By David Spunt

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A pile of bricks at 10th and Christian Street bring Maria Giunta back to her childhood. She’s lived across the street from the Christian Street Baptist Church her entire life.

The church, built in 1890 will soon be gone and six new condominiums will take its place. Giunta doesn’t like that plan.

“It’s been a mainstay here. I know if my dad were around he would be very upset,” she told Eyewitness News.

Philadelphia developer Ori Feibush who has the property under contract says the future of this site is solid.

“It’s easy to say I like looking at that building. Is it fair for the congregation to receive a much much smaller amount of money in exchange for neighbors to be able to look at an attractive building? Maybe, but that was really what everyone was wrestling with here,” Feibush told Eyewitness News.

Feibush, who will not develop the property, says he’s already found a new buyer. He would not disclose the buyer’s name but says plans are moving forward with construction.

Jennifer Johnson and her family live next door to the church. Johnson says the construction concerns her, not only because the street is losing a piece of history, but because of the dangers of taking down a 128-year-old building. She’s been staying with friends in the suburbs.

“For two weeks I’ve been sleeping on others people’s sofas with my kids,” she said.

The church was used in recent years but has been vacant since it was sold last year. Other neighbors say while its a shame to see the building go, progress is important.

 

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