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Belvedere couple to buy Christian Science Church and call it home

Marcel Houtzager of Belvedere sits in the pews of the Christian Science Church on San Rafael Avenue on March 27. He’s in contract to buy the property — the deal is set to close April 17 — and plans to preserve the architecture as he converts the building into a single-family home, where he’ll live with wife Liora. (Kevin Hessel / The Ark)

Belvedere’s iconic Christian Science Church may have found its salvation.

 

Residents Marcel and Liora Houtzager are in contract to buy the vacant property at its $3 million listing price, with plans to turn it into their permanent home. The deal is on track to close April 17.

Marcel Houtzager, who calls the church an “architectural jewel,” said they want to preserve the upstairs worship space as an open living area with a kitchen, dining room and library, convert the study area below into their bedroom and make a small auxiliary building an accessory dwelling unit.

 

“This building is a stunning work of art,” said the 63-year-old Houtzager, whose family home on San Rafael Avenue is just a few blocks from the mid-century modern-style church, a shiplike design of redwood, Douglas fir, concrete and stained glass built in 1952 by late Tiburon architect Warren Callister. It sits at 501 San Rafael Ave., across from City Hall.

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