Preservationists have been given four months by the Los Angeles City Council to come up with a plan--and money--to save the First Baptist Church on West 7th Street in San Pedro from the wrecking ball.
The council on Wednesday unanimously approved an agreement worked out among the church, the preservationists and Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores that allows the congregation to continue using the church through June 20, even though the church does not meet earthquake standards and has been slated for demolition.
During that time, local preservationists--led by Gary Larson, part-owner of the newly renovated Arcade Building in downtown San Pedro--will be required to submit monthly progress reports to Flores on efforts to restore the 68-year-old church and make it seismically safe. The congregation has voted to demolish the building and erect a new one.
Last fall, the city Cultural Heritage Commission recommended that the church be declared a historic landmark, a designation that would delay demolition. Flores has delayed a City Council vote on the designation until June to give the preservationists a chance to work with the congregation on a plan to save the building.