INDIANAPOLIS — A dual-branded hotel at the site of the former Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church opened Thursday near the Canal Walk in Downtown Indianapolis.
The Hampton Inn by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton Indianapolis Canal IUPUI is located at 414 W. Vermont St. and includes 231 guest rooms and 11,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 7-story hotel is managed by Indianapolis-based SUN Development & Management Corporation, which purchased the 152-year-old Bethel AME Church from its congregation in 2016.
The Bethel AME Church was constructed in 1869 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The church’s congregation attempted to raise $2-3 million in 2015 to repair the deteriorating building, but was unsuccessful, according to Bethel AME’s website.
The School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI received a grant in 2017 to create a 3-dimensional virtual reality model of the church. IUPUI students collected 3,000 images to use in the project, which can be viewed online.
The Bethel AME congregation, which was organized in 1836 and active in the antislavery movement before the Civil War, constructed a new church on the northwest side of Indianapolis at 6417 Zionsville Road.