Balancing preservation and progress

A Washington, D.C., church building is caught in the crossfire in a war between a congregation looking to move ahead and preservationists wanting to preserve the past.

01/16/2009


According to a Christian Science Monitor article , the Washington, D.C., Third Church of Christ Scientist is the star of an ongoing drama between the past and the future.

The struggle is being repeated across the country, as communities fighting to preserve historic buildings are facing off against religious congregations that want to modify or tear down their buildings. Clashes have grown over the past 20 years, since the passage in the 1990s, with the passage of federal laws aimed at protecting religious institutions from land-use restrictions that interfere excessively with their "free exercise" of religion.

The Christian Science congregation, blocks from the White House, wants to tear down the modernist-architecture structure and put up a new church that is more energy-efficient and suitable for its needs.

"We want a church that is welcoming and fits the scale of the community, one that does not give the secretive, enclosed impression that this Brutalist building does," said J. Darrow Kirkpatrick, the church's coordinator for redevelopment.

Standing in the way: the District of Columbia's historic preservation board, which designated the church a historic landmark in December 2007 because it stands as a strong example of Brutalism, an architectural style involving raw concrete and monolithic forms. After the board turned down the church's request to raze the building in July 2008, the church filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the landmark restriction, alleging violation of two religious freedom laws and the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
40 Under 40; Performance-based design; Clean agent fire suppression; NFPA 92; Future of commissioning; Successful project management principles
BIM coordination; MEP projects; NFPA 13; Data center Q&A; Networked lighting controls; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me