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Churches Are Pretty Unloved Nowadays, Unless You Can Live in Them

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Remember First St. John's United Methodist, the Nob Hill church that was headed to condo-ville after failed attempts by the Board of Supes to get the site landmarked? It's one of five churches profiled in the Chron today for their languishing states. Sure, languishing is hardly anything special, but churches might deserve a special look for a couple reasons: 1) they look special, and are often architecturally significant, yet 2) a state law exempts them from local landmark designations because of the financial hardship that might cause. Turns out each church is treading water for its own reason: Sacred Heart on Fillmore and Fell's looking to get landmarked, St. Joseph's in SoMa was sold to a developer who has no cash, Second Church of Christ Scientist on Dolores still wants to downsize and build condos, and the big brick Golden Gate Lutheran Church is still for sale as an outsized $10M house. The thing that's holding up Nob Hill church's condo plans: it still lacks a "preservation alternative" in its environmental impact report. That one's easy — follow Golden Gate's lead and turn the thing into a giant house.
· 5 S.F. churches languish in limbo [SFGate]
· Nob Hill Church Can Go Condo If They Want [Curbed SF]
· (Back) On the Market: Your Very Own Church in the Mission [Curbed SF]
· Church Plans Condos, Preservationists Ready Battle Axes [Curbed SF]