Mayor Riley urging support for elevator at church

Mayor Riley urging support for elevator at church

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Mayor Joe Riley is urging residents to support an effort to build an elevator in an historic AME church in downtown Charleston.

Riley and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney of Ridgeland are scheduled to meet with reporters on Wednesday to discuss the project in front of the Emanuel AME Church where the congregation hopes to build the elevator. Pinckney is also the church's pastor.

The mayor says the elevator will allow disabled members of the congregation to reach the second-floor sanctuary. It will also allow the 1,200-seat sanctuary to be used for concerts and community events sponsored by Piccolo Spoleto and other organizations.

The church was established in 1818 and the original building destroyed in the 1886 Charleston earthquake. The present building dates back to 1891.

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