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Business Brief: First Baptist Church Denied Demolition For Downtown Building

Jacksonville Daily Record
First Baptist Church wants to demolish this building at 125 W. Church Street.

The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday to deny First Baptist Church a permit to demolish its Downtown building at 125 W. Church St., but the fate of the structure may not yet be decided.

More than 100 people attended the public hearing to show support both for and against the demolition, according to WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.

The meeting was moved to a larger space to handle the crowd.

The vote was 5-2. Commissioners Jack C. Demetree III, Andres Lopera, Erik Kasper, Timothy Bramwell and Maiju Stansel voted to deny the permit. Ryan Davis and Max Glober voted against.

First Baptist wants to demolish the building to make way for a welcome center and primary entrance for the historic 182,000-square-foot Hobson Auditorium, the church administration building and the Ruth Lindsay Auditorium.

It’s part of a more than $30 million project to renovate and redevelop 1.53 acres of church property into “The Hobson Block” as it consolidates its Downtown campus.

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Credit Jacksonville Daily Record
he Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission meets Feb. 26. at City Hall. From left, Timothy Bramwell, Max Glober, Ryan Davis, Jack C. Demetree III, Andres Lopera, Erik Kasper and Maiju Stansel.