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Community Digest

Whittier : Protection of Sites Extended

December 19, 1985

An emergency ordinance to protect the Southern Pacific railroad depot and the Bank of America office building from demolition has been extended for six months by the City Council.

Officials hope to draft a permanent ordinance by July that would prevent any historic building from being torn down without a thorough study of its past and significance to the city, Mike Burnham, associate city planner, said.

Concerns that the century-old Southern Pacific depot on Philadelphia Street near Whittier Boulevard might be razed to make way for a development prompted the council in early November to pass a 45-day demolition moratorium for all buildings listed with the National Register of Historic Places. Besides the seven-story bank building and the depot, four other Whittier buildings are on the register.

The council last week extended the moratorium but narrowed its scope to cover only the Bank of America building in Uptown Village and the rail depot.

There are no plans before the city to move or demolish either the rail depot or the bank building. But Southern Pacific is attempting to abandon several miles of track in the city and some residents believe that once that is accomplished the depot might be demolished to make way for a development.

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