Third Church of Christ, Scientist

The Third Church of Christ, Scientist, at the corner of 16th and I St., was completed in 1970. It is of concrete, built in the Brutalist style by architect Araldo Cossutta, who worked with I.M. Pei. The concrete was poured on the spot, 60 feet tall in an octagonal shape with only one window.

The church has wanted to tear down the building for more than 20 years. The concrete cracks and leaks, and the maintenance costs are very high, as well as the building feeling unapproachable. But in 1991, preservationists applied for historic status which was granted in 2008. The church went to court to overturn the status, claiming that freedom of religion meant freedom to choose their church architecture, and they did not feel that Brutalism represented the church. They ended up winning the right to tear down the church, and the demolition has just started.

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