The Alexandria City Council this week postponed a decision on whether it will try to save the old Alfred Street Baptist Church.

The red brick structure on Alfred Street near Duke Street is scheduled for demolition once a new church building on adjacent land is completed. If the building is razed, the land would be used for a church parking lot.

"We need more information," said council member Nelson E. Greene Sr. The council unanimously agreed, and scheduled a public hearing on the subject for September after more information from the city staff has been received.

The church is believed to be one of the oldest structures in the city associated with Alexandria's black community. Two years ago, the council voted, with little citizen protest, to approve a site plan for the new church that included razing the old building.

At that time, the former council was told the church was less than 100 years old and thus was not protected from demolition as a historic building. Now, however, a few church members and some preservationists say they can prove that the building is more than 100 years old.

If the council next fall agrees to save the church, it would have to purchase the building.

In other action, the council received without comment a long-expected staff proposal setting height limitations near the future Braddock Road Metro stop. The proposal would permit buildings no taller than 45 feet between King and Madison streets on the east side of the Metro tracks. It would permit slightly taller buildings, as high as 77 feet, in the area between Madison Street and the Monroe Avenue Bridge.

The council scheduled no further action on the proposals.