16th Street Baptist Church asks Birmingham for $50K

A historical piece of Birmingham's past is getting a makeover.

"We talk about air conditioning systems, we talk about painting, we talk about making an ADA bathroom and plumbing," Pastor Arthur Price said.

Price is with 16th Street Baptist Church. He says with the 50th anniversary of civil rights, the 102-year-old building is seeing more visitors these days.

"We've seen an influx of people coming through, already," he said.

But he says the church needed some work.

So, the church took out loans and stretched-out it's budget to repaint the walls, redo tiles, put in a handicap accessible bathroom and install a new air conditioning system.

Total price tag...$250,000.

But soon the church will get some help.

"We know how significant 16th Street was to the movement," Birmingham City Councilman, Steven Hoyt, said.

Hoyt says the city is grateful for all the church does year round. That's why Pastor Price asked the city for $50,000.

"We pretty much pushed our budget to its maximum," Price said. "And since we're trying to be a good ambassador to the city, we asked for a little assistance so we can make these things possible."

Hoyt agreed. Monday, the Budget and Finance Committee approved the request.

"It's one of our landmarks," Hoyt said. "And I think anytime we can preserve it and also make it available to the public, is something we ought to embrace."

Hoyt says the $50,000 will go before council for final approval next Tuesday.

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