Council to review historic designation for church
The Oklahoma City Council will consider Tuesday whether to reverse steps taken by the Historic Preservation Commission to protect First Christian Church from demolition.
Four councilmen have proposed a resolution withdrawing an application to designate the 31.8-acre First Christian Church property as a historic landmark overlay district.
Initiating the process of designating the property as a historic landmark, as the Historic Preservation Commission did on April 3, can have the effect of blocking demolition for up to 180 days.
At 3700 N Walker Ave., the church is recognizable by its white-domed sanctuary. The first services there were held in the 1950s.
Historic preservation advocates and neighborhood residents have collected several thousand petition signatures expressing support for blocking demolition and preventing commercial redevelopment of the property, which occupies a portion of a former golf course.
The resolution to be considered Tuesday is sponsored by Ward 1 Councilman James Greiner, Ward 4 Councilman Todd Stone, Ward 5 Councilman David Greenwell and Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher.
A northwest Oklahoma City church, Crossings, said last week it was looking into acquiring First Christian as a satellite campus.
The council met in executive session several weeks ago to discuss threatened litigation over the process of considering First Christian for historic landmark designation.
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An attorney for the church told the council the process of considering the tract for designation as a historic landmark amounts to an attack on the church’s property rights.