Cedar Rapids church could soon become a historic landmark

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The oldest building in downtown Cedar Rapids is on its way to becoming a historical landmark.

Grace Episcopal Church, 525 A Ave NE in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Phil Reed/KCRG-TV9)

Grace Episcopal Church located at 525 A Avenue Northeast has been around since 1856. City council unanimously approved the first reading of the church becoming a historic landmark.

Becoming a historic landmark would make it harder for the church to be torn down, and it would become eligible to receive historic preservation grants. Historians say this church has a huge link to the city's history.

Historian Mark Stoffer Hunter says, “There are important people associated with it. Important families, such as the Green and Beaver families, and the church and the church building played a significant role in the establishment of the first hospital in Cedar Rapids as well.”

If approved, Stoffer Hunter says it will be the fourth building in Cedar Rapids to become a historic landmark.