 2013 list of America's most-endangered places.

The wood-frame building has undergone extensive restoration since the Committee to Restore the Abyssinian bought it from the city in 1998.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation says the building is at risk because of the high restoration costs unless $1 million or more can be raised to complete the restoration.

Photos:  Ed Morin
 

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