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Move to save founder's house

After 18 months of controversy, a historic Brandon home may have found its final resting place. The Hillsborough County real estate and parks departments have recommended moving the Galvin-Jaudon house to Davis Park on Parsons Avenue in Brandon.

The First Baptist Church of Brandon, which owns the house and wants to use the land it sits on to build a family life center, has agreed to wait until April 1 for the house to be relocated.

The Galvin-Jaudon house, built by one of Brandon's founders at 201 Victoria St., has been at the center of a battle between the church and local preservationists.

The church bought the property in July 2002. When preservationists heard the house, one of Brandon's oldest remaining buildings, was in danger of being demolished, they urged the County Commission to step in and give the house landmark status. But the county refused for fear of lawsuits.

First Baptist received approval Oct. 20 to tear the building down, but church leaders said they would wait 90 days before calling in the demolition crew to give preservationists a last chance to move the house.

No solution was offered, and Jan. 15, two days before the church's 90-day deadline, the County Commission voted to spend $50,000 to move the home.

Commissioners are scheduled to consider the proposal to move the house to Davis Park at their land use meeting today.

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