RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The 116-year-old life of a historic Richmond church could end, thanks to a 30-year-old permit, but community members are becoming increasingly vocal to save the vacant structure.

Voices shouted “Save Second Baptist. Save Second Baptist,” at the front steps of 13 W. Franklin Street Friday night.

Advocates of local, and architectural history waged another war of wards to prevent the building’s owners –proprietors behind the Jefferson Hotel– from razing it for “landscaping.”

A city planning official recently said they would honor a demolition permit from 30-years ago to allow removal of the church, after the hotel owners first applied for one in 1992.

“It’s really important that we hold on to this and the stories that are attached to treasures like this,” Jennie Dotts said in defiance of the demolition plans.

Dotts said the hotel owners had “no right to demolish something that’s in a city historic district.”

She added that the church is “one of the character-defining buildings of the city. We don’t want to see it go.”

The Second Baptist Church is on the National Register of Historic Places, and would require special approval from the city’s architectural review board and city council to remove it.

The current commission just reaffirmed what they said back in 1992: don’t demolish the building, first, “all other alternatives should be exhausted.

“This is an extraordinary piece of work. It is so architecturally right,” Daniela Patterson-Shew said of the church.

Unless City Council decides to revoke the original demolition permit, hypothetically, teardown could happen.

8News contacted a representative for the Jefferson Hotel and have not received a response. Given the protest started after regular evening business hours, 8News acknowledges the representative may have not been in a position to respond in time for this story’s publication.