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Clock ticking to save historic Bay area building | News

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Clock ticking to save historic Bay area building

St. Petersburg, Florida -- A group has until Thursday to save St. Pete's historic Downtown YMCA from demolition.

The city is expected to give the go-ahead to tear down the 85-year-old building this Friday.

But one group has a contract in place to buy the one-of-a-kind building; if that group can make the down payment by Thursday, they'll save the structure.

Photo Gallery: YMCA Open House at Preserve the Burg event

The effort to preserve the building involves a coalition of people who have their own powerful memories made at the Y, people who don't want to lose this gem of a building, and people who love the concept drawn up for its future.

Tom Nestor, the music promoter leading the effort to save the YMCA, intends to transform the distinctive 1927 building into a music museum and performing arts venue with an audience of 2,000.

PDF: Historic downtown St. Pete YMCA detailed renovation plan

It will take an initial $20,000 down payment to buy the structure and preserve its Mediterranean Revival-style architecture, Nestor said.

Once the building is saved, Nestor plans to launch a community fundraising effort and seek out grants to renovate and re-purpose the building as a center for arts in the community.

The historic YMCA is truly a "they don't build 'em like this anymore" complex standing at 5th Street South and 2nd Avenue South.

It's complete with an open-air courtyard at the center, cypress wood beams overhead, and a giant indoor swimming pool covered with tens of thousands of individual tiles.

To find out more about the effort to save the building, visit the Historic Downtown St. Petersburg YMCA website.

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