'Ugly' Washington church files suit to challenge its historic designation status
Third Church of Christ, Scientist
Sep 09, 2008
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.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).