'Ugly' Washington church files suit to challenge its historic designation status

Third Church of Christ, Scientist
A Christian Science church that some have called the ugliest church in Washington, D.C., has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the historic landmark designation on the windowless 37-year-old building.

Leaders of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, terming the current structure “bunker-like” and “unwelcoming,” reiterated on August 7 their desire to replace the stark concrete building with a new church at the same location.

“Little is more representative of a church’s religious exercise than its architecture, and we do not feel this architecture properly represents us to our community,” said Darrow Kirkpatrick, a former lay leader at the church.

The city’s Historic Preservation Review Board contends that the building, located three blocks from the White House, offers a unique example of the modernist architectural style known as Brutalism.


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