Council will once again take on church question

For the third meeting in a row, Merced's City Council will tackle the thorny question of whether to name Central Presbyterian Church a local historic resource on Monday.

Preservationists want the council to uphold the Historic Preservation Commission's January vote to designate the church a historic resource. The Historic Commission's recommendation will stand unless reversed by the council.

If the council upholds the historic resource designation, demolishing the church will be more difficult, but not impossible.

Church leaders want to tear down the 92-year-old church at the corner of 20th and Canal streets and replace it with a bigger building. The church congregation voted 266-75 in January to move ahead with the demolition plans.

-- Leslie Albrecht