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Some fighting to save Japanese Presbyterian Church from demolition

May 14, 2011 |  6:45 pm

The former Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Church building in Huntington Beach, which dates to 1934, may soon be demolished if the property¿s owner gets city approval. (Courtesy Chris Jepsen, Orange County Archives)

The old church building at Warner Avenue and Nichols Street looks forlorn, its windows boarded up and the sign that juts over the sidewalk mostly smashed.

From a distance, the structure doesn't give many indications of the role it once played in Orange County. Another sign, apparently hand-painted, advertises Bible study and services in English and Spanish. The building's most prominent feature is a mural featuring an outline of Christ with a rainbow cutting through it and the slogan "Jesus Lives."

Near the front door, though, a small cornerstone bears the words "Japanese Presbyterian Church A.D. 1934." And that's the history that some in Orange County hope to save.

The former Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Church, which resides on a 3.7-acre property along with a historic house, mission and minister's quarters, has belonged to Rainbow Disposal since 2004. The Huntington Beach trash collection company seeks to demolish all the structures.

According to the Orange County Historical Society, the buildings, some more than a century old, represent the most important Asian American extant site in the county.

Read the full story: Groups talk church's demolition, salvation

-- Michael Miller, Huntington Beach Independent / Times Community News

Photo credit: Times Community News