See: "Fight over decrepit Maldonado Building about honoring Westside soul," April 27, 2011]. Despite the pleas, District 5 Councilman David Medina, whose district includes the decrepit building, led the vote to reject historic landmark status. Avenida CEO Oscar Ramirez has long said Casa Maldonado is unsalvageable, pointing to an engineering report commissioned by Avenida in December that states repairing the building and bringing it up to code wouldn’t be “structurally feasible.” But this week the Westside Historic Preservation Group and the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, groups hoping to save Casa Maldonado, scored an emergency grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to commission their own structural report on the building. “We’ve never believed that demolition is the only option for Casa Maldonado,” said Esperanza director Graciela Sanchez. “[Avenida] had a design they liked, and demolition was part of that of course their report would say [preservation] is impossible.” Esperanza had hoped the vote could at least be postponed until after their new report surfaces. Structural engineer Patrick Sparks, who most recently worked with the city to preserve and rebuild the historic Eastside Hays Street Bridge, is set to inspect the building and make his own report within the next two weeks. “They could have at least waited until we see what this engineer says about [the building],” remarked Susana Segura, an activist with the Westside preservation group. Avenida decided early this year to demolish the structure, built sometime between 1919 and 1924, to make way for a 21,000 square-foot building that will house workforce training and commercial and retail office space, center of the group’s Promesa Project. Throughout numerous city and neighborhood meetings, Avenida staff and supporters have said the Pink Building stands in the way of progress, economic development and job creation on the west side. Avenida supporters on Thursday also questioned the building’s significance, saying preservationists’ history of Casa Maldonado, confirmed in a report by the city’s Historic and Design Review Commission, is suspect. “I don’t understand that,” said Segura, “That history has already been proven by a panel of experts, which is the HDRC.” Avenida has rebuffed community groups asking that Casa Maldonado be incorporated into the plans for the Promesa Project, saying the repairs would be too expensive. In April Ramirez claimed it would take nearly half a million dollars to bring the building up to code. That estimate had ballooned to over $800,000 by the time Ramirez spoke before council Thursday. Preservationists counter that they would gladly launch a fundraising effort to pay for repairs. “We even asked [Ramirez], ‘If we raise $1 million, would you save the building?’ Still, the answer was still ‘no’,” Sanchez said.