City council members want to stop ‘landmark’ designation of ‘Egg church’

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OKLAHOMA CITY - There are new questions surrounding the future of an Oklahoma City landmark.

The First Christian Church sits on land that is currently up for sale.

After fears it could be demolished, many called for the church to be designated a landmark.

On Tuesday, an agenda for the city council said it would consider an item to withdraw the application designating Oklahoma City's First Christian Church as a historic landmark.

"I feel like we have played by the rules of the game this whole time and it seems to me this is kind of a changing of the rules in the eighth inning,” said Lynne Rostochil, Okie Mod Squad co-founder and a proponent to designate the church a landmark.

In March, former city councilman Ed Shadid pushed for a landmark status on the so called "egg church." He said it has historic significance after being used as a gathering place for Oklahoma City bombing victims.

The designation would add a layer of protection in case the new owners plan to demolish the church.

A month later, the Historic Preservation Commission started the process of making it a designated landmark.

However, a new resolution by four council members hopes to stop the process.

"It's basically to rescind action that the Historic Preservation Commission voted on a few weeks ago,” said City Councilman David Greenwell, Ward 5.

Greenwell believes making the church a landmark goes too far in property owner's rights.

"How can a government impose its will on a religious organization and even have the ability of what type of, for example, stained glass they have?” he said.

There's also fear the city could be sued.

Those who want the landmark status said the new action sets a bad example.

"I think it sends a very dangerous precedent of the city council circumventing the authority of the HP Commission and really any other commission. It dilutes their power,” Rostochil said.

"I think the action on the Historic Preservation Commission is a little bit unnecessary and that's why tomorrow we hope to correct that,” Greenwell said.

Crossings Community Church is looking at the possibility of buying the property as a satellite location. They said they're excited about the possibility of reaching into another community.

Originally, the item was set to be discussed on May 7. However, the resolution has been delayed until the May 21 city council meeting.

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