'Ugliest' church wins fight to raze building

Third Church of Christ, Scientist
In a much-watched controversy, city officials have cleared the way for a Christian Science congregation to raze what has been called Washington’s “ugliest church” in a fight that has pitted the church against architectural preservationists.

Parishioners at the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, say their 1970s modernist church is crumbling, uninviting and too expensive for the small downtown flock to maintain. Church officials want to tear down the bunker-like structure, located two blocks from the White House, and replace it with a revenue-generating office building that includes space for the church.

On May 12, Harriet Tregoning, director of the city’s Office of Planning and Mayor Adrian Fenty’s agent for historic preservation, overruled a decision last year by the city’s Historic Preservation Board that granted the building landmark status and prevented its demolition.


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