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Local News in Brief : Council Allows Renovation to Continue at Historic Church

August 16, 1990

The Glendale City Council agreed Tuesday to allow earthquake reinforcement work and other renovation to continue at a historic church but withheld final approval on a controversial wall that was erected around the church.

The council ordered the directors of St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church, 500 S. Central Ave., to work with the city's Historic Preservation Commission on a plan to modify or remove portions of the perimeter walls that were erected without review by the commission. Some city officials have complained that the wall's design is not compatible with the historic site.

Church leaders told the council Tuesday that the wall was built after city staff members told them that no special permit was required.

The building was constructed in 1926 as the First Church of Christ, Scientist using a Roman-Classical design. In 1977, city officials designated it as a historic landmark. Such sites cannot be altered without a review by the Historic Preservation Commission and the City Council.

City officials acknowledged that a building permit was issued by mistake earlier this year to allow seismic reinforcement of the church building. Renovation was halted after the error was discovered.

Under the agreement reached with the council, church leaders must replace certain signs, install a bronze historic plaque and preserve 10 windows that were to be filled in as part of the reinforcement work.

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