City Refuses to Give $30,000 to Help Reface Brick Building

Whittier preservationists are losing their battle to save 100-year-old bricks from the historic Harvey Apartments, one of 30 Whittier structures destroyed in the 1987 earthquake.

The City Council unanimously rejected plans to contribute $30,000 to help pay for refacing the apartment building with the bricks. Some city council members did not want to contribute the money, they said, because preservationists failed to suggest enough ways to raise money to pay their share of the costs.

About two weeks ago, council members and city staff said that they would donate $30,000 to the project, if the Whittier Conservancy, the driving force behind the effort to save the bricks, and the Whittier Historical Society came up with about $21,000 to reface the building.

The Whittier Conservancy had suggested such options as holding a street fair and obtaining federal loans, but historical society officials decided not to contribute because their main responsibility is to finance the city museum.

Michael Sullens, president of the Whittier Conservancy, said his group will try to persuade council members to change their minds. "If the city pulls out, then there is no hope for it," Sullens said.

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