Hilton Grant To Save Rural NM Church

Nov 27, 2013

A $1.1 million grant from the Los Angeles-based Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will help save an historic New Mexico church where the hotel magnate was baptized.

The 400-year-old San Miguel Church in Socorro shut its doors in 2010 when it was discovered the walls were collapsing. Services were moved to a newer facility.

Hilton was born in 1887 in San Antonio in then-territorial New Mexico. His parents are buried in the church's cemetery.

Parishioners also gave more than $400,000.

Restoration of the old church is expected to be finished next year. The work includes remodeling part of an old church school to house a museum and gift shop.

A subsequent project will create a high-tech classroom for at-risk students.

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