A historic former church has been included in the design of a new hotel in Indianapolis, reports the Associated Press/U.S. News. The Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites recently opened along the downtown Indianapolis canal. It sits on the site of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was built in 1869.

The new hotel was designed and built around the church building, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The church, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, was the oldest African-American church in Indianapolis and played a key role in the city’s history.

Established in 1836, it hosted statewide conventions for Black people, recruited Black troops to fight in the Civil War, welcomed fugitive enslaved people and established a school, according to the Indiana Historical Bureau.

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