August 13, 2010

Methodists Go to Court to Demolish Church

John Wildermuth, SF Chron

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Methodist officials want to demolish a vacant 99-year-old church at Larkin and Clay streets, and they're going to court to force the city to allow it.

For the past six years, the church has battled local preservationists and city planners in an attempt to sell First St. John's United Methodist Church and replace it with a six-story condominium complex.

The building, according to the suit filed this week in San Francisco Superior Court, is "not safe enough to occupy, but - according to the city - not dangerous enough to be demolished."

The St. John's congregation decided in 2003 that "the best way to serve the Church's mission was to merge with a neighboring congregation, sell the property and use the proceeds to support the (Methodists') 14 other San Francisco...

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TAGGED: Melanie Nutter, Jerry Garcia, Mark Westlund, San Francisco, Employment Change, First St. John's United Methodist Church, San Francisco Superior Court, Church's mission, The building