Does James St Baptist Church have a prayer

00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 The fate of one of Hamilton’s longest standing landmarks is up in the air tonight. The new owners of the James Street Baptist Church are pushing to have it partially demolished as soon as possible for safety reasons. The proposal is now being debated by a city heritage committee.The Toronto developer that bought the property in February says it is structurally unsound and there’s no chance it can be salvaged.He brought forward a 129-page report to the city’s heritage permit review committee last night, requesting that it be partially torn down before winter.But this is a designated heritage building and a cherished Hamilton landmark, so this proposal is already facing some strong opposition.The church was built between 1878 and 1882.One of the architects in Hamilton working on this demolition proposal, Drew Hauser, says he found major problems in the main part of the building caused by poor construction and maintenance.it’s developer, Toronto-based Stanton Renaissance, says the church needs$2 million in repairs.The issue of how to handle crumbling heritage sites in Hamilton actually came up at a city council meeting last night.City councillor Brian McHattie took the same tone as heritage groups in the city who say more needs to be done to protect historically significant properties.“What we’ve been doing on this is to respond at the last minute, as a threat is looming, which is not a great way to do planning.”If the church’s partial demolition is eventually approved, it would mean everything would come down, except the front towers and the front wall.The heritage sub-committee only got a copy of this report at the start of last night’s meeting but they did vote to table it and review the issue again on October 9th after they do a site visit.

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