Third Church of Christ by Araldo Cossutta, D.C., 1971
In a rare instance—in Washington, D.C., at least—of architecture trumping tenants’ wishes, the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board voted 7-0 on Dec. 6 to confer landmark status to the Third Church of Christ, Scientist and the Christian Science Monitor Building. Designed by Araldo Cossutta while the architect was working at I.M. Pei’s firm, the church was praised widely for its brutalist form when it opened in 1971. In recent years, however, it has found few supporters outside the design community. Congregants have long complained about the upkeep costs for the church, which was sold to developer ICG last year, and have applied to the D.C. government for a demolition permit. Roger Severino, an attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Diversity, says the church is also considering a lawsuit to challenge the historic designation.