Posted by: rbbadger | December 12, 2009

Historical preservation stupidity

The Third Church of Christ, Scientist, a Christian Science congregation in Washington, DC have long wanted to build a new church.  Unfortunately, they will not be able to, as the District of Columbia has deemed it an important historical landmark, worthy of preservation.  Built in the brutalist style by Araldo Cossutta, an architectural style from the 1950s and 1960s that is generally not worth saving.  At least in my opinion.  I do not like much modern architecture.  I especially dislike anything from the 1960s and especially from the 1970s. 

When you see an image of the church, you can understand just why they want to get rid of it.

Against the objections of the congregation, the District of Columbia has decided that this is a modernist landmark worth preserving.  The congregation never sought this.  Indeed, they want to tear it all down and build a new church, one which is hopefully more pleasing, in its place.

The Third Church of Christ, Scientist, also has an informative blog about their desires to get rid of their hideous 1971 building and replace it with something more worthy.  They are suing the District of Columbia as well as seeking reform to historical preservation laws.  You can see it here.

Humourist James Lileks, author of the hugely entertaining books The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Interior Desecrations has his own take on this.  Under a section of his website entitled “Nearer My God to Mies”, he takes a look at modernist church architecture.



  1. oh man, that is awful. eee. that poor church!

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