The governing body of the has agreed to renovate a home known as “the pink house” as long as funding is available to pay the costs.
According to a statement from church leaders, the session came to the decision during a special meeting the evening of Monday, April 23, a week before a set deadline to come up with a solution.
“The session voted to state its desire to renovate the house at 202 Beaver Street for future use as a youth and education house for the church, provided that sufficient funds are obtained,” the church said in a statement.
The session is made up of 24 members whose job is to make decisions on church construction plans and the future of the house.
The Rev. Kevin Long, pastor of the church, said there will be more information coming in the days ahead.
The governing body also plans to communicate more details in the near future to the church congregation, including specific information on potential funding sources.
"There is hope among us for the continued use of the house," Long said. "It will be tough to pull off, but we’re going to try."
Session members originally planned to reuse the pink stucco framed house for a new youth fellowship and education center. Based on renovation estimates, the governing body decided the most cost-effective plan was to raze the house and build a new center, along with additional parking and green space.
The demolition plans sparked several petitions and the creation of the grassroots community group "Save the Pink House," which has gathered more than 800 petition signatures to date.
The "Save The Pink House" group has been working with the church to come up with a solution to preserve the home, which was built in the mid-1800s and later expanded based on designs by famed Pittsburgh architects Alden and Harlow. The house was most recently the home of the late .
The Session's decision comes ahead of Monday's deadline that the church's governing body set to allow both sides to reach a viable plan of action.