James Salata, the head of Garden City Construction, took action to address the state of an abandoned historic church in downtown San Jose that had been covered with a deteriorating tarp. The church in question is the First Church of Christ, Scientist on East St. James Street right across from St. James Park. Concerns had grown over the condition of the church under the ownership of a China-based real estate firm and the lack of oversight by the city. Salata's construction crew worked to improve the property's appearance and remove the tarp that had been battered by elements.
The church, owned by Z&L Properties, was meant to be a part of a project involving housing towers near St. James Park, but the project was not realized. Despite prior agreements, the church remained neglected. Salata's initiative to renovate the site was applauded, but he stressed that further work is needed, including additional weatherproofing. San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan expressed hope for the church's preservation and praised Salata's effort. The fate of the church now awaits the actions of Z&L Properties and city officials, but the removal of the tarp has revealed the church's inherent beauty.