OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s a well-known structure in northwest Oklahoma City, but many parishioners are concerned that it won’t be around for much longer.
In 2016, a 32-acre property went up for sale near N.W. 36th and Walker in Oklahoma City.
The property includes the First Christian Church, which is known for its shape and history.
“This building is definitely one of the architectural icons of Oklahoma City. It gives us the distinctive architectural look that we have,” said Lynn Rostochil.
Rostochil’s grandfather was actually one of the architects that designed the church in 1956. Since then, it has served as a beacon of hope for families in the area and others during tough times.
“It was also the gathering place for all of the families after the Murrah bombing, really helped the community heal after that,” Rostochil said.
The congregation made the difficult decision to put the massive property up for sale in 2016, and many said they hoped that a buyer would love the place as much as they did.
Now, an Oklahoma group is working to ensure that the building is protected for years to come.
Recently, Okie Mod Squad created a petition to ask the city council to declare the First Christian Church a landmark. If the church is declared a landmark, they say any demolition permit would have to be reviewed by a historical preservation commission before any work could begin.
“The glorious mid-century modern First Christian Church in Oklahoma City is for sale, and even though it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, the Okie Mod Squad has learned from very reliable sources that a potential buyer may want to demolish the building for development. Sadly, the church is not located in a Historic Preservation (HP) district and there are no protections in place that would call for any kind of HP Commission review if a buyer requests a demolition permit,” the petition says.
So far, the petition has garnered over 1,050 signatures.