Next Neighborhood Battle – St. Thomas Church


“Dear PoPville,

There are plans to tear down the historic St. Thomas parish and park (in Dupont) and replace them with a 7 story luxury condo building and a large new church. This has become quite a contentious issue in the neighborhood. I have attached the powerpoint document the developer presented at a town hall meeting, as well as a history compiled by Scott Royal.

Town Hall Presentation (PDF)

History of St. Thomas’ Parish by Scott Royal

At the community meeting held Tuesday May 20th, the neighbors voiced their concerns about historic preservation, the loss of green space, and the fact that the proposed church building is large and out of character with the neighborhood. They also expressed concerns about traffic (the church plans to rent out it’s building for events, and possibly start a Montessori school).”

A change petition with 199 signatories says:

“Plans are currently being developed to tear down historic St. Thomas Parish and the park on 18th and Church St. and replace them with a major residential building and a large new church structure.

Many neighbors are concerned about this plan because of one or more of the following reasons:

– We believe in historic preservation, and want to protect a place where Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson worshiped.
– We support the preservation of green and open spaces, including the park on 18th and Church.
– We love the charm and uniqueness of the Dupont Circle neighborhood and believe this plan will negatively affect its character.
– We have serious concerns about the environmental impact on the neighborhood’s light and air quality.
– We have serious concerns about the traffic and parking on the neighborhood streets.
– We have serious concerns about the impact of the density, height, and mass abutting a residential neighborhood.

We need your help to urge the city government, church, developer and neighborhood to work together to explore a win-win solution for all that will include:

– Respect of historic preservation and the character of the neighborhood.
– Maintaining all or most of the park to preserve a cherished open space in the area.
– A low-impact design that will contribute, rather than detract from, the surrounding community.”

SALM reported on a more recent meeting:

“Original church plans had the proposed new church and the multi-story apartment building built all the way out to the property line on all sides of the property at the corner of 18th and Church Streets. The revised plan draws the design back a little, allowing a small stretch of green space in the front and side of the property, and more setback at the tops of both planned buildings.”

You can see the Church’s presentation from that meeting here.

Below is an updated rendering for the new design proposal from that presentation:


18th and Church St, NW today


108 Comment

  • will they have a basketball court open to the public? if so i am all in! But seriously…..what is wrong with this? I always wondered what was going on with the abandon church, the green space is not that great anyways….i think this looks pretty good actually

    • there was a fire that destroyed most of the church, so they saved the facade.

      • I have passed by the church for years, and I just learned about this project. I see why the neighbors would be so upset… Can’t the church just rebuild where the church is now (rather than selling half the space to a developer)? It seems they could keep the green space this way…

        • It’s strange that they’re turning the current church into an apartment complex, and building a new church next door. The plans look pretty bad to me.

  • In the second paragraph, “the neighbors” should be replaced with “SOME neighbors.” I know a lot of people on that street, and there are quite a few in favor of the church’s plans.

    • +1

      DC is so full of NIMBYs

        • “They” in this case are not the same “they” that saved the Old Post Office. The opposition to the church’s plans consists of a handful of residents who consistently and reflexively fight every development proposal and liquor license application that comes along. They might be using the language of historic preservation, but that’s not their goal. What they are is anti-density. If the plans were to tear the church down and replace it with just a park, you wouldn’t hear a peep about historic preservation from these folks.

        • You’re absolutely correct. There are some places (the Old PO is a great example) that need to be saved. But I feel that there are several projects (St. Thomas Church for example) that are often attacked by people who fear change and increased density. Cities change, neighborhoods change. Not every single structure needs to be preserved.

      • There are no NIMBYs on Church Street. If there were, we would have opposed the Keegan Theatre’s large rebuilding project. If there were, we would have opposed the church’s 2011-12 design. In fact, the neighborhood supported both of these initiatives. What the neighbors oppose is tearing down history and green space and replacing it with seven stories of condominiums. Saying “there is a better way” is NOT being a NIMBY.

        • Beg to differ but knowing two of the NIMBYs personally, it’s all about keeping others out of THEIR neighborhood. Long list of concerns from them….more residents…OMG..shock…more cars…..OMG…shock…losing the green space for fluffy and spot to piss on…OMG…shock…horror. I’d be very careful if I was a concerned neighbor to this project. Stop the church from building what they have every right to build and they will pave it over as a parking lot. Done.

          • This is really silly! I just went through the park and I can see a mother reading a book to her child, a man reading a newspaper, and someone juggling a soccer ball. Fluffy and Spot are no where in sight. And I have never heard anyone at the church suggest that the alternative to a seven-story condo is paving over the park.

    • It’s just not true that many of the neighbors on Church Street support the church’s plans. Come to the meetings, read the petition comments, or simply walk down the street and read the signs.

      • I have, and it’s the same few people as always.

        • Who are these “same few people as always”? I’m sure there are some neighborhood activists around the city who are now interested in this, but to imply that Church Street residents have “always” been NIMBY pitchforkers is just plain silly.

      • You are fighting a losing battle …

        Besides building a condo complex over the church or next to it is not a new idea. Not to mention, trying to save that little green space when you have parks on both sides of the church: the school behind JRs and a little park called Dupont one block away, oh yeah and a little dog park a few blocks up..

        There are several churches in downtown who built new buildings. The church the keeps the bottom floor/s and rents the top out to office or sells to condos.

        Love life in the city.

  • This seems so sad to me. 🙁

  • Let the church rebuild ITS property. I’m no church goer, but I’m no NIMBY either. If it’s within the rights of zoning, you can wish whatever you like but it’s the church’s property and they’ve always been meaning to rebuild after the fire- lack of funds has been the issue.

    • It isn’t true that the church has always intended to rebuild. Read the church’s own history, which is available at the church or at the DC Historical Society. In the 1970s the congregation deliberately chose NOT to rebuild but to reimagine their mission and give the park to the neighborhood. There are all kinds of quotations from church members at the time and afterward who took great pride in that decision–many of them have their names inscribed on a plaque in the church park today.

      • In the 1970s the congregation made one decision and in the 2010s they have chosen to once again reimagine their mission; that happens to include this new development. Also I find your choice of words “…and give the park to the neighborhood…” to be very telling about mistaken attitudes at work here. What the church gave was access to the park; they did not give away the park area. The green space was a gift resulting from a very ugly act; I think we neighbors should be be happy for the years of access and allow the church to fulfill its mission as it needs to.

        • Perhaps you are a member of the church congregation who hasn’t read your own church’s history. If you had read it, you would have found this quotation: “[The] church has made such an enormous contribution to the neighborhood by providing the park…” Or perhaps you haven’t read the article in Episcopal Life Magazine, written by a parishioner, which notes that “St. Thomas Park [was] dedicated to the neighborhood.” Shall I continue? No one is arguing that the church “gave away” the park to the neighbors for free. What we neighbors are saying is that when we walk through the park we remember a historic decision by the congregation that built enormous good will.

          • And that means exactly what, legally? They lent the community the space and now they either want or need it back (there’s no difference in my opinion). To hold it against the church now seems like some serious ingratitude and an inflated sense of entitlement.

          • If you want to change topics again, we can. No one–other than the ghosts of past parishioners and pastors–is saying the church shouldn’t rebuild, or that the community is entitled to the green space. No one. In fact, the neighborhood supported the previous plan the church shared (which built over the green space) just a few years ago. The issue is the seven-story condominium complex. That is what concerns the neighbors.

  • This will go the way of the 3rd Church Scientist at 16 and I. The Church owns the land, and the building, and should be able to do whatever it wants with it within law and zoning requirements.

    • The “law” you reference includes land use restrictions, such as historical preservation. Comparing this matter to the 3rd Church of Christ, Scientist case is like comparing apples and oranges. In the 3rd Church of Christ, Scientist case, the congregation attempting to demolish the building owned the building, not the land. That church also had no collateral and no alternative options; it also fought efforts to protect the existing structure built in 1970 by opposing efforts to designate the structure as a landmark. In contrast, consider St. Thomas, whose remaining ruins and current parish hall were built in the 1890s and 1920s, respectively, and did not oppose its designation as a contributing structure long ago. St Thomas also has alternatives to rebuild, including, among others, one that the neighborhood and HPO supported. St. Thomas and the 3rd Church of Christ, Scientist case are not factually analogous.

      • What is the alternative to rebuild hat is supported by the neighborhood and HPO? Is it an actual, viable alternative? Does it keep the park or just prevent the condos?

  • So basically these neighbors want the church to be historic and pretty to look at and don’t want the church to evolve and grow to allow it to better serve its parishioners and the community.

    • No, they support the church rebuilding. Look at the church’s prior design from 2010-2012. It was gorgeous, and supported by the neighborhood. So, the neighbors want the church to rebuild, the neighbors support exactly that, the neighbors just want something that’s appropriate for the neighborhood.

      • But I believe that they scrapped that earlier concept because it was not economically feasible. Everyone would like for the best options in life to be free, but the parish has to act in a fiscally responsible manner and are proposing a structure that enables them to collect revenue to pay for the expansion and the work of the church.

  • I live nearby. The park is great. The church, since the fire, is ugly. If the neighbors really wanted “historical” preservation of it, then they should have thought about rebuilding it back then.

  • I lived about a block from here for several years and this opposition is laughable. To name a few reasons, the new plans are entirely within the character of the neighborhood, which is full of mid-rise condo buildings. A new Montessori here would be a great addition to this neighborhood which increasingly includes young kids. As for traffic problems – uh – you live in Dupont. There’s always traffic.

    The park is lovely and it will be a bummer to see it go, and the building design is not to my personal taste, but such is city life. This burned-out shell was not going to last forever, “historic” or no.

  • Soon the entire city will be comprised of 14 story office and condo buildings with retail on the ground floor. It is more efficient, so long as you don’t care about history, beauty, aesthetics or diversity and want everything built out to the max.

    • Nice straw man. :eye roll:

    • Anything taken to the extreme will sound absurd, just like your proposition here. Taken the other way: Preserving the historic nature of the “neighborhood” as it was for roughly 4.5 billion years would have meant never building anything (including the church), never having a street or a sidewalk, and keeping it as natural woods or brush; regardless of how you feel about having a roof over your head, heating, cooling, indoor plumbing, or a civilization.

      This building burned and is no longer functioning in any context, historical, or otherwise. The key standard is reasonableness. Forcing them to keep this shell to make some neighbors feel better is unreasonable.

    • The NIMBY committee says that Presidents Johnson, Truman, and Roosevelt worshiped there, but how could that be if the church they’re fighting to protect was built in the 1970s? By that time, Roosevelt had been dead for 25 years, and Truman and Johnson were almost dead, living out their last days in Missouri and Texas. Plus, their arguments about traffic, parking, and density are also illogical. How can you complain about those things if you chose to live in the heart of the city? If they want peace and quiet and open space, they should move to Manassas.

      • The church was built in the 1890’s. It was burned down by fire (arson, I believe) in 1970. The church worshiped in the accompanying vestry building on Church Street immediately behind ever since. The parish has been steadily growing and has now outgrown that space.

        • If the church has outgrown its space why does the new design add only about 25 seats? This isn’t about expanding to meet the church’s increasing congregation size.

          • So I was at one of the meetings and the church talked a lot about programing and acessability. Apparantly the church part of the current building is on the second floor and they can’t get coffins up there for funerals or disabled people for services. They also said they have a lot more kids now and no room for kids programs.

            I don’t think it is so much about making more seats, as it is about making more rooms and adding a big elevator.

    • Totally agree, this is Church Street, not K Street.

  • It’s not your church or your park.

  • Can the poster offer a link for those of us that want to support the redevelopment of this space? It seems unreasonable to help the NIMBYs organize while not doing the same for those of us that want to see the area improve and progress.

  • that church doesn’t look very nice since it burned down. i think that a church should be able to do what it wants with its property especially in the interest of increasing its presence in the neighborhood.

  • i mean, seriously? that’s the best design they could come up with? no wonder people are annoyed. opposing that doesn’t make you a nimby – it means you are sane and have at least some idea of basic aesthetics.

    • Precisely!!

    • But those are your aesthetics. Apparently some people think this design is nice. Maybe someone doesn’t care for the look of your home but it’s really none of their business is it?

  • What if we think the rendering looks like crap and that it’s weird to combine an actual functioning church with yuppy condo units (to me, subjectively, it’s weird) BUT also think the church should be allowed to rebuild something new?

    It seems to me in situations such as this the so-called NIMBYs just hate the proposed project, not the idea of all change. And in that I agree, this is a weird project. Then they rally around the flag of historic preservation because it’s their only hope to stop an atrocious structure from going up.

    It would be better if both sides could just compromise… but this is America.

  • First and foremost, that is the UGLIEST design I have ever seen and completely out of character with the neighborhood (much like the bldgs at 18th and Q). Also, Church St and the lot in question are quiet in nature and this “apartchurch” bldg is out of scale. It sounds like everyone with NIMBY problems would prefer that no history were left. Even what remains of St Thomas is important because it tells a story.

    • THE UGLIEST DESIGN EVAR?!? ooookay then….

    • Except if you check the zoning you’ll see the lot in question is zoned to allow development up to 65 feet with a FAR of 4 by right.

      • By right as far as zoning goes, maybe. By right as far as demolishing or dismantling a historically protected building? Nope, not even close.

        That’s why this isn’t simply up to the church alone. One lives in a society, one signs up for the benefits and the restrictions, that’s the trade.

    • I think the church should be allowed to do what it wants with its own property, but I do think it’s a shame to lose the historic remains of the church and the park. It does tell a compelling story as the church was destroyed by an arsonist in 1970, and there is conjecture that it was due to the fact that the church was very welcoming to the LGBT community, and the “counter-culture” of the time.

  • I believe this a by-rights project, so not only is this petition stupid and annoying, it’s also completely meaningless.

    • To say this is a by-rights project is incomplete and misleading.

      Two regimes govern here – zoning and historic preservation. From a zoning perspective, the developer claims the project is by-right, and that may indeed be true, TBD for now. But from a historic preservation perspective, the project is far from by-right. Building the condo requires razing, in whole or in part, the Parish Hall, which still stands and which is a contributing resource to the Dupont Circle Historic District. DC law prohibits such actions, barring certain exigent circumstances and approval.

      So, as stated at the top, this project is not simply by-right. Far from it.

      • OK, but the real goal of the opponents isn’t really preservation-related, it’s zoning-related. So it seems fundamentally dishonest to talk about historic preservation when all they really want is to limit the density of the new project. That much was obvious when the school idea came up.

      • You’re simply wrong, and you’re deliberately being misleading to try and pretend otherwise. Yes, it’s a by-rights project. And no, there’s nothing historic about the parish hall, which has been utterly gutted and remodeled inside. You can try and slow the process, but the process will move forward like it or not.

        • That’s it, StatingTheObvious. Yell louder, it makes you more right.

          Anyway, even if we assume the Parish Hall is not protected (even though it is), historic preservation requires that new buildings and alterations are compatible with the character of the neighborhood. The proposed church design and the massive condo building fail that test. The massing of the structure is inappropriate for Church Street. And before you mischaracterize me as opposing everything, note that I thought the old design was great. We support the church rebuilding, absolutely, just not like this.

  • Is this within the Dupont Circle historic district?

  • Just to be clear, the neighbors are not against the church rebuilding (in fact they are in favor of it)– the neighbors are mostly upset that the church is being rebuilt on such a massive scale, and is out of keeping with the neighborhood. The church didn’t share its plans with the neighbors until they were nearly finished (and there was very little space for negotiation).

    • Translation – please rebuild on an extraordinarily valuable piece of land, but make sure it’s a non-revenue generating property. And despite the fact that the design is by-right, we neighborhood busybodies should have been been consulted, and given the right to sign off on the project, before you started.

    • “and there was very little space for negotiation”
      Of course not – it’s not your freakin’ property! Good grief.

      • To be clear, the neighbors DO have to be consulted. That’s the process in DC and just about anywhere. That’s why we have Historic Preservation, the ANC, etc. That’s why you can’t build an addition to your home or rip down its facade or dig a swimming pool into your garage OR ADD SEVEN STORIES OF LUXURY CONDOS without asking permission. The point here is that if the church had been smart and consulted with the neighbors FIRST, most of this animosity could have been avoided because we could have found a win-win. Instead, the church chose to present its plans as a fait accompli. Calling neighbors who don’t want seven stories of condominium next door “busybodies” is unfair.

        • First, can it with the all caps stuff. It comes across as shouting and it’s obnoxious. Second, you misunderstand the process and the likely outcome. What you’re saying just isn’t true “in DC and just about everywhere.” There’s only a public process when there’s a need for a special exception or variance, or if the historic preservation review board has to rule on the development. However, the problem you have is that there doesn’t appear to be a zoning issue, so that leaves historic preservation. And not wanting a condo building next door isn’t a valid preservation-related reason, especially considering the other buildings that have been allowed in the area (that’s a zoning/density issue). Not only that, but the HPRB — ostensibly made up of people who know things about architecture (debatable, I know) — has its own ideas about what’s acceptable. And as far as I know, most of the opponents aren’t experts in architectural history so their opinions won’t be given much weight at all.

          • Your understanding of historical preservation in this context and HPRB is misleading and lacking, to say the least.

    • The neighbors were probably left out of the negotiation because they are in no position to negotiate.

  • I don’t super love the design. I”m also a historian and terribly sentimental, so holding on to the past is my natural tendency.


    1) It’s the church’s property, and the congregation needs a place to worship that suits the needs of the parish.
    2) This design is actually a LOT better than many contemporary church buildings I’ve seen. Although I prefer traditional church buildings, I think church architecture should evolve and be influenced by modern design. New buildings made to be copies of old buildings are kinda creepy.
    3) Cities are living things. Yes, preservation is important, but you can’t (and shouldn’t) preserve everything. Besides, preserving a burned out facade for the sake of preservation is a little nuts.


    Just kidding! It’d be a real shame to lose such a lovely piece of green space in our community, and to tear down a slice of history. And looking at the petition it looks like A LOT of my neighbors agree! I’m all for the church renovating in a way that respects historic preservation and keeps green space, but this plan is pretty short sighted.

    • There’s a park about a block away (Stead) that’s being redone into nice green space.

      • So glad one park is the ceiling of your ambitions. A park where the field is almost always locked.

    • Why should you expect a private entity (the church in this case, or others) to voluntarily provide you with green space? It’s been a lovely thing in the neighborhood for a while, but as private property you can’t expect access to it for ever. If after the fire, the church could have just built a fence around the empty lot and not planted it nor allowed access to the property, or, if they chose to fence it off now, that would their right too.

  • Consulting with neighbors about major reconstruction is a neighborly thing to do. The church has legal rights, but there is an understandable expectation that, as a church, they might collaborate with the neighborhood. If you read the history of this church, they intentionally chose not to rebuild after the fire to provide the neighborhood a park because they didn’t believe they needed a big looming building. That previous church cared about the neighborhood and its relationship with the community. There are over 300 concerned neighbors in opposition to the current plan. It’s not just a handful of NIMBYs.

    • And how many of those 300 live within a few hundred yards? I know that some of the most vocal opponents live nowhere near that property and are just the usual suspects making noise yet again.

      • How many of the church members live on the block? The most active people opposing the current design live on the block. We all want the church to rebuild or renovate a usable space and we’ve supported previous designs. However, we oppose this one because it’s bad for our neighborhood.

        • OK, and there are active supporters of the project who also live on that block. So what gives the opponents any more rights than the supporters?

      • This is just flat-out untrue. Walk down Church Street and read the signs.

        • I’ve seen the signs. Do you really think that means there’s a consensus? Talk about flat-out untrue.

          • Anon, you said “I know that some of the most vocal opponents live nowhere near that property and are just the usual suspects making noise yet again.” I said “That is just flat-out untrue. Walk down Church Street and read the signs.” Rather than answering my point, which directly refuted yours, you switched the topic and said “Do you really think that means there’s a consensus?” My response to you is “Yes, there are some on the street who believe the church has the right to rebuild. I will let them speak for themselves. But many, many residents who live very close by oppose the project. If you doubt that, wait until you see the map of addresses from the over 300 folks who signed the petition. Let’s just wait until that comes out and we’ll see who’s right!” Also, I’d love to know who these “usual suspects” are. Any names you want to share?

  • Why was it designed to be so ugly? Look at the images from the presentation….

  • As part of the groundswell of more than 300 neighbors opposed to the current project, and who only heard about the project through word of mouth, I’m deeply troubled by the church’s active concealment project and their refusal to partner with the neighbors on this significant redevelopment. By contrast, the Keegan theater on the same block is expanding and renovating with 100 percent neighborhood support. So much for NIMBYism.

    • “So much for NIMBYism”? Hardly. Just because you were OK with a tiny little theater doesn’t mean that you’re not a NIMBY as far as residential development goes. I’ve met enough members of your “groundswell” and can say with certainty that for many of your cohorts protecting parking and that sliver of green space so — as someone aptly put it above — their pets can piss are the main motivations. Oh, that and limiting newcomers so as to protect these people’s disproportionate influence on neighborhood development.

      • That must be why many of the same people who oppose the current plans liked the older plans. Your arguments make no sense.

    • Active concealment? I don’t live anywhere near St. Thomas’ but I knew about their plan to redevelop their property. I find it difficult to see how someone who is so involved and invested in their neighborhood was so utterly unaware of a this project which has been in the planning stages for years.

  • The church and the park are a wonderful piece of DC history and charm. Are there other possibilities for rebuilding the church that don’t involve building a such a large residential structure?

    • Perhaps you’d like to make a suggestion? It’s expensive to run a church – that’s why they chose this revenue generating option.

  • I’m guessing that David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington is behind the cheerleading for this stunningly ugly building. It looks like the kind of church that would have gone up about 50 or 60 years ago next to a suburban shopping center. If it’s in the historic district, it needs to demonstrate that this is consistent with the area. I wouldn’t be surprised if the long term presence of the open space has created easement right for the neighbors and grounds for legal action in that way.

    there are at least two Episcopalian churches nearby. Why hasn’t this parish been merged with another. No one has answered the question about whether many people actually live in the neighborhood.

    • Saint Thomas is a thriving parish. Why would you presume to suggest that they should no longer exist?

  • It is a privately owned park. How many of the concerned neighbors help the church pay for its upkeep? The building is not the historic church where presidents worshipped. How many of the concerned neighbors partcipate in the worship and/or service of the congregation? Hearing that a mother was in the park reading to her child sounds nice and I’m sure she enjoyed it – but the church is not required to provide a park for her.

    • Read the plaque that is in the park. It has the names of many neighbors who helped pay for the renovation of the park. Read the church history. It says that originally the park was jointly maintained by the church and community, but that the church decided to take over maintenance itself. I can promise you that if the church put out a call to have the neighborhood help with maintenance tomorrow, people would line up.

      • Given the number of lawyers in DC, I think you easily could establish easement rights for the community given that history.

        • I’m going to assume that you’re not a lawyer, but as one myself I can assure you there’s nothing easy about establishing an easement against the will of the property owner. And if you’re really talking about adverse possession, forget it.

      • Why wait? Get your rake and get to work if you consider it to be community property.

  • I guess the proposed design is out of tune with other neighborhood structures like the 8 (9?) floor DuPont East a half block away?

  • The new church adds 50 more seats to the church’s worship space. Honestly, does the church really need to build such a building for 50 more seats? The tone of the back and forth on this discussion has positioned the church’s right to rebuild vs. the community’s displeasure regarding the process and design. To me, the real question is how a church, that 40+ years ago decided to reach out to the community and build a park and who renovated that park (again in collaboration with the community) in the 90s, decided that the community’s concerns are irrelevant. The current philosophy of the church seems to be that only their parishioners matter, the community doesn’t. The previous church viewed the community as part of its mission – a sad change.

    • To me, that’s the least of the questions. Mainly because you can never know someone’s true motivations and they don’t really matter to the bottom line anyway. The bottom line for neighbors should be what the church can build by right and what aspects of the development they can have some influence over. Trying to discern motivations is an exercise in navel-gazing and by the time you figure it out you’ve been passed by. As an added bonus, discussions that involve attaching the church’s basic position are likely to go nowhere and will — rightfully — cause the church’s board to circle the wagons. Hardly a productive dialogue. Better stick with what you can see and what you might have some control over.

    • Just to be clear, it is 25-30 new seats, not 50.

    • I don’t know, I vote here, I know that they have AA meetings here, and the church’s websites say they have other programs besides church. Maybe they want more space for community programs and church. I mean, you can’t really have meetings outside year-round.

  • Interestingly, after eighty comments, I don’t think I’ve seen any that compliment the design. Of course, now that it’s been pointed out, lots of comments will now rise up to defend the suburban mega-church. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it sure is striking that as this conversation has evolved organically over the last day, none of the eighty comments praises the aesthetic. Subject to HPRB, aesthetic is for the church and developer to decide, but I’d say that’s pretty telling – no one spontaneously or proactively praised the design. I would hope the church and architect take note.

    • You have clearly never seen a suburban mega church.

    • Design wise, I think it’s fine. It identifies liturgical, yet is mixed-use to suit the owners desires. It is neither fantastic or terrible. In these types of cases people get hung up on architecture too much. Exceptional architecture (at least from the perspective of an architect) usually makes a lousy neighbor. What goes on at the street level is more important. There are plenty of good urban settings that are lively and function well but have somewhat boring buildings.

  • People still live in Dupont?

  • Save an ugly burned wall!

  • PDleftMtP

    I suggest that those who actually live in the neighborhood and think a park is essential band together to knock their houses down and create a green space.

    Seriously, I love parks too, and I would understand if this were a protest against giving public land to a developer. But this is not public land. It belongs to the church, and now they want to do something else (perfectly legal) with it. You do not have the right to take it from them in order to preserve “your” park any more than somebody else has the right to tell you you can’t fence your back yard because they like sitting on your patio.

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